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

Where do social media metrics fit into an AR measurement program? [Practitioner Question]

AR Metrics & MeasurementQuestion: Are social media like blogs and Twitter something we should be measuring or is it too early yet? Where does social media fit in a measurement scheme?

icon-social-media-blue.jpg If your analysts are using social media, then including those sorts of metrics in a measurement program is really not optional. In this case we are putting social media on par with published research, press quotes, and activity counts as something worthy of measuring. While a 140-character tweet does not have the impact of a Gartner Magic Quadrant, it can provide useful information that should be added to the data mix.

Social media has elements of both operational metrics and performance metrics. Some example uses include:

  • Operational
    • Unfiltered opinions feed into plans and briefings
    • Activity insights feed into interaction calendars
    • Tweets and blog comments by AR to an analyst fulfill top-of-mind touches requirements
  • Performance
    • Tonality tracks analyst opinion movement
    • Mentions of company, products, and competitors with opinion can track changes in perception

Social media metrics complement other sources of data. For example, social media can complement Spoken Word Audits because social media-based conversations between analysts and end users are often personal, unfiltered, and Continue reading

Want lots of analyst mentions in research, the press and social media? Simple, just screw up.

AR Metrics & MeasurementToo often the number of times a vendor is mentioned by analysts is considered a key metric for analyst relations. While a potentially useful part of an overall measurement program, simple counts of mentions or share of voice as the primary metric is totally inadequate. That is because without context, tonality, and relevance, mentions can often be misleading.

One example of how simple counts of mentions are inadequate is what happens to counts and share of voice when a vendor is embroiled in a scandal. During the scandal the vendor’s mentions and share of voice skyrockets, but is this really a good thing?

Another reason why mentions is inadequate is that they do not take into account the analysts spoken word interactions with enterprise technology buyers, which is a key deliverable by advisory analysts like Gartner and Forrester.

As a consequence, simple counts or share of voice metrics should not be given primary weight in an AR measurement program. Rather AR should develop a program that balances Continue reading

AR Performance Metrics – July AR Coffee Talk

icon-coffee-talks.jpgThere are two types of AR metrics – operational and performance. Operational metrics are useful for the AR team only. Proving the value of AR requires data on the performance of the AR program rather than simple counts of analyst mentions or briefings held.

Join us to chat about what make good performance metrics that demonstrate the strategic value of AR.

August 4 at 8 AM Pacific – Free – Click here to register

August 13 at 10 AM Pacific – Free – Click here to register

AR Coffee Talks

Networking and chatting with peers is a great way to expand your knowledgebase. Unfortunately, we do not always have the time to Continue reading

The Top 5: AR Metrics Mistakes

AR Metrics & MeasurementOrganizations that use the Balanced Scorecard to report the effectiveness of their interactions with influencers often make their lives more difficult and the Scorecard less useful by picking the wrong items to measure. This Top 5 looks at issues surrounding the selection of metrics to put into the Balanced Scorecard.

5) Not picking items whose data collection can be out-tasked. Because data collection can be burdensome, managers should pick some items for the Scorecard whose data collection can be out-tasked (e.g., a clipping service for analyst quotes or a consulting firm for AR effectiveness surveys).

4) Picking items to measure that are too granular and thus too difficult to gather. A classic problem is picking metrics that require a significant amount of work to collect, analyze and report. This leads to the Balanced Scorecard being dropped from the regular activity list.

3) Not picking items that dovetail with corporate and departmental goals. A Balanced Scorecard can lose its relevance quickly if Continue reading

Knowing when an analyst is kicking off a research project – one of the paybacks for monitoring social media

icon-social-media-blue.jpgIntelligence about what an analyst is researching is a huge value of monitoring social media (e.g., Twitter, blogs, or social networking sites like LinkedIn). Here are two examples of analysts announcing projects that showed up in my RSS feed this week: 

Debbie Wilson, Gartner, in her blog post Call for Strategic Sourcing Suite Vendors. “Today I am kicking off the Magic Quadrant for Sourcing Application Suites update process – and calling for vendors that should be considered for inclusion.  (I have not decided on inclusion criteria yet – but definitely plan to cover a wider set of vendors than last year’s report … Anyone I left out?” Debbie also discusses why she is broadening her definition of the market and then lists 37 vendors she has already identified.

