Counting analyst mentions is often an operational metric. However, it is a very incomplete measurement because counting mentions typically does not consider the intensity, the exposure, the focus, the alignment, or the accuracy of the opinion; all critical factors in determining the net impact of an opinion on shaping market perception and influencing buying decisions. If you consider these other attributes it can become a form of performance metric because it can demonstrate that AR reached out to the analyst and communicated information for them.
In order to move beyond an at-best tactical performance metric such as counting mentions to something more strategic, AR needs to elevate its focus by tracking opinions and data points (relevance, perception, net impact, etc.) over time on a more regular basis. Monitoring opinion can help AR understand the effectiveness of its work by tracking whether opinions are improving over time. For instance, merely counting that there were 20 quotes per quarter in Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 indicates little on AR effectiveness. However, tracking that overall opinion in those four quarters went from very negative in Q1 to negative in Q2 to neutral in Q3 and positive in Q4 shows that AR has been very effective in understanding the positions of the analysts and presenting the company’s case to them.
It is our recommendation that AR programs do not settle for simply counting mentions in the press and research notes, but move to include analyst opinion monitoring. However, in the spirit of making data collection practical, this does not mean that AR has to shoulder the burden of a labor-intensive task. Luckily, there are resources to which analyst opinion monitoring can be out-tasked. If you would like more information about how to out-task opportunities for data collection, SageCircle Advisory clients are encouraged to schedule an inquiry with a strategist to discuss the various service providers like ASG, H&K, KCG and Lighthouse. (Editor’s Note: While SageCircle does provide best practices, SageToolsTM and advice to help AR clients implement effect measurement programs, we are not a measurement service provider.)
Recently, we have been exploring the issue of AR measurement programs in the SageCircle blog. However, the blog is not the only forum in which we have explored this issue. In the Online SageContentTM Library, the pages in the section “Metrics – Measuring Analyst” does an excellent job of explaining that analyst opinion monitoring is much, much more than counting the number of “mentions” in written research and analyst quotes in the press.
Bottom Line: Moving from counting mentions to monitoring analyst opinion is a perfect example of how a tactical performance metric can be replaced by a strategic performance metric.
Question: What metrics are you using to monitor analyst opinion? Do you use services to perform any data gathering?