Analyst relations (AR) programs large and small often face the challenge of communicating with hundreds of analysts and other influencers: updating them on the company’s news, roadmap, vision, customer successes and so on. At large organizations, where technologies and services span various markets, the number of relevant analysts to reach can be staggering. Of course, tiering and prioritization dictate that you can’t have individual conversations with every single one — but how can you maximize the number of analysts you keep in the loop (while preserving your sanity and staying within workday hours)?
Maryanne Coughlin, director, analyst relations at PwC, has experience and advice in this area, as PwC updates more than 700 analysts and other influencers globally. At this year’s ARchitect User Forum — to be held virtually Nov. 1-2, 2023 — she’ll share how PwC keeps this massive group up-to-speed easily and efficiently (including through an Analyst Portal), while ensuring analysts have access to information that’s relevant to their coverage areas and needs. In addition, as analysts change roles and firms, she’ll also discuss how the AR team can quickly make sure that contacts are up-to-date.
We were thrilled to catch up with Maryanne in advance of her presentation. Read on to learn more about her role, PwC’s AR program priorities and what Maryanne will present on at User Forum next month:
Q: Can you please briefly describe your role as it pertains to AR?
Maryanne: I serve as PwC’s U.S. AR deputy research lead and U.S. advisor relations lead. I also oversee PwC’s AR for managed services and Oracle globally and in the U.S.
As a senior member of the AR team, I lead our relationship with several firms, including Gartner, IDC, Everest and ISG. My deputy research lead duties include making sure we have the processes in place to build and nurture the right relationships at those firms and others, and participate in the right reports, custom work and other opportunities. In addition, in my work as advisor relations lead, I’m standing up our relationships with the U.S. sourcing advisor community.
Q: What is the mission of your AR team?
Maryanne: Similar to PwC’s overall purpose, which is to build trust in society and solve important problems, our AR mission is to develop mutually beneficial, trusted relationships between PwC and the analyst community. These relationships should reflect a deep understanding of each other’s strategic priorities and result in market impact.
Q: What AR challenges does your organization face?
Maryanne: Building on PwC’s brand in the market and the accolades we’ve been proud to achieve across the analyst community, our AR program is looking to expand the impact from the analyst ecosystem — deepening our focus to new analysts and the sourcing advisor community. This is a challenge because the number of analysts we are working with has grown significantly: to more than 700 globally. Plus, we want to build and nurture relationships with more new analysts, advisors and other influencers, and participate in more analyst opportunities — all while continuing to work to be well-positioned in the right reports and to nurture the right relationships.
With only so many hours in the day, our team seeks to prioritize, as well as find ways to rapidly communicate with and update many analysts and sourcing advisors at once.
Q: What’s the most important thing people will learn from your User Forum presentation?
Maryanne: People will learn how we use tools like ARchitect to help us build and nurture our relationships with more than 700 analysts and other influencers globally, and measure the impact of those relationships.
My presentation is titled “Why an Analyst Portal is a Necessity for an Evolving AR World.” So, I will also spend time discussing why having an Analyst Portal is an important part of our AR strategy and really is a must-have for mature teams like ours. We provide a curated experience for analysts, helping them stay up-to-date with important PwC news and updates — which can include information from events they’ve attended, newsletters and so on. I’ll share what our goals are for the portal, the ease of set-up and maintenance, and how the self-service model helps us reach all those analysts and influencers.
Q: How do you think the scope of AR has expanded and/or evolved in recent years?
Maryanne: Business model reinvention is fundamentally changing analyst relations in the same ways it is changing business — and the analyst industry as well. Business model reinvention is the “how” for companies as they continue to invest in transformation efforts in order to stay ahead of competition and remain relevant in the market. There is no question that AR has expanded and evolved in recent years. The question for us as AR professionals is “how”: How will we proceed on our transformation journey?
Q: What are you most looking forward to at User Forum?
Maryanne: I’m looking forward to connecting with my peers and hearing all the great work they are doing. It’s a great opportunity to connect with the larger AR community.
Q: Outside of AR, what are some of your interests and hobbies?
Maryanne: Outside of work, I enjoy hiking and photography. I post photos of what I call moments of beauty on @minutevacations.
I also serve on the board of directors of The Trumpeter Swan Society, a non-profit organization. We work across North America to help trumpeter swans and their wetland habitats.
Want to hear more from Maryanne and other AR pros? Join us for ARchitect User Forum, held virtually on Nov. 1-2, from 9 a.m. — 12 p.m. PT each day. It’s an opportunity to learn new AR strategies, listen to real-world success stories and exchange ideas with other AR practitioners across the globe. We hope you’ll register and join us!