It’s that time of the year when many AR programs are working on their 2010 AR Strategic and Tactical Plan. This is a popular topic that we have touched on in a number of blog posts (see a small sampler below). This post looks at a few items you should consider thinking about that are not normally part of the typical AR plan.
Handling an expanding product line – If your company is planning on launching new products or major releases of existing products in 2010, how are you going to leverage your resources to cover these new responsibilities without depriving existing products of needed support?
Reaching out to new groups of analysts – There are going to be major changes in analyst landscape in 2010 so how are you going to reach out to new groups of analysts while maintaining high service levels to your most relevant analysts?
Measuring efficiency in working with internal stakeholders – While the analysts are AR’s primary focus, AR teams are often working with a number of internal groups such as product marketing and product management. The questions for 2010 planning are how are you going to measure your effectiveness in working with these groups and how are you going to improve your efficiency?
Participating in analyst-sponsored online communities – The IDC Insights Community and The BPO and Offshoring Best Practices Forum are just two examples of the trend toward analysts and firms creating and managing online communities that have thousands of members and lots of interactions between analysts, technology decision makers, and vendors. How are you going to develop the skills and best practices to permit AR participation in the communities in an efficient and effective manner?
A sampler of SageCircle blog posts on the AR strategic and tactical plan:
- Transitioning to leading-edge AR: It’s in the plan
- The process for developing an AR Strategic & Tactical Plan
- AR Strategic & Tactical Plan – The Intersection of Many Activities
- Developing Strong and Active Executive Sponsorships is a Planning Priority
- Planning can increase your effectiveness and efficiency by dovetailing activities
- Knowledge about the industry analysts can be a competitive advantage so create a training plan that includes all constituencies
- AR-Sales Partnership [part 3]: Creating the plan
- Planning and Measurement: more than activities, these are essential components of effective AR
- AR should do a zero-based rethink of its priorities and activities to match changing realities and new opportunities
- AR needs to ruthlessly focus on those activities that make an economic impact and make AR strategic
- Never accept that your 2010 AR plan will be the same as the prior year’s version even if that is what your executive sponsors expect
Bottom Line: Too often AR programs are so busy with today’s tasks that they give next year’s plan insufficient attention, falling into the rut of simply updating last year’s document. A leading-edge analyst relations programs starts with a clean sheet of paper in order to identify new opportunities and threats and develop a plan that maximizes their contribution to their company.
Question: Do you have a formal process for your AR planning?
Assessing your AR program
Assessing your AR program helps identify opportunities to build on existing strengths and to improve weak or non-existent areas. To make this process easier and more effective, SageCircle offers the Analyst Relations Diagnostic™ free of charge to non-clients as well as a clients. It requires two phone calls on your part and we deliver a concise analysis of your AR program. If you would like a copy of the background white paper on the AR Diagnostic or wish to discuss how to apply this service to your particular situation, please contact us at 503-636-1500 or info [at] sagecircle dot com.