Build a Strong Analyst Relations Foundation

Effective AR leaders align to corporate priorities and work with operational leaders to apply analyst insights to build better products.

Thought Model: Build a Strong Analyst Relations Foundation

Member Challenge

  • Analyst relations (AR) programs often struggle when approached as a PR initiative.
  • Failure to understand industry analyst value and how to apply analyst insights within the business to drive return on investment (ROI) makes it difficult to achieve the benefits of AR.
  • Identifying when and how to apply executive and product time and effort within the research and company decision-making process is a challenge.
  • Many programs lack a funding strategy to staff appropriately and keep up with demands simply because of a PR-style approach. Low results mean low funding.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Applying insights from analyst engagement to key product and product marketing decisions will enable AR programs to deliver ROI in early stages of maturity.
  • “Pay to play” is a myth when describing top firms, but you must be vigilant to apply analyst insights properly to derive ROI from your research investments.
  • Hone your skills and validate value among executives and product teams in your early stages of AR maturity. Advanced stages will see your program helping with strategic decisions.

Impact and Result

  • Build more effective participation in the research process.
  • Firmly establish AR as a partner to the business, helping executives start to see the benefits of your program.
  • Improve industry analyst awareness of your brand, company, and products, leading to increased analyst mentions increase.

Research & Tools

Name Actions

1. Build a Strong Analyst Relations Foundation – A deck to help align your AR program to the business, build stronger analyst relationships, participate in the research process, and deliver ROI from your AR program back to the business.

In this storyboard and executive brief you will discover a more strategic approach to analyst relations and understand what drives AR program ROI and what steps to take to achieve success.

Name Actions
Build a Strong Analyst Relations Foundation Storyboard
Build a Strong Analyst Relations Foundation Executive Brief

2. Build a Strong Analyst Relations Foundation Tool Kit – Track AR program metrics, markets, and customer references and reviews with these tools.

A comprehensive set of tools to help you work more effectively with analysts and their methodologies, track your interactions, and measure program success against a key set of metrics.

Name Actions
Research Firm Markets Tracker
Analyst Engagement and KPI Tracker
Customer References and Reviews Tracker

3. Build a Strong Analyst Relations Foundation Presentation Templates – Strengthen your AR program with templates for effective presentations to executives and analysts.

A set of presentation templates making it easier and faster to communicate the benefits and progress of your AR program as well as to strengthen your analyst briefing capabilities.

Name Actions
AR Program Markets Pursuit Presentation Template
AR Program Goals and KPIs Presentation Template
Analyst Briefing Presentation Template

Onsite Workshop: Build a Strong Analyst Relations Foundation

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Do-It-Yourself Implementation

The slides in this Best Practice Blueprint will walk you step-by-step through every phase of your project with supporting tools and templates ready for you to use.

Project Accelerator Workshop

You can also use this Best Practice Blueprint to facilitate your own project accelerator workshop within your organization using the workshop slides and facilitation instructions provided in the Appendix.

Module 1: Diagnose Gaps and Opportunities for AR Program Improvement

The Purpose

  • Assess maturity, identify 90-day goals, and align on target markets and analysts.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Plan for attaining higher levels of AR program maturity.
  • Identify target markets and analysts.
  • Self-assess capabilities against market inclusion criteria.

Activities Outputs
1.1 Discuss current AR program maturity and vision for strategic AR.
  • Assess level of AR program maturity.
1.2 Identify 90-day goals and current state of analyst coverage of your company.
  • Document gaps in current coverage of your company by industry analysts.
1.3 Prioritize the top research markets you will pursue.
  • Build your tracker and workbook to track the progress of participating in the analyst research process.
1.4 Assess your product and company capabilities against the inclusion criteria of each market selected.
  • Identify gaps in current state for meeting inclusion or leadership criteria in key research.

Module 2: Align on a Strategic Vision for Analyst Relations

The Purpose

  • Align with executives and key operations staff on the value of strategic AR.
  • Align on shared goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Win AR program support from executives, product teams, and sales team. Understand how AR program success will be measured.

Activities Outputs
2.1 Create the AR vision and gain support among senior leaderships stakeholders.
  • A strategic mindset for AR among executives
2.2 Define AR KPIs.
  • AR program KPIs aligned to the business
2.3 Outline operational support for the program among product, marketing, CEO, and sales.
  • Time and resource commitments understood by key stakeholders
2.4 Turn KPIs into shared goals.
  • Aligned performance goals/objectives in appraisals

Module 3: Develop Customer References and Reviews Plan

The Purpose

  • Target customers for references and reviews as needed by analysts.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Develop sources to prove or testify to your capabilities.

Activities Outputs
3.1 Assess market segments where references are needed.
  • Gap analysis of where customer references and reviews are needed
3.2 Develop plan to work with sales and customer success teams to cultivate those references.
  • List of target customer references, outreach plan
3.3 Set up your reference tracker and process plan for ongoing recruitment and management.
  • Tracker set up to capture results

Module 4: Plan Initial Analyst Briefings

The Purpose

  • Build readiness for initial/improved analyst briefings.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Improve analyst engagement.
  • Participate in the research process.
  • Use analyst insights more effectively.

Activities Outputs
4.1 Establish process for analyst briefing planning.
  • Detailed plan for analyst briefings
4.2 Build request-for-information data tracker and identify data field ownership and process for completion and updates.
  • Request-for-information data submission template with initial data and owners for completion
4.3 Understand analyst briefing information needs.
  • Draft analyst briefing deck
4.4 Tailor analyst briefing presentation template for upcoming analyst briefings.
  • Preparation/dry-run session with coaching on contents and delivery

Module 5: Develop Inbound Analyst Engagement

The Purpose

  • Develop the rationale and plan for bringing analyst insights into the business to build better solutions

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Make product and go-to-market improvements.
  • Increase executive and product team support.
  • Achieve greater AR program ROI.

Activities Outputs
5.1 Create the vision for analyst engagement – ongoing in support of the product lifecycle.
  • AR, executive, and product team alignment on inbound AR value
5.2 Identify aligned goals with product team and identify how to drive and measure AR program ROI.
  • Completed AR strategy template and analyst engagement tracker.
5.3 Set milestone dates for analyst engagement.
  • AR strategy roadmap for success in first 90 days