Should your analyst extranet plug your competitors?

I think a great way to get more leverage from your analyst portal is to ask analysts what information they would like — not just from your firm but from the industry as a whole.

Think about what work you can help the analysts with, that will give them more time to appreciate your firm. For example, there is a lot of dull sifting, cutting and pasting involved.

Let’s me give you an example. Two of my colleagues, Ahmed Waqas and Tina Murphy (who managed Philips’ intranet) manage the research for our AR Intranet. Part of their time is decicated to sourcing information from the wider Lighthouse team. Some more time is dedicated to building our databases, but we also survey users to discover if we can also research any information they are interested in, whether or not it serves our own research priorities. So if our subscribers are interested in jobs elsewhere, for example, even if it’s not in our interests that they leave their current firm.

Imagine if you put some resource on to summarising key media releases from you and all your competitors each month and scoring them out of ten for impact and surprise. Or imagine if you got a short summary written each month assessing the competitive strategy of your firm or one of your key competitors. Or imagine if you summarised the key research all the analysts were writing, or articles they were commented in. This could cost less than a thousand dollars a month.

The impact of giving analysts an industry-wide view would be massive and, of course, your position would be boosted. It could seem counter-intuitive to mention your competitors, but you’d be talking about things that your competitors don’t talk about like price trends, the analysts’ opinions, and the competitive landscape. Something think this could also ramp up your internal profile massively. If “Plausible deniability” is necessary, it could be presented as independent research by some other firm (Perhaps Lighthouse) sponsored by your firm.

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