A successful and interesting IIAR India Chapter meet held on 17th of June in Mumbai shared some best practices of leveraging AR firms with respect to product, marketing, sales & strategic decision making. Sharing some key points highlighted during the discussion include:
- AR professionals should not be mere gatekeepers. They need to be more responsive & accessible appreciated by analysts. Dedicated Analyst portals – a need of today to help support accessibility
- Analysts should not be considered as mere lead generators but as trusted advisors to help organizations in identifying strategies to grow business
- Organizations need to identify right analysts for strategic expectations. Interactions should be ideally with 1-2 primary analysts, 8-10 referred (Tier2) analysts & a few adjacent market analysts to get a picture of complete spectrum.
- For C level interactions, face to face meetings are always preferred. Communication should be monthly or quarterly, not weekly. Doing regional analyst events for half a day is also useful.
- Understanding the pulse of who is influencing the market, inputs should be sought from customers, respective analyst firm account executives and through regular evaluation of research reports.
- Give more client proofs- demos, references during briefings.
- Around product launches, one should speak to product as well as services analysts
- Analyst only lay out advantages and disadvantages of top vendors and one should influence to be the top of the mind recall for them
- Vendors should build niche capabilities and highlight them to ensure analyst influence.
1)Changing with the change- What should AR Professionals do to cope up with increasing senior management expectations?
Earlier AR was treated as an extended research team and considered as only meeting co-coordinators. Now the scenario is changing and most CEOs understand the influence on deals coming from the analyst community and hence the importance of maintaining coherent analyst relations.
The role has changed from a mere facilitator to demanding much value adding expertise from this profile.
Newer and newer channels develop out of analyst relations and senior management within organizations now understands that they need AR experts to drive business. Hence the movement is realized from restriction of content and engagement to more full fledged forms of interactions.
Push mechanism is unlikely to work under effective AR and bridging the supply and demand of quality information will lead the future.
2)Today’s performance evaluation criterion of AR practice.
Quantitative parameters of evaluation today:
- Positive report mentions still the easiest and most impactful measurable parameter.
- Customer engagement days, analyst advisory sessions and other direct engagements would contribute to effective AR
- Direct number indicators-e.g. 10% contribution to sales
Qualitative parameters of evaluation today:
- Increasing quality of sales pitches
- Empowerment to senior management
- Sales effectiveness