Analyst relations (AR) pros often find that a critical part of their job is demonstrating value. That encompasses not only making sure industry analysts are familiar with their company’s value proposition (though that’s incredibly important!) — it’s also about making sure their own company sees the value of AR.
Showcasing this value is a key priority for Henry Chalian, head of analyst relations for T-Mobile. With T-Mobile’s target audience expanding from consumers to include enterprise customer sales in recent years, T-Mobile is seeing analysts play a bigger role in their customer purchasing journey. To secure greater buy-in for the AR program, it’s important for Henry to show how the analyst relations program impacts the business and highlight the traction T-Mobile is having among the analyst community. Regular reporting on results and metrics brings the program’s strategic value to light.
Finding time for reporting — amidst many other key activities — is no small task. And it’s one Henry faces as a small AR team: In fact, he’s a team of 1. With T-Mobile being relevant to hundreds and hundreds of analysts across coverage areas (from IoT to networking and more) — and having 2,000+ analyst interactions each month (spanning briefings, inquiries, and emails across all these coverage areas), there’s a lot to take on!
At the 2023 ARchitect User Forum — to be held virtually Nov. 1-2 — Henry will share how he prioritizes, delivers impact and demonstrates that impact to garner greater awareness of, and support for, AR. Although he’s T-Mobile’s sole in-house AR practitioner, Henry also works with AR partners (including ARInsights ServicePlus and analyst relations consultants) to report on results quickly while driving operational efficiencies — freeing up his time for more strategic activities. We were excited for the opportunity to speak with Henry in advance of his User Forum presentation. Read on to learn more:
Q: What is your role as it pertains to AR?
Henry: I am the head of analyst relations for all of T-Mobile’s business areas. This includes corporate, emerging technologies, T-Mobile for Business, consumer, network technology and sustainability.
Q: What is the mission of T-Mobile’s AR team?
Henry: We seek to execute a leading AR approach to increase third-party advocacy for T-Mobile’s key differentiators across network, T-Mobile for Business, emerging products, emerging tech innovation and ESG — as well as gather actionable insights to inform business, marketing, product and PR strategies.
Q: What AR challenges does your organization face?
Henry: T-Mobile has primarily been a consumer telecom service provider. Then, following the merger with Sprint in 2020, we increased our enterprise focus. Of course, this broadened the universe of analysts we communicate with, and how we position our offerings to customers and stakeholders in compelling ways. In B2B, analysts also play a much bigger role in the buying cycle, so we’re engaging with them much more deeply now.
In addition, like in many AR programs, bandwidth can be a challenge. I’m T-Mobile’s sole AR practitioner and am responsible for staying on top of all AR needs across T-Mobile’s business areas and activities. We’re relevant to a large universe of analysts: those who cover communications service providers including cellular, fixed wireless access, private networking, IoT, hardware (like smartphones, smartwatches and tablets), and so on. While making sure we dedicate ample time and outreach in each area, I’m also constantly prioritizing to make sure we’re focused on activities that will drive the greatest impact.
Q: How do you use people, process, and technology to solve these challenges?
Henry: Even though I’m an AR team of 1 at T-Mobile, I rely on valuable support from partners as additional arms and legs that help me execute. I enlist a full-time consultant for strategic insights, help with managing analyst relationships and organizational support; agency support for analyst communications (such as sending bulk updates); and ARInsights ServicePlus for reporting on our traction with the analyst community and on our program results. These partners have defined roles, and work together cohesively and collaboratively to support our AR mission.
We all use ARchitect from ARInsights as our system of record and the basis for reporting. With the software, we can log and report on analyst interactions, monitor for coverage and generate reports with valuable insights — looking at trends over time. The monthly reports we receive from ServicePlus highlight analyst mentions by media type and topic, recent analyst interactions, and share of voice (looking at our analyst coverage vs. competitors on key topics).
Having this reporting is critical to our program by demonstrating AR’s value and having the business rationale to get buy-in for additional activities, interactions and campaigns.
Q: What will people learn from your User Forum presentation?
Henry: My presentation is called “How to Showcase AR Value & Monitor Coverage Trends.” I’ve worked in my role at T-Mobile for almost two years, and a big focus of mine has been to demonstrate AR’s value. It’s so important to show how AR can intersect with and impact many other areas of the business: sales, marketing, PR, product roadmap and strategy. I want to continue to show why working with, and learning from, analysts is so critical — how it benefits our business and the progress we’ve made.
And even though reporting is one of those activities that AR pros can be reluctant to do (when there are so many other items they need to keep moving!), I’ll discuss why it’s incredibly important. We want to secure greater executive buy-in and participation and expand AR’s scope — and reporting helps us make a case for that. I’ll also share the types of information that I’d recommend including in reports, as well as how to use your team and ARchitect to generate them quickly.
Q: How do you think the scope of AR has expanded and/or evolved in recent years?
Henry: The scope of AR has certainly expanded. In part, that’s because nowadays, there are a lot more mediums (not just research reports) where analysts are giving their thoughts, opinions and ideas.
And much more recently, there’s been so much interest around incorporating AI in workflows. There are still a lot of questions about how AI will affect our industry and many use cases that AR pros are experimenting with – using generative AI to summarize reports, create first drafts of content, derive insights from notes and so on. Privacy considerations will factor into this too. And in addition to AR pros, analysts are also looking at how they can tap into AI in their own research.
Q: What are you most looking forward to at User Forum?
Henry: I always enjoy talking with peers, who are seeing similar trends and facing similar challenges. It’s valuable to hear and learn from each other.
Want to hear more from Henry and other AR pros? Join us for ARchitect User Forum, held virtually on Nov. 1-2, 2023, 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!