Demonstrating the value of AR is a key challenge for AR professionals. Measuring impact can be difficult, and the longer-term nature of relationships with analysts means it can take a while to see results. As a consequence, it can be difficult to get your wider organisation to buy into AR.
Yet, such challenges should not stop organisations from reaping the benefits of analyst insight. There are several ways AR professionals can overcome these hurdles to ensure the value of AR is maximised throughout an organisation.
To understand the value AR brings, people across your organisation need access to the insights gained from analysts. For maximum impact, each part of your organisation should receive tailored communication about the insights that matter most to them. The format should also be targeted to suit the needs of the recipients.
The executive leadership team, for example, should receive a short and succinct summary of key analyst learnings on buyers, market trends, competitors, and perceptions of your business.
Other teams, including communications and sales, benefit from more regular updates, in the form of a newsletter for example. Each team requires a targeted newsletter. Comms might receive analyst insights on go-to-market strategy while the sales team benefit from analysts’ views on customer perceptions.
It’s important that communication on AR insights is targeted, clear, and meaningful for each team. Segmenting information based on where it will be of most use is crucial and will ensure that value is demonstrated, and improvements are made across the organisation.
To get the most out of interactions with analysts, top spokespeople within your organisation need to be AR trained. They need to know what analysts are looking for and how best to communicate with them. In particular, it’s important that spokespeople understand the difference between the different analysts they are engaging with.
Analysts can be trusted with highly confidential material that will never appear in the public domain. Their purpose is to understand the market, the company, and the product. To do that effectively, they need to build open and trusting relationships. If spokespeople are open, analysts are likely to reciprocate, and the relationship will be more productive as a result.
Spokespeople should also consider criticism and challenges from analysts as productive rather than confrontational. Analysts are looking to challenge assumptions and test market theories to gain a deeper understanding of trends. It’s worth engaging carefully with criticisms to work constructively towards a positive outcome.
To keep your organisation interested and invested in AR, make sure to provide feedback on the impact of your AR activities. While there’s no easy way of measuring impact, there are some useful metrics that can demonstrate the value of AR.
It’s useful to track the number of interactions you’ve had with analysts. You can also track the number of published references your company has, from reports to blogs and social media posts.
For further indication of impact, you can compile positive quotes shared by analysts during briefings and use these internally as evidence of success. Often, analysts themselves will be willing to provide useful details such as when they have shortlisted your company and what for. An analyst audit can obtain more targeted information by getting analysts to answer a few key questions.
However you choose to measure impact, be sure to pay due attention to managing expectations. AR is a long game and it’s important to communicate to senior leadership and those across your organisation that you are building these relationships for long term gain.
Stay open minded
AR’s importance continues to grow. In the last year, analysts have played a particularly important role in supporting businesses through the turmoil of the pandemic. Their deep knowledge and understanding of the market has proved invaluable in helping businesses make the right decisions in tough circumstances.
The pandemic has highlighted that analyst expertise is not only useful for marketing purposes. Analyst insight can provide value across a business, helping to inform decision making that will create better long-term strategies. Using the framework provided in this blog, you can ensure that people throughout your organisation see these benefits themselves.