One of the most picturesque beer gardens in Munich was the setting for this year’s IIAR German Chapter Summer Event, gathering AR professionals and industry analysts. Our topic of the night was what it takes to make an analyst relations (AR) program mature and strong.
As we discussed, what success looks like actually depends on your business objectives and expectations of the individual companies and stakeholders. We all recognised that “AR” has a very wide scope, since it also covers many complementary disciplines and – depending on your job – may include Market Intelligence, Go-to-Market, PR, Sales Enablement, Strategy, or all of these. Reporting lines also influence the weighting of AR components.
Holding an event at a beer garden during the “long, hot summer” in Munich means offering a prayer to the weather gods, since hours of sunshine can be followed by sudden storms and rain. Our prayers were heard, and after several days of non-stop rain, the skies cleared in time for our first beers. After a long day in the office, it was enjoyable to get together with like-minded friends to enjoy the first beer of the evening. As ever for the IIAR in Germany, the ensuing discussions followed beer garden rules: informal, open and of course enjoyable.
And so our topic of AR maturity was just one among many discussion items on the table. We discussed ISG (which includes the research firm formerly known as Experton) and how its questionnaires to collect information for vendor benchmarks are considered by many to be more and more demanding. We talked about the collaboration models within analyst firms, and within different regions. We debated the challenges of the need to constantly innovate or re-invent a business to create new revenue streams – and we spent some time talking about how it’s hard to explain to a friend or relative what AR – or being an analyst – is all about (see also the great article from Ludovic Leforestier about what analysts are and what they do). We talked about blockchain and new purchasing models. We spoke about research and citation policies of well-known analyst firms. And of course we spent a considerable amount of time discussing the quality of beer produced by Munich brewer Paulaner following its relocation to a new site.
It was a fun networking event with great people and I look forward to see you all again. Next time, we plan to pick up again the discussion around the level of AR maturity, in a private room at a local restaurant. I’m sure we’ll also spend more time discussing our favorite local beers, too.
AR colleagues: If you have not yet done so, don’t forget to sign up for an IIAR membership. See also more information about the value of the Membership here.
To the analyst community, please share the news on the IIAR German Chapter meetings with your colleagues. Our IIAR German Chapter Leads Simon Jones (LinkedIn, @simondestrier) at communications strategy consultancy Destrier and Yvonne Kaupp (LinkedIn, @yvekaupp), IIAR Board Member and Head of Analyst Relations and Market Strategy at Retarus, look forwards to seeing you next time.
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