Using insights to support product management

by Cory Sims

September 16, 2020

Using insights to support product management

As an AR professional, I feel so privileged to listen to the heads of product for some of the most visionary and successful companies talk with industry experts about capabilities and strategies in a number of categories. But, as much as I enjoy the conversation, I know the insights that analysts share can be even more valuable for the product team.

Most AR pros know the value that their work can bring to the sales and marketing team with assets such as evaluation reports with good positioning, analyst quotes for press releases, white papers, and more. But, there is also a well of value that AR can bring to the product team, by the simple tactic of sharing what they hear from analysts. 

Sharing insights that impact execution

Take for example a caution from a Magic Quadrant report. Let’s say the analyst suggests the UI needs to be refreshed and is only useful for a highly technical user. That insight is informed by many, many briefings and demos that the analyst is seeing from competitors. They also are hearing from end-user customers who are implementing the products. 

It’s likely the first instinct after the MQ publishes is to leverage it for reprints and then move on until the next iteration kicks off. While reprints are certainly important for lead gen, that insight about our UI has major value – it is something we should take to the product team. 

When the product team learns about this feedback, they can plan for improvements in our roadmap and learn more about specific details and competitors by engaging with the analyst in follow-up inquiries.. Then, we can brief the analyst down the road about the UI update, plus share a customer story from a less technical end-user, and ultimately show our improvement in this key evaluative criteria before we’re reviewed again. 

Sharing insights that impact vision

Another example involves industry trends or themes. Analysts are a voice for the market, so when they talk about a trend they’re hearing or researching, that’s backed up by the dozens of inquiries and briefings they take from end-users, potential buyers, and vendors. 

When we consistently hear from analysts about the emergence of a new industry trend, it’s important that we make sure the product team hears that insight. Analysts are looking to recommend vendors that don’t just have the best solution for today, but those who will be good technology partners for the next decade. So, understanding trends, putting them into the product roadmap, and then sharing our company’s plan back to analysts enables them to confidently say our organization is ready for the future.

Sharing insights to showcase AR’s value

An AR pro has many tasks: relaying key corporate and product messages, understanding technical capabilities and differentiators, aiding in the creation of sales and marketing collateral out of research, and more. But sharing just one analyst insight can help your company create a better product –  and potentially improved placement in the next MQ. When AR pros start sharing insights like these, we ensure that our roles and our work are important and impactful resources for our organization. 

If you’re looking to learn more about using insights to drive your AR program, check out a few of our resources.