In the “Metrics – Written Word Audits” section of the Online SageContentTM Library we recommended that AR establish a multi-faceted program to capture and analyze analyst opinions – in as near real-time as practical. This is easier said than done because the sheer volume of research and quotes being generated is growing as new forms of publishing opinion (e.g., blogs and Twitter) are added to the traditional methods.
While browsing some research, it becomes quickly apparent that there is a huge range of research documents, not all of which need to be monitored by AR. Some research is teeming with opinions that could sway technology buyers, while other research merely provides simple product or market descriptions. Length does not correlate to volume of opinions; single page flashes can present more opinions on multiple vendors, multiple products, and markets than a 30-page report.
Blogs and Twitter add new complexity to analyst opinion monitoring:
- Finding where the analyst is publishing – analysts can set up personal blog or Twitter accounts not associated with their firms
- Handling an unpredictable volume – analysts usually publish a few research notes per month, but could have dozens of blog posts and many Twitter tweets one month, nearly no activity the following month, and then dozens of posts the month afterward
- Knowing when something is published to a blog or Twitter – formal research notes typically require vendor review which alerts AR to pending important research publication. Blogs and tweets are outside the editorial/vendor review process which means that AR will not get a heads up about an important post
- Documenting perception – There is a need to modify the tonality criteria for tagging analyst opinion so that the more freewheeling language and style of blog posts does not overwhelm the more staid research notes
- Do not be discouraged. Though the numbers can seem large, the payback for knowing what the analysts are saying and writing about your company on a daily basis can be very important for both operational and strategic reasons
- Consistent focus is key; you can get behind quickly if you are not capturing this data on a daily basis
- Develop standards for what information to capture and how to capture it, in order to make the process as mechanical and efficient as possible
- Use automation to ease the work of storing and analyzing the data
- Whenever possible, out-task the activity of capturing the data
Bottom Line: It is critically important for IT and telecom vendors to monitor analyst published research and press quotes as part of an overall opinion-monitoring program. However, AR needs to carefully plan how this activity will be accomplished since the sheer number of items to monitor can overload the resources of even well-staffed programs.
Question: How do you handle analyst opinion monitoring today? Do you feel you have a handle on the task or do you feel overwhelmed?