As part of the ongoing struggle to convince their management about the value of analyst relations, AR professionals often prove the effectiveness of their AR programs by showing written research with mentions about the vendor. This type of metric is often shortsighted because it does not take into account the verbal delivery of research via informal conversations over the phone and at analyst conferences.Because the IT industry analysts that focus on advising IT managers (e.g., AMR, Forrester and Gartner) are on the phone every day with their clients, the payback for a briefing can be nearly instantaneous.
It is common for an analyst to finish an IT vendor briefing and use the information in the very next call. In fact, the analyst will do a little name dropping with the end-user client to show how wired-in they are (e.g., “… funny you should mention Acme Software. I just got off the phone with its VP of Services where I learned how it is taking care of its professional services quality issues. I believe you can now add Acme to your short list with minor risk. …”). Analyst relation professionals need to educate their executives on how the analysts deliver their research and advice (i.e., one-on-one inquiry, formal presentations and written research). By doing so, AR can start to move executives away from focusing on the written research as the only method for measuring AR effectiveness.
SageCircle Technique: The next time you schedule analyst briefings, call the analysts in advance and ask them to help educate the executive that will be doing the briefing. Then, during the briefing ask the analysts about how they use the information from a briefing. Drill down by asking whether they think that they’ll be using the information gathered on inquiries with end users. This should then open up the conversation for a few minutes about how end users leverage analyst recommendations and analysis.
Bottom Line: Often IT vendor executives question the value of briefing the analysts when it seems like the analysts take months – if at all – to write about the information provided in the briefing. Regardless if the analysts ever write about a vendor, the information provided could be used within minutes of your briefing during a phone inquiry with a corporate IT buyer – your customer.
Question: Do your executives consider written research the primary way that they communicate with end users? Are your executives aware that analysts impact tens of billions of technology purchases via 1-on-1 conversations?
Since 2000, SageCircle has helped analyst relations teams to focus on business value by encouraging innovative thinking that leverages insights and drives revenue.