Measuring Analyst Relations Through Analyst Insights

by Christina Neill

August 5, 2020

Measuring Analyst Relations Through Analyst Insights

Insights-Driven AR is an approach to analyst relations that has benefits for everyone in AR as well as the broader business. Personally, one of my favorite aspects of this approach is how it empowers the AR practitioners and leaders to truly measure the work they do and the impact it has. 

With Insights-Driven AR, we use analyst insights to drive our AR planning. When we do this, we create initiatives – specific action plans targeted at addressing analysts’ perceptions. These initiatives can be measured by more than just traditional AR metrics. Instead of waiting to see your dot placement, or counting the number of briefings you’ve had with your key analysts, initiatives are targeted steps that show the breadth of the work you do on a daily basis. 

Using initiatives to create AR metrics

Once you gather analyst insights, assess them for themes, and align them to your corporate goals, you can strategize how to change the perceptions, learn from, or continue to reinforce those themes. 

When we work with clients, we identify three types of initiatives: 

  • Convince & Change: Addressing an analyst’s negative, neutral, or under-informed perception
    • Example initiatives:
      • Convince viability for an ambiguous category definition 
      • Change perception of poor implementation and upgrade experience
      • Demonstrate traction in global market
    • What to measure:
      • The number of analyst interactions specifically related to your initiative plus the analyst’s sentiment of those interactions. Did the analyst perceive the information positively or cautiously? 
      • Insight sentiment from inquiries. Has the analyst provided feedback or made commentary that indicates a change in perception? 
      • Inclusion in reports related to the topics you want to address. Are you seeing tangible references to your company? 
  • Learn & Inform: Gaining insights to feed company strategy and informing roadmap; getting a better understanding of analyst POV
    • Example initiatives:
      • Inform pricing and packaging strategy
      • Inform M&A strategy
      • Inform competitive market positioning
    • What to measure:
      • The number of insights shared from those inquiries with your product teams that they are taking action on. Are you consistently communicating useful insights?
      • Analysts’ perception of your product once roadmap items have been addressed. Has their perception improved? 
      • Improved placement and inclusion in research. Have the analysts recognized the changes you’ve made?
  • Promote: Emphasize our strengths and reinforce their importance in the market
    • Example initiatives:
      • Promote and validate an innovative product roadmap
      • Reinforce company momentum
      • Promote Customer Lifecycle Orchestration offering
    • What to measure:
      • The number of analyst interactions and the overall analyst sentiment related to your strengths. Are you maintaining your positive standing with analysts?
      • Report mentions highlighting our specific initiatives
      • Improved perception audit scores for your differentiation

The initiatives listed here are just the tip of the iceberg. Each company and AR program will have its own goals and objectives specific to their industry, so their initiatives should be tailored to those nuances. 

Using initiatives to get the credit you deserve

One of the main benefits of using initiatives to measure AR is putting ownership of AR’s success back into the hands of AR people. Dot placements and leads will always be important – but dot placements and leads are often out of the AR pro’s control. While AR plays a part in those wins, it is not the sole contributor, and therefore should not be measured solely on those outcomes. 

With initiatives, AR pros can actually measure their part of traditional AR channel metrics. When the dot placement is undesirable, you need to be able to defend your contributions. Unfortunately pure program counts – like the number of briefings and inquiries – sell your contributions to the business short. When you attach sentiment and insight-sharing to those counts, you enrich your baseline metrics and show your strategic skillsets. Tracking momentum of your initiatives that are directly in line with the business goals showcases your true value. When the dot placement is good, you should get credit for the specific ways in which you helped the business communicate with analysts and learn from their perspective of the market. By using initiatives through the Insights-Driven AR approach, AR pros can finally show their leaders the specific and meaningful ways the channel is contributing to the business. 

In our next webinar, we’re going to dive even deeper into this concept. We’ll share more examples and explanations of how you can use insights-driven initiatives to create realistic and meaningful metrics for AR. Join us on August 19.