Share of Voice: Useful, Often Vital

ARmadgeddon has some comments about criticisms of share of voice analysis. This is a topic that we have written about both recently and a few years ago in our white paper on Measuring the effectiveness of analyst relations outreach. Furthermore, we also have to admit to an interest here: We have two similar services (the Analyst Mindshare Benchmark and the Index, an example of which you can see on the right) which are being started up over the next few months.

In short, our experience is that share of voice data are useful and powerful but require intelligent use.

  • Most firms are surprised by the findings of share of voice research, and find the results useful. Understanding how your profile in research differs from your competitors’ is a straightforward and powerful tool. It shows how your profile varies. Generally, it also indicates that your profile is higher at what we call ‘easy analysts’ than at influential analysts. That give you the opportunity to allocate resources differently.
  • These share of voice data fit into other corporate measures because it’s a single continuous variable. It’s not perfect but, for example, if it gets you onto your business’s marketing scorecard, then it can transform the internal rapport AR has with its stakeholders.
  • Even your boss’s boss can understand it. Our Index is a simple ordinal ranking. The picture above gives you a flavour of it: it just shows a weighted, running average which firms have the highest ranking in analyst research.
  • The data can be weighted, and we recommend that they normally should be. The sort of ranking we show above is useful because it’s simple. Our Analyst Value Survey gives us a general picture of how to weight the data to reflect the different impact of each analyst firm in each region. Of course, this weighting needs to be tweaked for each market.
  • There is a strong correlation between profile and positive perception. If your firm can’t currently afford to read though all its articles and score them for tonality, then share of voice is a simpler, less extensive analysis which gives a reliable picture for most vendors of their standing with analysts.

Our key observation is that measurement has to fit the internal culture. We offer measurements with different levels of complexity and frequency to reflect the differing reporting and control cycles of companies. That, perhaps, is our major point of difference with ARmadgeddon and KCG: we don’t think that any one form of measurement should never be done, or always be done, by all analyst relations teams. Measurements are useless if they don’t help to explain to people outside AR what is going on: that means you need to adapt your measurement style to the one that produces the most valuable communication with your internal stakeholders.

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