Historically, analyst relations (AR) programs have been designed as a bridge between a technology company and the analyst community. As a result, AR programs have focused first and foremost on analysts, and only indirectly on prospects, customers and other decision-makers. Is it possible to reverse this program orientation? Bring it more in line with other communications strategies, such as social media where there’s a much more direct line between influencers and decision-makers?
If you were to do this, you would re-design the analyst relations outreach program as a bridge to decision-makers. The difference may be quite subtle. Yet, it is not the same as designing a program centered on the analysts themselves. One approach views industry analysts as a means to reach and influence decision-makers, the other approach views analysts as the end-goal of the program.
I’ve found that many company executives view the analysts only as a means to an end.
Of course, customers and prospects are not the only people who listen to analysts. Industry analysts can help inform and influence channel partners, developer communities, business development alliances, government agencies, and more. Seeing the analysts in terms of these relationships is just as important as seeing them within the context of sales.
Aligning AR programs with decision-makers and other influencers at the core could change the way your company organizes, funds and measures its analyst outreach.