Greg Young (Twitter), Gartner, in his post New Magic Quadrant Upcoming: Web Application Firewalls. “The Gartner Senior Research Board gave me approval to research a Magic Quadrant on Web Application Firewalls (WAF). The publishing target is Q4.” Greg then goes on to discuss the evolution of the marketplace that justifies the need for a Magic Quadrant.

There are a number of calls to action for analyst relations (AR) professionals whose markets are covered in these posts.  These include:

  • Set up client inquiries with the analysts to learn more about the research projects
  • Make the decision about whether Continue reading

Spoken word audits are great tools and not hard to do

AR Metrics & MeasurementIT and telecommunications industry analysts often provide research and recommendations through the classic medium of the spoken word, especially during phone-based inquiry. Unfortunately, there is no clipping service that makes it easy for analyst relations programs to determine what analysts are saying during these inquiries. 

SageCircle developed a technique we call a “Spoken Word Audit” (click here for concept definition) that is rather straightforward and does not require significant labor, but does require preparation, dedication, consistency and follow up.

Why should an audit of the analyst’s spoken word be put into place? The audit has a number of purposes:

  • Obtain information to help sales reps rebut negative commentary (click here for a related post)
  • Gather intelligence on how the analysts are positioning the company
  • Measure the effectiveness of the AR program
  • Validate the efficacy of the marketing message
  • Provide an alternative to using only published research and press quotes for tracking analysts

The primary method for doing this type of audit is 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.

By being very specific you can eliminate the skewed results that would be generated by Continue reading

Defining “Spoken Word Audit”

n:  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 Gartner 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.

Rebutting the spoken word – can you really know what analysts are saying? [AR practitioner question]

Question: Is it possible to respond to something an analyst says? 

Advice: It is not only possible to respond to the analysts’ spoken word, it is highly recommended. Obviously, it is more difficult to respond to the spoken word than to respond to written research, but in many cases, the stakes are much higher because actual sales hang in the balance.

First, you need to find out what the analyst has actually said. It many cases, this task requires investigation on AR’s part because you are hearing about the analyst’s conversation second- or third-hand. In most cases, AR is hearing about an analyst’s verbal comments from one of their company’s sales representatives – after a sales deal has been impacted negatively. Rather than acting immediately on what the sales rep thinks was said (e.g. sometimes the sales rep gets the analyst’s name or firm wrong, or does not recall all the details of the conversation), AR should coordinate with the vendor sales rep to go back to the prospect and find out exactly what transpired. Investigation need not take a long time or generate too much stress on AR’s part. The investigation phase includes talking with the vendor sales rep, the prospect and the analyst (Online SageContentTM Library (OSL) clients can look up “Responding to Analyst Impacts- Investigation Phase” for more information, Advisory clients can set up an inquiry to get the best practices and advice on applying them).

Once AR staffers have determined as best they can what the analyst actually said, AR can advise the sales rep on how to repair the damage to the deal. Then, AR can proceed – carefully – to Continue reading

Responding to Analysts’ Published Comments – Speed is Essential

As pointed out in past posts (see The Volume of Analyst Publishing and Quotes), analyst opinions show up in published format thousands of times each month. Unfortunately, too many AR teams are behind their colleagues in knowing when the analysts are being quoted or published. This lag can result in a CEO being embarrassed by a reporter or by a financial analyst who asks the CEO’s position on an IT industry analyst’s opinion. Another example is a sales deal gone awry because the company’s sales representative did not know that a relevant industry analyst had published a negative research note, or that his company was not on the Leaders Square of a Magic Quadrant.

