Case study: Using insights to drive (and change) strategy

by Jeff Harris

September 30, 2020

Case Studies

Case study: Using insights to drive (and change) strategy

The insights-driven approach to AR has many benefits like providing more realistic AR metrics, offering competitive intel back to the business, and making analysts feel heard and valued. But sometimes other benefits of this approach aren’t realized until you’re in the moment capturing insights and surfacing issues you may have otherwise easily overlooked. 

Recently, we worked with a client to establish insights-driven initiatives – AR plans centered around specific goals or themes – to help them win in their market with analysts. This client is a platform company looking to prove their place in the market and promote capabilities they feel they should be known for. We established a few key initiatives and took action on them, but soon found insights that changed our strategy. 

First, we looked at our corporate goals. 

Our client wanted to be known for their customer facing functionality, so our first initiative was to promote this capability. Secondly, they disagreed about how analysts define their platform so our second initiative became to change the analysts’ definition. 

Initiative 1: Promoting our capabilities uncovered an unforeseen roadblock

We had nine interactions related to the capability we wanted to promote, and from those interactions we captured 5 insights. The insights were generally somewhat positive, but we were unclear why one analyst’s feedback wasn’t as positive as others’. 

What we found was this analyst wasn’t quite understanding our message. We needed to spend more time with him to ask him questions about his point of view and to hopefully explain ours in more detail. This finding was surprising as we had no prior inclination that this analyst would struggle with how we were promoting our capability. 

The insights-driven framework helped us catch when an analyst didn’t “get it.” If we hadn’t clearly outlined our mission and gathered feedback insights, we might have missed his perception gap of our business. Because the insights-driven approach shined a light on this issue, we were able to adjust our strategy with him. 

Initiative 2: Combating a market definition – but ultimately learning from it

With our second initiative, we wanted to show analysts our point of view around our platform’s market definition. We planned a series of interactions to discuss the market and in doing so we uncovered significant insights – the analysts lack clarity themselves about what the market definition is. 

This discovery allowed us to pivot our strategy to be more efficient and effective in our conversations with these analysts. Instead of touting our definition of the market against theirs, we realized we needed to learn more about the different viewpoints they have of the market. Because there isn’t one common definition, we want to know, how does each analyst define it? How do they think we should be talking about ourselves? 

While this initiative started as one thing, the insights we learned from it gave us valuable information about what our strategy should be with these analysts. If we hadn’t been paying attention or capturing insights, we may not have seen the ambiguity among the analysts in this space.  

Our takeaways from taking an insights-driven approach 

Taking an insights-driven approach has certainly helped us create better strategies and better interactions with analysts. By focusing on capturing and analyzing insights, we were able to see potential roadblocks or challenges that may have gone unnoticed if we weren’t using this approach. 

It’s also helped us prioritize our AR program goals. When we look at all the things we want to do and say to analysts against the realities of our working world, we can see exactly what’s feasible to accomplish and what is most important. Using insights to plan initiatives gives us this prioritization power. 

If you’re curious to hear more about the insights-driven approach to AR, check out some of our webinars. We share how using insights can not only help you plan and strategize but also give you the power to make a significant impact on other aspects of your business.