• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    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 […]

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    Reflecting the paradoxical position of many clients, Kea’s Analyst Attitude Survey also goes to a wide range of consultants who play similar roles to analysts and are often employed by analyst firms. The responses to the current survey show that consultants are generally much less happy with their relationships with AR teams than analysts are. The paradox is that as […]

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Some of the firms mentioned by the IIAR’s analyst team awards fall short of excellence. That’s the verdict of several hundred analysts who took our Analyst Attitude Survey, and of the CEO of one of the top analyst firms. Phil Fersht left the comment below on our criticism of the IIAR awards. We thought we’d reprint it together with the […]

    Do the IIAR awards simply reward large firms?

    Do the IIAR awards simply reward large firms?

    The 2016 Institute for Industry Analyst Relations’ awards seem to be rewarding firms for the scale of their analyst relations, rather than their quality. In a blog post on July 6th, the IIAR awarded IBM the status of best analyst relations teams, with Cisco, Dell and HP as runners-up. Together with Microsoft, which outsources much of its analyst relations to […]

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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