Creating an AR Measurement Program: Make it Practical and Powerful – A SageCircle Webinar

AR Metrics & MeasurementAnalyst relations teams need to gather metrics data to manage their program, show their strategic value, and maintain executive support.  A measurement program must be simple, yet meaningful if it is to succeed.  Determining what and how to collect the data in ways that do not impact the team’s limited time can be a challenge.  This SageCircle Webinar will provide you with succinct and actionable information that will help create the plans for a realistic and effective measurement program. 

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists will provide a framework for building a measurement plan. Participants will come out of the webinar with best practices and tools that will help them collect and report without adding significantly to AR’s workload.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • What are typical objectives of a metrics program?
  • How extensive should a measurement program plan be to remain useful, but not too much work?
  • What are the needed administrative foundation elements?
  • How does a team set standards for data collection?

Who Should Attend:

  • Analyst relations professionals and managers
  • Public relations professionals and managers

Agenda:

AR Operational Metrics: Key Management Tool – A SageCircle Webinar

AR Metrics & MeasurementAnalyst relations teams need to gather operational metrics to manage their program – measurements of the activities they do.  By tracking and balancing activities you can ensure that the correct analysts are being contacted in the best ways; you can ensure the most efficient use of staff time; and you can track overall AR activities against the AR strategic and tactical plan.

In this webinar we review various types of operational metrics, the processes needed to obtain the data, and methods for weighting and reporting these using various techniques such as a balanced scorecard.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • Why are operational metrics important and what is their role?
  • What are the operational metrics needed to better manage the AR plan?
  • What are the best practices for collecting operational metrics?
  • What are the approaches for reporting to the team or as part of a broader reporting structure?

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists will provide a succinct analysis of the options for gathering and reporting operational metrics. Participants will come out of the webinar with best practices and tools that will help them collect and report on operations without adding significantly to AR’s workload.

Who Should Attend:

  • Analyst relations professionals and managers
  • Public relations professionals and managers

Agenda:

  • Role of operational metrics
  • Types of operational metrics
  • Incorporating operational metrics into your Continue reading

AR Performance Metrics: Reporting Strategic Accomplishments not Activities – A SageCircle Webinar

AR Metrics & MeasurementAnalyst relations teams need to gather operational metrics to manage their program – measurements of the activities they do.  But your executive sponsors want to see performance metrics – measurements of what you have accomplished.  These include such concepts as change in analyst perception, lead generation and short list placements, and positive analyst impact on sales.  While these are harder to obtain they are far more meaningful and demonstrate AR’s strategic value.  To help analyst relations teams focus their measurement program on strategic data, SageCircle is announcing a new public webinar focused on providing the best practices and insights needed to efficiently collect, analyze and report performance metrics. 

In this webinar we review various types of performance metrics, the processes needed to obtain the data, and methods for weighting and reporting these using various techniques such as a balanced scorecard.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • How are performance metrics different from operational metrics?
  • What are the performance metrics needed to demonstrate AR’s strategic contribution to the company?
  • What are the best practices for collecting performance metrics?
  • What are the approaches for reporting on performance (aka outcomes or accomplishments), either as standalone reports or as part of a broader reporting structure?

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists will provide a succinct analysis of the options surrounding  Continue reading

Spoken Word Audits: Eavesdropping on Analyst and End-user Client Conversations – A SageCircle Webinar

AR Metrics & MeasurementWhile it is illegal for analyst relations (AR) teams to wiretap the phones of analysts, it is possible to eavesdrop on their conversations with enterprise IT managers and other technology and telecommunications buyers. Well, sort of.

The Spoken Word Audit is a technique to determine what opinions analysts are giving verbally to their clients and if those verbal opinions differ from published opinions.  Spoken Word Audits are considered a critical activity because advisory analysts like AMR, Forrester, Gartner and Ovum influence in-progress sales opportunities significantly via phone-based inquiries with enterprise clients, typically IT managers.  

Spoken Word Audits consist of talking with analysts and posing a set of specific scenarios in order to gauge how well the analyst understands the vendor’s positioning and messaging based on the analysts’ answers.  The scenarios should be very specific and incorporate elements that measure the various aspects of the vendor’s message, strategy and tactics.  Spoken Word Audits are conducted periodically with the same analysts and similar scenarios in order to measure how analysts’ opinions are being changed by AR activities.

This SageCircle Webinar will provide you with succinct and actionable information that will help you understand the process and technique for conducting an efficient and effective Audit.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • What are the uses for a Spoken Word Audit?
  • Should Spoken Word Audits be done only by 3rd party services firms?
  • How should scenarios be generated?
  • What are the best techniques for executing a spoken word audit with an analyst?

