• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Why KCG’s analyst relations awards beat the IIAR’s

    Why KCG’s analyst relations awards beat the IIAR’s

    We used 18,777 data points from the Analyst Attitude Survey to compare the two leading awards for analyst relations teams. Although we found that KCG‘s awards are more useful than the IIAR‘s, both primarily reflect corporate performance rather than that of the AR teams. As a result, there’s very little that AR teams can do better or worse in these […]

    Netscout continues unwise Gartner suit

    Netscout continues unwise Gartner suit

    Netscout and Gartner have scheduled their trial for next July. The case stands little chance of improving Netscout’s value. It does, however, risk harming the reputation of both analyst firms and analyst relations professionals. Over the last weeks, pressure has mounted on Netscout’s lawyers. Netscout claims Gartner’s Magic Quadrant harmed its enterprise sales and that the truth of Gartner’s statements […]

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is the most influential non-financial business research document. In the late 1980s, it was a quick and dirty stalking horse to provoke discussions. Today it is an extensive and yet highly limited process, based on the quantification of opinions which are highly qualitative. The early evolution of the MQ tells us a lot about the challenge of industry […]

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    A funeral and celebration for David Bradshaw (shown left in this 2000 Ovum awayday photo, arm raised, with me and other colleagues) is to take place at West Norwood Crematorium, London SE27 at 2.45pm on Tuesday 23rd August and after at the Amba Hotel above London’s Charing Cross Station, on the Strand. David considered that that Ovum in that incarnation was […]

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw, one of the colleagues I worked with during my time as an analyst at Ovum, died on August 11. He led Cloud research in Europe for IDC, whose statement is below. David played a unique role at Ovum, bridging its telecoms and IT groups in the late 1990s by looking at computer-telecoms integration areas like CRM, which I […]

Essential qualities of AR objectives: alignment and measurability

Analyst Relations PlanningSageCircle stresses the need for good strategic planning.  Creating the right objectives is perhaps the most significant aspect to advancing the AR program within your company.  AR objectives must exhibit two qualities: 

  • Direct alignment with overall company goals
  • Measurability

When establishing goals and objectives for the AR program, top-performing teams first focus on determining whether a candidate objective directly aligns with a corporate initiative. For example, many AR programs initially suggest a goal similar to, “Get our executives more involved with the analysts.”  But this goal has no explicit business value.  Why does the program want to increase the visibility of the executives?  In most cases when you review this objective the discussion leads to the understanding that analysts find meetings with executives more memorable and valuable, and messages from executives are considered more reliable.  Having executives meet with the analysts increases the company’s top-of-mind with the analysts, which is one factor that affects analyst recommendations.  The AR goal becomes, “Establish top-of-mind with key analysts covering the xyz market to promote inclusion on short lists”.  Executive meetings are recognized as one tactic for achieving this goal.

The second hurdle for program objectives is measurability. To assess this criterion, effective AR teams attempt to define preliminary metrics that could be used to measure performance against the proposed objective.  If two or three metrics can be identified, then the objective is measurable.  If not, the objective needs to be reshaped.  For example, programs frequently consider an objective like, “Build good relationships with key analysts.”  But how is “good” qualified or measured.  A better objective within the same theme might be, “Become part of the research network for our Tier 1 analysts” which can be measured directly through a Spoken Word Audit (see Online SageContentTM Library article “Metrics – Analyzing the Spoken Word Audit”) or indirectly by examining the mix of inbound/outbound contacts and the nature of the discussions.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Review each AR objective to determine if it is really a tactic or activity masquerading as an objective
  • Ensure that each AR objective has is measureable using practical techniques

Bottom Line: To create executives sponsorship, AR needs to focus on objectives that deliver a business outcome that can be demonstrated.

Question: Do you have a formal measurement program that ties back to AR objectives?

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