Analyst relations

Part 4 of 4: What results should analyst relations deliver?

Part 4 of 4

Analyst relations deep dive
Any marketing activity you undertake should be done with the end-results in mind. So what results should analyst relations activity be aiming for?

As a professional tech PR and AR consultancy, we aim to ensure that we have Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in place for our clients. That way, we have agreed goals and the whole team (internal marketing team and Sonus) knows the exact targets that we are working towards.

There are many potential metrics out there, but many are not easy to quantify. In particular, having the good opinion of analysts is important, but it’s a devil to measure. If you try to judge it yourself, it is horribly subjective and not overly convincing to your executive team. If you get more sophisticated and look to do an analyst audit, expect little response unless you’re willing to pay for each engagement.

However, in analyst relations, there are a few tangible Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can be measured easily, in a way that everyone can agree.

Here they are:

Analyst briefings
Analyst briefings are the most fundamental building blocks of any analyst relations campaign. Without them, there is no engagement and no information exchange.

So as a metric, the number of analyst briefings is a solid one. It is a measurable proxy for the level of engagement you have with the analyst community. When you come to creating KPIs, you ideally need to know how many analyst briefings you have had in past periods and how many analysts are tracking and writing about your sector.

Coverage in analyst reports
While analyst briefings are tangible and countable, there is nothing more solid than seeing your company being profiled in an analyst report.

Apart from the direct knowledge that an analyst’s opinion helped secure new business for your company, few things make vendor CEOs feel happier about analyst relations than reading a positive profile about them in an analyst report.

It is a strong metric to include in an AR campaign and not so difficult to measure as you may think. Bearing in mind that there are a limited number of analyst firms covering your space in any great detail, it just takes a periodic search through a dozen or so analyst websites for mentions of your company.

Mindshare in analyst reports
Knowing that your company is covered in an analyst report is all well and good, but if your direct competitor is profiled far more regularly than you in reports, then you may not be doing as well as you think. That is why it is sensible to think about the wider market where possible.

Mindshare in analyst reports could get very convoluted – and would require you to buy and analyze every report. A simple proxy is to count the number of reports where your company is mentioned, versus the same for competitor A, B, C and so on. When you have those numbers you can plug them into Excel to create pie charts showing the percentage “mindshare” in analyst reports.

When you have done it for one period, it gives you the baseline for all future periods.

Measurement of any aspect of PR and AR can be tricky, or at the very least, time-consuming. But considering the alternatives of fuzzy goals, goal sludge or moving goalposts, it is worth the time and effort to get the AR (and PR) targets in place now.