“So how am I supposed to make time for this wonderful idea?”
This is a common question we get from AR professionals and managers, and it comes from both novices and experienced pros. It is typically asked within the context of a discussion about best practices training or a discrete activity (e.g., “moving the dot,” influencing an analyst conference, doing more client inquiries or experimenting with social media). Granted, if you added up all work associated with the “wonderful ideas” that SageCircle recommends for AR programs, then it would seem pretty daunting.
However, it is wrong to consider each of these techniques as a standalone activity. Rather one must put each of them into the broader context of other activities. Frankly there should be a lot of overlap among all you do so AR needs to think about how activity A contributes to activity B. For example, working on a response to a Forrester Wave update is also a:
- Regular “top of mind” touch
- Opportunity to influence the agenda and content for a future conference
- Relationship building exercise
- Chance to influence the analyst’s research priority list for the next year
- Intelligence gathering about number and type of sales deals the analyst influences
- And others
What makes this dovetailing of seemingly disparate activities easier is to have an AR strategic and tactical plan that acts as an umbrella for all activities. A good plan will map out many of the activities for the year and that will permit AR to determine what is redundant and can be eliminated. It will also highlight potential gaps that need to be filled.
To learn how to create a killer AR Strategic & Tactical Plan, sign up for SageCircle’s STRATGIC ISSUES: Challenges for the AR Team seminar. This advanced AR seminar is designed for experienced AR staff and managers who need to raise the bar above the fundamentals of analyst relations. The seminar includes a 200+ page book and there is ample time for questions and answers to complement the presentation. At only $995, SageCircle Seminars are a prudent investment to raise the effectiveness and efficiency of AR programs. Click here for more information, the agenda and to register for the March 24-25 session in Cupertino in the heart of Silicon Valley.
- AR should adopt a standard process for creating an AR plan (See The process for developing an AR Strategic & TacticalPlan for more details)
- Examine every activity to ensure it still makes sense, deleting those that have outlived their usefulness
- Cross-link activities to eliminate redundant efforts
- Review workloads to identify the amount of time harvested that can be reallocated to new techniques
- Add new techniques one at a time, cross-linking them with existing activities to make incorporation as time efficient as possible.
Bottom Line: AR teams can improve their efficiency and effectiveness by developing an AR strategic and tactical plan with the appropriate level of detail. This exercise will help AR identify inefficiencies that can be eliminated to make time for more innovative tactics.
Developing an AR Strategic & Tactical Plan involves more than completing a plan template. AR teams need a process to ensure all aspects of the plan are in place and regularly reviewed.
Question: What is the detail in your AR strategic and tactical plan? Do you try to cross-link activities for efficiency purposes? Do you periodically review all activities to see which ones are no longer relevant?