At all times, but especially during a recession, analyst relations (AR) programs need to effectively communicate to executive sponsors and other internal stakeholders the business value delivered by AR. Unfortunately, too many AR teams are so focused on interacting with the analysts that they do not do a good job telling their stories to their colleagues and the people that hold the purse strings. This can be a fatal mistake as AR is competing for resources – executive bandwidth for briefings, budget and headcount. Not communicating about business value means being at a disadvantage during budget discussions.
While there are many aspects to an edu-marketing (educating colleagues using marketing techniques) campaign, here are our Top Five Tips for effectively communicating AR’s business value:
(5) Develop a compelling “elevator pitch” for analyst relations
(4) Gather examples of analyst impact on actual and recent sales deals
(3) Constantly communicate, monitor, and adapt AR’s message
(2) Focus on the business impact of analyst relations
And the #1 tip for communicating AR’s value is…
(1) Measure what matters to your executive team today – with “acceptable” rigor
The last item is #1 because AR needs to focus on the same things as the executives. Having a reporting program that communicates data the executives do not care about (e.g., how many briefings in a month) is a waste of time and executive attention.
- AR needs to carve time and resources out of existing activities to support an internal communication effort (e.g., reduce the number of interactions with Tier 2 analysts)
- AR managers need to create an internal communications plan that incorporates many of the same best practices as influencing the analysts
- The best proof points AR has are the impacts of the analysts on sales deals, so developing a pipeline of information from sales is a critical success factor
Bottom Line: AR programs need to create an influencing campaign aimed at their executive sponsors and other colleagues. While this does take work and subtracts from resources available for working with analysts, this is a necessary investment of effort to ensure that AR does not experience excessive budget and headcount cuts during a recession.
Question: For AR managers – Do you have a formal program for communicating AR’s value to executive sponsors? If no, why not? If yes, what are the elements?