THE TOP 5 Common Mistakes that Analyst Relations Programs Make

5.  Vendors approach analysts with an undifferentiated message and lack of thought in their vision and strategy.

Downside – why should an analyst pay any attention to a boring, me too vendor, especially if the market is crowded and fragmented?

4.  Vendors use the same approach used for all analysts and all firms. Some firms have very bureaucratic briefing request procedures while others permit vendors and PR firms to call the analysts directly. Market researchers need numbers while advisory analysts provide customer success stories. Some analysts are very structured in the information they want and the briefing structure while other analysts even at the same firm are very informal.

Downside – analysts are narcissistic prima donnas who want to do things their way. Vendors who ignore basic differences between analysts and firms run the risk of irritating the analysts, not providing needed information and wasting the analysts’ time.

3.  Vendors provide the wrong type of information, not supporting the methods the analysts use to communicate with end users. This problem is especially common with product companies run by engineers who are totally in love with the features and functions of their products. These vendors only want to talk speeds-and-feeds and ignore the more important types of information that analysts need. Downside – vendors can miss impacting an analyst’s verbal communication in a client one-on-one by providing only the facts and figures used in written research. 

2.  Vendors obsess with conducting formal briefings instead of using a mix of interaction types. The formal briefing is the most expensive interaction in terms of effort and the most difficult way to interact with analysts.

Downside – AR programs miss the opportunity to interact more effectively with analysts by ignoring other interaction avenues like client inquiries, deep dives, analyst consulting days, social events and so on.

1. Vendors lack a methodology for creating and managing analyst lists (aka analyst groups in ARchitect). AR programs target the wrong analysts because:

  • They don’t have analysts with the right coverage on their lists
  • They talk to analysts with business models that do not fit their AR or corporate objectives
  • They have too few or too many analysts on their lists
  • They do not rank and tier their analysts so they can concentrate on the most important tier 1 analysts
  • They have a one-size fits all list instead of breaking it out by product lines

Downside – Talking to the wrong analysts is a waste of time with the huge opportunity cost of missing the analysts who could actually impact your company.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Review your AR program to determine whether you are guilty of any of these common mistakes
  • Consider doing a free SageCircle AR Diagnostic to obtain a systematic review of your program

Bottom Line: Many AR programs suffer the same mishaps regardless of the company type: software, hardware, services or Internet companies. AR staffs need to look seriously at their programs to see if they fall prey to these mistakes. Then they need to ruthlessly root out the practices that lead to these mistakes.

Question: AR Teams – Do you perceive that your program is not firing on all cylinders, but do not know why?

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