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists will provide a succinct analysis of the options for Spoken Word Audits. Participants will come out of the webinar with best practices and tools that will help them execute Spoken Word Audits and report on the data gathered.

Who Should Attend:

  • Analyst relations professionals and managers

Agenda:

  • Context
    • Measurement & Reporting Overview
    • Conversational Interactions
  • Planning
  • Scenarios
  • Data Continue reading

Sales impact is the ultimate proof of analyst relevance

AR Metrics & MeasurementThe AR Coffee Talk on “Proving to Executives Analyst Relevance” was one of SageCircle’s most attended events with many questions and comments coming in from participants. This illustrates that the perception – or wishful thinking – among some vendor executives that industry analysts are no longer relevant in the age of the Internet and social media is a major issue for analyst relations (AR) teams. 

During the AR Coffee Talk, SageCircle provided a number of ways that AR could educate their executives and stakeholders about why the facts do not support the perception that analyst influence is waning. Some suggestions focused on explaining what the advisory analysts really sell (hint: it’s not written research), others on the financial performance of the two public companies (FORR and IT) and others on how the largest advisory analyst firms are adopting social media. The most important proof point however is how the advisory analyst influences vendors’ revenues.

There are four ways that AR can collect data about the impact on sales:

  • Ask the analysts – easy to do and can provide useful anecdotes, but not hard data
  • Ask the customers – surveying the customers and prospects provides good data, but is expensive to do and can only be done infrequently
  • Wait for sales representatives to call AR – these are real world sales deals with great Continue reading

Executives care about operational metrics – a dead idea

Public policy wonk and Fortune Magazine columnist Matt Miller’s new book The Tyranny of Dead Ideas: Letting Go of the Old Ways of Thinking to Unleash a New Prosperity got us at SageCircle thinking “Hmm, are there dead ideas holding back analyst relations?” Of course there are! This is one in an occasional series of posts that will address the dead ideas that impact AR programs and their ability to delivery strategic value to their companies. These posts are meant to be provocative and not necessarily definitive in their new ideas and suggestions.

AR Metrics & MeasurementDead Idea: When reporting to executive sponsors, analyst relations (AR) must focus on operational metrics like activity counts (e.g., the number briefings conducted), budget status, and so on because that is what executives want.

Back Story: When a SageCircle strategist conducts an Analyst Relations Diagnostic™ with an AR team he invariably finds the AR program uses operations metrics for reports to executives. Why? It is not just because AR finds operational metrics easier to gather, though there is part of that, it is primarily because that is how AR has always reported to the sponsor because “that is what the executive wants.” Maybe this is true, but probably not.

Problem: The root of the problem is that many AR programs have simplistic goals, often modeled on PR, to “get the word out” and to “get the analysts to say good things about us right now.” This approach is often the right one for PR because PR is rightfully focused on building awareness.  However for AR, this approach leads to a focus on short-term activities that accomplish short-term goals. It is easy to see how this leads to AR reporting on those short-term activities.

AR should be focused on longer-term strategic goals (e.g., influencing revenues during the sales selection process or “moving the dot” over several years).  While some AR programs understand the need for a strategic direction they end up planning highly tactical items such as Continue reading

Why an AR measurement program is important

AR Metrics & MeasurementOne of the consistent findings that appears when we conduct an Analyst Relations Diagnostic™ is that more emphasis needs to put on the AR measurement and reporting program. Either the vendor does not have a formal measurement program or little effort is put into an official measurement effort. If you are in this situation here are a few reasons why you should consider implementing a formal AR measurement program: 

  • You can’t manage what you don’t measure
    • Manage the team against the plan
    • Maintain the mix of interactions
    • Focus the effort on your key influential analysts
    • Allocate team and individual resources
  • There is an ongoing need to justify your AR activities
    • Prove ROI
    • Show analyst impact on revenues
    • Demonstrate positive movement on analyst opinion
    • Track team performance against objectives
    • Obtain and maintain executive support
  • On-going intelligence
    • Collect opinions about your company and your competitors
    • Identify problems to be corrected urgently
    • Gather insights on analyst activities
    • Monitor analysts’ unfiltered opinions and perceptions
    • Observe competitor activities

SageCircle Technique: 

  • Develop an AR strategic and tactical plan that puts as much emphasis on results definition and measurement strategies as it does on activities
  • Cross-link desired results with the ability to measure progress. If a result cannot Continue reading
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