After we published Research consumer’s turn – How industry analysts can be better prepared for inquiries we received several suggestions about how we should give AR managers’ their turn. In this case, the AR managers wanted to give the analysts a few friendly tips to the analysts about how the analysts can come to briefings better prepared.
In private conversations, AR professionals are more than happy to critique the analysts’ level of preparedness for a briefing. However, the AR pros are loath to actually say something to the analyst for fear of hurting the relationship or courting retaliation. We think that these fears are unfounded as most analysts would appreciate reasonable suggestions for how they can improve what they do. AR pros can leave suggestions via comments to this post (anonymously if you like) or by sending SageCircle an e-mail (info [at] sagecircle dot com). We will aggregate e-mailed suggestions and add them to this post.
To get the ball rolling here are few ideas that should only take an analyst a few minutes to do immediately prior to a briefing:
- Review the information or materials that the vendor has (hopefully) sent you regarding the briefing.
- Review notes on past briefings from this vendor
- Use Google News to quickly scan recent headlines for potential surprises
- Visit the vendor’s PR webpage and quickly scan recent press releases
- If the vendor is a public company, quickly review the relevant parts of the most recent financial announcement
- Jot down recent relevant end-user comments about the vendor to get you in the frame of mind to ask targeted questions
- If this is a product or services briefing review similar offerings from competitive vendors
Now some analysts might react to these suggestions thinking it adds a lot of work to a briefing which they are not “paid to do”. It is SageCircle’s opinion that this should not be a lot of work – and that the information you are receiving from the vendor helps in your overall client research and therefore has a lot of value. If you have an ongoing relationship with this vendor this should be a very easy process. If this is an unfamiliar vendor you might ask for some of this when accepting the briefing. In either case, take the time to review all materials from the vendor before the briefing starts.
Bottom line: Analysts should prepare themselves appropriately when accepting a vendor briefing. Hopefully the information received will add to the overall understanding of the market strategy, products, and services that are available to the clients of the analyst firm.
Question: Vendor AR Teams – What examples do you have of analysts attending a briefing without any preparation?
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