The way to avoid these types of situations is for AR to know first when any Tier 1 analyst ends up in print. That way AR can prepare colleagues instead of responding to their pain. Too often, AR either ignores this requirement or does something ineffectual. Some AR departments subscribe to alerts that the analyst firms’ research engines have, but never look at the daily e-mails that are generated. Other AR departments buy a clipping service to get analyst press quotes.  However, because these services typically have a delay of one to two months between the original publication and their report delivery, clipping services simply are not timely enough for effective response.

SageCircle recommends that AR put into place a program for daily monitoring of analysts’ opinions. What need to be monitored are specific analyst opinions, not just Continue reading

Planning and Measurement: more than activities, these are essential components of effective AR

SageCircle - connection between planning and measurementTop-performing analyst relations (AR) programs follow a simple model: 

  1. Define the results they want to achieve
  2. Define and execute a set of activities designed to achieve the stated results
  3. Measure progress

This approach not only helps to keep the program focused, it is critical for gaining and maintaining executive sponsorship and support.  Executives do not have time to learn the details and nuances of AR operations. They could care less how many briefings AR performs, how many e-mails were sent, or how many analyst requests the AR team supports. Executives want to know

  1. What are the business-relevant results the AR program will deliver
  2. Does the AR program have a plan (or is it flying by the seat of its pants)
  3. Is the plan reasonable
  4. How will the program prove its impact

Many AR programs lament their lack of strong executive support, yet have not committed the time necessary to develop the key ingredient for executive sponsorship, a pragmatic Continue reading

The process for developing an AR Strategic & Tactical Plan

SageCircle's AR strategic & tactical plan processCreating a comprehensive AR plan is a significant undertaking, with myriad steps and details. To accomplish this work in an efficient and effective manner — and to ensure nothing falls through the cracks — AR teams should follow a process similar to the one depicted in the graphic (click to enlarge). 

Going through a formal process is worth the effort. We have seen clients’ AR programs receive more headcount and budget when other departments in their companies face cutbacks in tough economic environments. Why? Because these AR programs had realistic AR plans that focused on delivering business value (including sales support which is prized in recessions) that could be measured.

SageCircle Technique:

This AR planning process has six discrete steps (numbered items relate to numbered circles on the diagram):

  1. Assess your AR program. This step helps identify opportunities to build on existing programs and to improve weak or non-existent areas
  2. Align AR goals with overall corporate objectives to prove AR’s value and to make timely adjustments based on business needs
  3. Build outreach programs and activities to accomplish Continue reading

When calculating impact sales impact, remember analysts impact multiple vendors on the same deal

AR Metrics & MeasurementThere are many examples of analyst impact on specific sales opportunities. It is important to note that most examples show the impact on only two vendors: the focus of the example and their competitor in the deal.  The example usually demonstrates a vendor that lost a deal through negative analyst commentary as contrasted to the vendor that benefited from that commentary. 

This is an important point that is easily overlooked. Analyst relations (AR) teams that are gathering sales impact data should also consider gathering information about how analyst commentary impacted other vendors on the same deal. If vendor A was eliminated from a short list because of negative commentary, does that necessarily mean that the commentary was positive about one or more competing vendors on the same short list? Understanding how analyst commentary and advice impacts all the vendors in a sales deal can provide Continue reading

Gathering data for measuring analyst impact on sales

AR Metrics & MeasurementSageCircle research shows that overall analysts have a significant impact on IT buyers.  However,  each vendor in the community often has only a general perception of how much the analysts have an impact on their sales. Often, the perception is formed more by anecdotal information than systematic research, with stories filtering up from individual sales representatives about analysts negatively influencing deals. Vendors that do systematic research on analyst influence discover the broad and deep influence, both positive and negative, that the analysts have on deals. Analyst relations (AR) teams with a goal to become more strategic should institute a formal program for gathering sales impact data. 

