One of the consistent findings that appears when we conduct an Analyst Relations Diagnostic™ is that more emphasis needs to put on the AR measurement and reporting program. Either the vendor does not have a formal measurement program or little effort is put into an official measurement effort. If you are in this situation here are a few reasons why you should consider implementing a formal AR measurement program:
- You can’t manage what you don’t measure
- Manage the team against the plan
- Maintain the mix of interactions
- Focus the effort on your key influential analysts
- Allocate team and individual resources
- There is an ongoing need to justify your AR activities
- Prove ROI
- Show analyst impact on revenues
- Demonstrate positive movement on analyst opinion
- Track team performance against objectives
- Obtain and maintain executive support
- On-going intelligence
- Collect opinions about your company and your competitors
- Identify problems to be corrected urgently
- Gather insights on analyst activities
- Monitor analysts’ unfiltered opinions and perceptions
- Observe competitor activities
- Develop an AR strategic and tactical plan that puts as much emphasis on results definition and measurement strategies as it does on activities
- Cross-link desired results with the ability to measure progress. If a result cannot be measured then delete or change the desired result
- Review current measurement and metrics to determine whether operational metrics are given more emphasis than performance metrics. If yes, refocus the measurement efforts on performance
- Develop a multi-level reporting approach in your executive sponsorship program that permits you update executives on a regular basis about your progress on achieving desired outcomes
Bottom Line: Leading-edge analyst relations programs start with planning and measurement to ensure efficient and effective application of AR resources toward generating quantifiable business value. In addition, a pragmatic plan, coupled with appropriate metrics, is critical to gaining and maintaining active executive sponsorship and support.
Question: Are there other reasons why AR should have a formal AR measurement program?
We find much to agree with in your comments:
– AR measurement is a critical piece of any well-managed AR program
– AR measurement is essential to gaining and maintaining strong executive sponsorship
– AR measurement helps focus operational activities
Especially today, solid measurement can be used to justify a program’s existence or argue against too deep of funding cuts.
However, ASG suggests that certain AR measurement activities can not only satisfy these objectives, but dramatically increase the value of AR to the organization while providing substantial cost savings!
What is required is for AR to demonstrate to the overall marketing organization (as well as to product marketing and product development) that the analysts are, in fact, a micro-population of a firm’s customer base. Measurement of analyst perceptions can provide keen insight regarding how a company is viewed, it’s strengths, weaknesses, and competitive exposure at a cost significantly less than most efforts that seek to gain this tremendously valuable information. Essentially, AR can leverage the analysts’ extensive information-gathering network.
AR programs should build their measurement programs with the dual focus of demonstrating AR’s ability to efficiently shape market perceptions AND increasing AR’s value through providing critical information at reduced cost. The latter will help AR show that it is not just another line item to be cut in tough times.
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