The Analyst Relations Job Description
Because industry analysts can potentially influence a company’s revenues, analyst relations (AR) managers should possess corporate marketing experience and excellent communications skills. Successful AR managers have a firm grasp of the target market and understand corporate positioning and product messaging.
Most executives have an enlightening perspective on the corporate strategy and can establish great rapport with industry analysts. However, they do not have the bandwidth to service ongoing requirements for product information, case studies, sales successes, marketing events and conferences. Without a dedicated resource for developing relationships with industry analysts, vendors will not be able to communicate their message and value proposition.
Contrary to popular practice, the analyst relations (AR) function is not just an add-on task for the press/public relation’s activity. Industry analysts may have as many as 50 contacts per week with potential customers and partners in your technology area. Especially for midsize and large IT vendors, a dedicated resource with the attributes and job profile below will contribute significant value. As a dedicated AR manager establishes relationships with influential analysts, the AR manager will also become a valuable conduit of sage advice regarding competitors, market trends and new technologies.
The AR specialist may work for a Director in Corporate Communications or directly for the Marketing Executive of a product group with a dotted line reporting responsibility to Corporate Communications. Smaller vendors (i.e., below $100 million in annual revenues) will likely have one AR manager who works within the marketing or marketing communications groups.
Internally, the ultimate organizational goal is for the AR manager to have a good collaborative relationship with product managers and executive spokespeople. The AR manager will be facilitating a two-way communications process between internal messaging experts and the industry analysts.
Responsibilities & Tasks
An AR professional assists corporate communications with the development and implementation of an effective analyst relations program. Specific tasks include:
- Work with product marketing to secure positive analysts reports, and deliver quality information to analysts
- Work with analyst firms to complete research reports and whitepapers
- Establish processes for ongoing communication and education of industry analysts
- Facilitating analyst briefings and interviews during specific events
- Securing analyst quotes for press releases
- Preparing analyst briefing tours, presentations, and documents
- Oversee budget, analysis and recommendations for purchased analyst research services
- Support the corporate communications team in other PR-related programs and activities
- Responding to analyst inquiries, monitoring briefings, ensuring that deliverables are provided and suggesting research topics
- Developing and monitoring an analyst report calendar for coverage potential
- Facilitating information exchange with outside PR firm
Professional Experience Requirements
The effective AR specialist will have a corporate communications and marketing background with an overall understanding of company technology and products. A BA/BS degree in a marketing or technology-related field is preferable. Three to five years of experience with a high-tech vendor will insure an AR specialist has an introduction to how the product launch and/or briefing process may proceed with outside industry trade press and analysts.
Because the position is usually not a defined job within many vendors, the person should be a self-starter with proven project and business management skills. The individual should also be a polished communicator who will represent the company in front of discriminating industry analysts. The AR professional will also have many occasions to speak informally with analysts and therefore communications and collaboration skills will also be valuable for working with various product and marketing managers within the company, who initially may not see the value of the analyst relations function.
In the absence of a marketing executive or spokesperson, the AR manager may have an opportunity to present the corporate presentation in front of industry analysts in a formal event or over the phone. Therefore, presentation skills are also desirable.
The position should be a full time, full benefits position. The industry salary range for AR professionals in 20014 was between $65,000 and $130,000 per year, depending on experience and location. As the function develops and matures within the organization, marketing groups will see this function as a valuable part of ongoing product marketing and new product launch activities. Given the influence that industry analysts have on customers, marketing executives should find that financial justification for the position will be a trivial exercise.
- Analyst relations (AR) professionals provide a key link between industry analysts and internal marketing or corporate executives.
- The AR professional should come with managerial experience and a proven track-record at a high-tech vendor, as well as polished communications skills.
- The position will justify the resource head count by influencing industry analysts with positive company messages that will lead to highly qualified business opportunities.