Open Session Recap: What’s on the Minds of AR Pros Today?
Analyst relations (AR) pros have the floor during our quarterly, virtual Open Sessions. They’re an unfiltered time to connect, strategize, swap ideas, and even commiserate — discussing trends and topical issues in AR, and how they impact the AR role.
Unlike our interactive Learning Series, we don’t record these sessions for playback, so we encourage interested AR professionals to join live and participate in the community. You’ll be part of a warm and collaborative group, and a lively discussion. You can soak it up or chime in!
Here’s a sample of the topics discussed at our last Open Session, below.
Analyst Relations Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Participants recommended balancing qualitative and quantitative KPIs. That is, it’s not just about how many briefings your business had; it’s also about how those briefings and inquiries are going.
To that end, AR pros often track and report on trends in analyst perception and the tone of analyst conversations. One attendee recommended querying executives after each analyst interaction — putting the onus on them to rate it to “avoid blowback” during future reporting.
Other attendees shared how they log key insights and positive remarks from analysts (“Your product is highly unique”; “The demo was wonderful”; etc.) for future reference, along with ways they connect their interactions with outcomes, such as coverage. Easily and quickly generating visual reports on interactions, perception trends, share of voice and more — both at planned intervals and in response to one-off requests — is key, and it’s something ARchitect software (as well as our ServicePlus team) can help with.
And as attendees noted, tying analyst outreach to deals won is the AR holy grail. While this can be somewhat elusive, and difficult to report on and replicate consistently, a close partnership with marketing colleagues can help — especially when they promote and track AR assets, such as licensed Magic Quadrants and other reports. One participant gave a shoutout to Pendo.io and its level of granularity in helping track AR-influenced deals throughout their progression.
Communicating with Analysts
In one of our recent “Profiles in AR” interviews, analyst Elias Khnaser acknowledged the different communication preferences among analysts and shared his thoughts on what separates a good AR pro from a great one: “A great AR person understands the personalities of the analysts that he or she is working with, and adjusts the distribution strategy based on that.”
The attendees in our Open Session belong in the category of “great”! They shared how they survey their target analysts, asking “what is your favorite way to receive news?” to align their outreach with analysts’ preferences, when possible. Among the highly popular forms of communication: periodic e-newsletters (especially when they’re chock-full of customer stories) and Analyst Portals, which can be accessed on-demand and in a self-service way.
Of course, when you’re working with a large number of analysts, personalization at scale can sometimes be a challenge. When one attendee asked about personalizing quarterly newsletters to analysts across several verticals, another participant jumped in with an idea: Take your newsletter shell, and quickly create vertical versions by highlighting relevant case studies. You can use ARchitect Emailer to easily send each version to a designated analyst group, and track open rates, clickthroughs and more.
Some participants also advocated for a “back-to-basics” approach in analysts communications and personalization. Especially if you’re inviting an analyst to an event, it can pay off to simply pick up the phone and call them. Show them they’re really wanted, valued and important to your program by reaching out on an individual basis.
Gartner Peer Insights
Navigating Gartner Peer Insights is a frequently popular topic at our Open Sessions. A common question is who owns it: AR? Customer success/advocacy? Marketing? A mix? A different group? While owning Gartner Peer Insights can be a lot for AR to take on solo, it’s often beneficial for AR to, at least, have awareness of company efforts and campaigns around it, and (where appropriate) some involvement.
As some Gartner analysts lean on Peer Insights for Magic Quadrant references and other report data, companies want their user reviews to be positive ones. One Open Session attendee noted that their marketing team has laptops on hand at trade shows and other in-person events. When happy customers stop by, they ask the customers if they’d like to spend 5-10 minutes to leave a review and get a giveaway. Bonus: These types of reviews are also a bit more trackable than more anonymous one from mass email campaigns.
Other attendees said their companies invite customers who provide high Net Promoter Score (NPS) ratings, such as a 9 or 10, to leave a Peer Insights review. When customers provide proof in the form of screenshots, the account manager often gets rewarded too.
Join Us Next Time!
Our next Open Session is in 2023. In the meantime, we hope you’ll come meet the faces you may be used to seeing at our on-screen Open Sessions. Join us Nov. 10 at ARchitect User Forum 2022 in Burlingame, California (also held virtually). Share ideas and listen to real-world stories from the ARInsights team and your peers. Hope to see you there!