Because of the pandemic, we opened up this open forum (4 sessions ago!) for the analyst relations community to communicate the many shifts and changes of analyst relations. In this session, AR leaders from across the globe brought up the many trending topics they are facing. These included:

NOTE: We’re following one of the tips suggested by your AR colleagues, and we will no longer be recording these sessions. Join us for the next one to get the scoop live.

1. Values and Challenges of Industry Events

One topic that was brought to attention right away was determining the value and challenges of industry events during the pandemic. Currently, the value of virtual industry events is unclear for many AR leaders. There are quite a few hiccups getting in the way of the events as compared to in person. Since most of us are working from home, colleagues and managers are likely to forget that you are in virtual sessions and managing exceptions can be a challenge. To some, this can be much more flexible but for others this can distract from the event. Although these events are now online, the pricing models have not changed much. Many AR teams are asking themselves whether industry events are worth the price tag without the networking and connection opportunities.

2. Determining a Digital Strategy for MQs

In today’s discussion, we also discussed how to create a digital strategy for Gartner Magic Quadrants. With small AR teams not meeting some Magic Quadrant requirements, some strategies were shared on how to get more interest from Gartner. Since Peer Insights are becoming more prominent and used more frequently in MQs, one strategy is to leverage a high Peer Insights rating. If your rating is so high, it is hard for Gartner to ignore you in a Magic Quadrant. If an MQ is not feasible for your analyst relations program, it can be strategic to target Gartner Market Guides instead. While those are issues smaller AR teams face, one issue of larger teams in MQs is when your MQ is disappearing. One strategy for a situation like this is to try and create a category for yourself. To do so, you will need to build strong relationships between your executive teams and analysts. Your executives will need to explain to analysts why your market share is important and how you’re a category. This effort can be a very effective strategy to being a leader in your category however it can take several years to achieve. 

3. Effective Strategies for Targeting Small Analyst Firms

While many had questions regarding how to properly strategize around Gartner, the discussion continued into the importance of building strong relationships with smaller analyst firms. In an article by Robin Schaffer, she discusses how many AR teams focus predominantly on Magic Quadrants and Waves without putting enough emphasis on gaining insights and strategically aiming the right analysts at the right problems to build a stronger AR program. In today’s discussion, AR leaders mentioned that one way they were able to identify small firms that fit their coverage was by utilizing ARchitect Premium Content. They were able to drill down into what analysts they weren’t aware of that cover their topics and evaluate who is the right fit to build a relationship with by seeing what they are publishing and looking at their Influencer Score to get an idea of how active they are. One way to initiate the conversation with these analysts is to submit a document for review. Because smaller firms want to build new relationships, they can be very open to reviewing your documents and providing feedback. If you are already juggling many analysts and want to maintain relationships with smaller firms, it may be useful to extend your reach by creating an Analyst Portal for them to stay connected to all of your news and updates. 

4. ARInsights Announcements & Updates

Lastly, we made a huge announcement on 9/23 that we are officially partnering with Polaris Growth Fund to grow our organization to better serve our users. Our company culture will not change and your favorite teammates will still be with us to help you. Our team is very excited for this new opportunity because we want to scale our business to create better products for you. We look forward to incorporating our clients feedback into our product roadmaps at a faster speed. If you have any questions about these company changes, we will be hosting another New Normal event at the end of October where we are free to chat about what this means for you.