From notes to insights – getting the most from your analyst interactions

by Christina Neill

May 27, 2020

From notes to insights – getting the most from your analyst interactions

During briefings and inquiries, while reading research, and while talking to analysts, AR pros have a front-row seat to the wealth of knowledge industry analysts share. It’s safe to say that no one else in your organization hears as much feedback, competitive intel, and research updates as you. 

All too often, we hear from AR pros that they absorb and internalize what they learn from analysts but struggle with documenting these learnings in ways that can be used and shared later. Luckily, we’ve experimented and succeeded with an insights-based method that can alleviate this problem. 

Stop taking notes. Start writing insights. 

In a typical analyst interaction, it’s likely you take notes on what is being said during the conversation. These notes often are lengthy and full of back-and-forth commentary. After the interaction, you may reference them to send a debrief email to your speakers and stakeholders, but after that… you rarely look at them again. 

Example of interaction notes

Unfortunately, this means the feedback, intel, and learnings from this call don’t live on much longer than the interaction. Taking notes only allows you to see what an analyst said in that single interaction. 

Instead of note-taking, we propose that a more impactful and sustainable method is to capture insights. Capturing insights is similar to note-taking, but is a more targeted method of capturing important information. Capturing insights allows for: 

  1. A record of the most important takeaways from an interaction
  2. The ability to analyze these takeaways over time
  3. Multiple views on how analysts perceive you beyond one interaction

So, what are insights?

Insights are analyst feedback on your business, insight into your competition, and observations on your market, customers, and/or prospects captured during an interaction or via published research. In short, an insight is a single important verbatim piece of analyst commentary.

Example of insights

We believe there are four types of analyst insights:

  • AR intel: Information regarding research timing, evaluation report qualifications, briefing feedback, etc.
  • Market intel: Analyst observations on market trends, buying behavior, budgets, trending nomenclature, etc.
  • Competitive intel: Analyst observations on your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, areas of momentum, investments, etc.
  • Analyst feedback: Analyst commentary on the real and relative strengths and weaknesses of your product/service offerings, your go-to-market-strategy, your business and customers, and your position in the market.

How can insights be used?

Once you start writing insights instead of notes, over time you’ll be able to create a library of learnings that you can use to inform your AR strategy. You’ll be able to see:

  • What have [Gartner Analysts] said about our [Product Offering XYZ]?
  • What have [All Analysts] said about our [Merger]?  
  • What do [Forrester Analysts] say about our [Competitors]?

Plus, capturing insights are an easy way to quickly answer everyday questions like: 

  • What does an analyst, or analyst firm, think of us?
  • When does the next MQ/Wave kick off?
  • How does the analyst see the market changing? And is that good for us? 
  • What does my speaker need to know to be successful before going into this analyst call?

Use insights to drive your AR program

Insights are everywhere – you just have to cull them from the work you are already doing. In our next webinar, we’re going to dive deep into what insights are, how to find them, and what to do once you have. 

Join us on June 17 for the first webinar in our “Insights-Driven AR” summer content series to learn more about how to find and use insights to drive your AR program.