AR, You’re My Valentine!

It’s Valentine’s Day, and we’re sharing our love… for analyst relations (AR)! We asked AR pros to describe aspects of the profession that excite them, motivate them and make them eager to start their days.

There’s a lot to enjoy about this fast-paced role, and it’s no wonder “analyst relations specialists” are among the top 10 jobs on the rise (per LinkedIn). Read on to see why AR pros across the globe love their work:

Question: What do you love about AR?

Zack Linky, Senior Analyst Relations Manager, Zendesk

“What I love most about analyst relations is that it gives me the opportunity to interface and provide value to multiple functions throughout the organization. From message testing with product marketing and finding the perfect report for campaigns, to analyst workshops with strategy and product, AR is at the center of it all, providing guidance and recommendations that ultimately influence the entire company.” 

Robin Schaffer, Principal AR Consultant, Schaffer AR

“AR is about building relationships, constructive communication, long-term goals and an honest evaluation of what’s possible. And just like Valentine’s Day, no amount of chocolate will fix foundational problems. I love AR because it involves smart people working together to make business happen.” 

Gerry Van Zandt, Senior Director, Analyst Relations, Alteryx, Inc.

“What I love, first and foremost, about AR are the long-term relationships (some spanning multiple decades) that I’ve enjoyed with both analysts and AR colleagues. I’ve loved seeing and experiencing how the analyst research industry has evolved, with plenty of analyst firm consolidation and changes in how research is done over the years. And lastly, I have loved how the analyst relations field has truly grown up since the early 1990s, evolving from what was once a very niche-y stepchild of PR/comms, and blossoming into a broad discipline in strong demand that most companies now see as imperative to their overall success.”

Nicole Silacci, Director, Global Analyst Relations, Proofpoint

“There are so many things I love about analyst relations, but if I have to pick just one, it is the community of AR professionals who will generously share ideas and experiences with peers to help overcome all sorts of challenges.”

Peggy O’Neill, Vice President, Industry Analyst Relations at Informatica

“I’ve been doing analyst relations for 20 years, and while there are frustrating aspects as with any job, there’s much to love about this interesting, honorable profession. My favorite aspect is the inherent variety. You can start the morning helping to gather competitive intelligence, then get pulled into a confidential acquisition call in the afternoon and finish the day helping sales close a deal. I get paid to stay abreast of industry trends, work with the brightest minds in my company, and learn from smart analysts who hold us accountable and make us better. Deftly executed, analyst relations makes a difference.” 

Alina Toderascu, VP of Marketing, CYPHER LEARNING

“My colleagues and I enjoy dynamic conversations with industry analysts about e-learning market trends. It’s great to develop relationships with a mutually beneficial give-and-take: where we can give analysts information about our business, customers and successes to inform their research and end-user conversations — and they give us actionable intelligence, insights and ideas to strengthen our campaigns.”

Gabby Targosz, Senior AR Manager, Twilio Segment

“Something I love about AR is being the voice of the analyst in my internal meetings. I hear so many good insights from the outside-in perspective via the analysts, and one of my favorite things about AR is bringing those conversations into the topics we discuss.”

Reno Ybarra, Associate Portfolio Marketing Manager, TIBCO

“I love the fact that AR changes every day, and every day presents a new challenge. Whether it’s learning and teaching a new influence strategy, or a tactical shift in how to participate in evaluation reports, this job is never dull and always changing.”

Ludovic Leforestier, Founder, Starsight Communications, and Board Member and Co-founder, Institute of Influencer & Analyst Relations (IIAR>)

“The best things about analyst relations are freedom and autonomy (you rarely have the same level of initiative at the same job bands in other professions) and that it allows for a lot of creativity. I love being between two worlds — working with an employer or a client, on the one hand, and analysts, on the other hand. As AR pros, we enjoy access to super-smart execs and analysts, and watch thoughts, sparks and concepts fly across the room (or the Zoom meeting) at high velocity. In fact, the role of an AR manager is a bit like running a dating agency: You set the stage, prop people up for success and watch the chemistry happen (most of the time).”

Doug Broad, Co-founder and Principal, Three Rings Inc.

“For me, it’s the value of seeing new business leads — and eventual customer wins — come into our clients through analyst relationships, whether it’s the client’s placement in a comparative report or a direct reference from an analyst off their ‘short list.’ While B2B buyers use a number of resources to make purchase decisions, it’s clear analysts play an outsized role in advising, guiding and solidifying purchase decisions based on their in-depth knowledge of the vendor landscape, market trends and customer needs.”