It’s January, and if you haven’t re-vamped your AR plan in over 3 months then it’s time for a makeover –or at least a touch up. Planning an analyst relations programme should be an iterative process, one that takes into account changing business priorities and the evolving technology landscape. Analysts are the top tech influencers, which means they are always ahead of the curve. That’s why your AR plan needs to be able to keep up with them.
Whether your goal is a plan on a page or a free flowing slide deck, now is the time to review and update your plans for analyst outreach. The following checklist will help you create a plan that meets the needs of your business and of the analyst community.
Step 1: review analyst predictions.
Every year, the top analyst firms will use their market foresight to publish predictions for the year ahead. From webinars to blog posts to subscriber only research, there is a wealth of material out there. Last year, we listed some of our go-to analyst predictions, but you should not only look at just the FIGs but also check the other relevant top 100 analyst firms for your technology category –many of those challenger and independents are first to spot new trends.
These predictions should guide not only your AR plan but your overall company priorities too. When reviewing the predictions, evaluate their relevance to your market and make note of any that have the potential to boost or disrupt your business. These should be fed back to the appropriate stakeholders and monitored accordingly.
Step 2: read analyst research agendas.
If you don’t already know, reach out to the analyst firms that matter for you and find out how you can access their research calendar. For example, Aragon Research hosted a webinar with their calendar, IDC analyst profiles list their upcoming research and Omdia has a full research calendar available on their website. Each analyst firm has a slightly different approach so you will need to put in some time to get
Identify reports that relate to your market calendar and look at what your top analysts plan to publish this year. This will give you a sense of where analysts expect the market to go. Note that as trends change and are realised throughout the year, new reports may pop up that were not originally planned. You need room in your AR plan to remain flexible to hop on those as required.
Step 3: review your company’s business priorities and other key plans.
Analyst relations should not operate in isolation, it should be synergistic with your company’s wider agenda. Bring your learnings from steps 1 and 2 to the relevant business leaders and assess whether your company’s priorities need updating. For example, Forrester’s global technology predictions had a strong focus on Generative AI and if your company isn’t thinking about it yet, then it might be time to consider it.
Reach out to your colleagues in marketing, sales and public relations to understand their 2024 planning. You need to understand what’s coming elsewhere in the business and what your sales team is focusing on to create an AR plan that supports those goals. Consider your desired sales outcomes when crafting an inquiry strategy and the key topics for marketing content when crafting your analyst briefings. All of your business plans should align.
Step 4: plan your AR campaigns for the year.
Armed with all of this information, draft a plan that will align both your company’s priorities and that of the analysts. Ensure your planned messaging for analyst briefings proactively communicates any changes in your company vision and growth plans while also meeting the requirements of target research reports. Assess your capacity as an AR team and look into outsourced analyst relations if you need additional support.
Set yourself up for continuous improvement throughout the year. Ensure you have a strategy for evaluating your research subscription usage. Plan to have an analyst perception audit to understand how your company is being perceived and which analysts are most relevant for you. Set up an inquiry strategy that helps you stay ahead of the market. These three things will help you when it comes to revamping your AR plan the next time.
Dust off your AR plan now and get started.
Put those four steps into actions and create an AR plan fit for 2024. Communicate your new plan to your stakeholders and start putting into action. With this strategy, you will have an informed AR plan that will help you benefit from the four impacts of analyst relations. It’s still early in the year, so the time so start being proactive is now, before you get swept up in a flurry of reactive RFIs and research requests.
If you enjoyed this blog, why not check out our other posts?
- Are you in shape for 2024? Check our 4 steps for your analyst relations plan.
- Starsight voted #1 analyst relations agency in EMEA for 2023.
- The 7 wonders of outsourced analyst relations.