Unfortunately, it is not a simple task to gather sales impact data. If it was easy, then everybody would already be doing so. There are many factors that contribute to the difficulty in gathering sales data including:

  • Multiple types of data
  • Multiple potential sources of data
  • Multiple points within a sales cycle when an analyst could impact a deal
  • Lack of institutional relationship with the company’s leads management and sales teams
  • Lack of skills
  • Lack of formal measurement plan
  • Lack of bandwidth to do the work

While there are these barriers, none of them are so difficult to overcome that AR should not even try to Continue reading

How third parties can help with data collection

AR Metrics & MeasurementAs was mentioned in Out-tasking AR Activities, measurement work is a prime candidate for out-tasking. There are various firms that can assist AR programs with measurement program design, gathering, and analyzing data. Some examples include: 

Measurement program designSageCircle has proven intellectual property and templates to help AR teams set up practical and effective measurement programs.

ARchitectTM - ARinsights‘ collaborative application and integrated database makes data collection, querying, and reporting easy. AR practitioners can accomplish in seconds what used to take hours of manual effort. SageCircle strategists are experts in how to leverage ARchitect as part of a measurement program.

Spoken Word Audits - A variety of firms provide services which are similar to SageCircle’s suggested technique for Spoken Word Audits. The Spoken Word Audit uncovers what analysts are saying about your products/services to end-users during Continue reading

Making Data Collection for Measurement Practical [AR Practitioner Question]

AR Metrics & MeasurementQuestion:  How do you make data collection easier for AR measurement programs?

This question gets to the heart of the measurement challenge-if it is too difficult to do, it will not get done.  Making data collection practical involves selecting the right mix of metrics, leveraging outside resources, and automating many tasks.

[This post focuses on the data collection aspects of an effective measurement program.  Therefore, the following related topics will not be addressed 1) picking and prioritizing the right metrics, 2) distinguishing between operational and performance metrics, and 3) using metrics to track performance against pre-defined goals.  For discussion of these topics, please see Online SageContentTM Library series "Metrics and Program Measurement."]

SageCircle Technique:

  • Selecting the Right Mix of Metrics. First, to make data collection practical, you must pick metrics that meet measurement program goals (e.g. track what you want to measure) and are easy and cost-effective to generate (e.g. data collection requires moderate/minimal effort). Be clear on what you want to measure and collect only that data so you can encourage AR team participation. However, do not reject metrics that initially appear difficult to collect. New options to out-task and automate may make collection easier than you think.
  • Leveraging Outside Resources (Out-Tasking). Out-tasking is a variation of out-sourcing, but instead of contracting out a significant part of your AR program (which SageCircle rarely recommends) this technique refers to contracting out an activity or task. Out-tasking is especially appropriate for activities that are Continue reading

Monitoring Analyst Opinion within the Context of Measurement

AR Metrics & MeasurementCounting 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 Continue reading

AR Measurement – Moving beyond operational metrics

AR Metrics & MeasurementWithin one week, we received inquiries from two different AR-savvy clients about the measurements and metrics they should employ to track activities and benchmark progress against stated goals.  Both clients realized their existing measurement programs – primarily focused on counting AR activities and written research and press quote mentions – were not capturing the full picture of AR activities and effectiveness.  Therefore, the clients were unable to communicate effectively AR’s impact on sales to executives. 

First, before diving into what measurements and metrics to track, clients need to define performance vs. operational metrics.  Performance metrics measure AR’s progress against strategic results such as trends in analyst opinions by market, product, etc. or number of sales opportunities supported by the AR team.  Operational metrics, on the other hand, measure AR’s utilization and productivity against plan.  Some examples include briefings, inquiries, roadshows, summits, etc. and volume of analyst research publications tagged and monitored. 

Second, clients must examine the company’s overall performance goals and then define the AR goals needed to achieve these objectives.  For example, Continue reading

Defining “Operational Metrics for Analyst Relations”

Background:  When building AR measurement programs, AR practitioners must distinguish between performance and operational metrics.  Performance metrics help AR teams measure progress against strategic goals while operational metrics measure utilization and productivity against plan.   

Operational metrics measure AR’s utilization and productivity against plan.  They primarily are internally focused and fall into one of three categories: 1) utilization and Continue reading

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