Our Credo series on AR principles comes into the final stretch with our seventh belief: different analyst relations approaches are effective for different ICT solutions, even from the same vendor.
The key variables here are the impact of analysts on the firm’s ability to grow profits, and how prepared each business unit is to support analyst relations.
It’s crucial to understand what the impact of analysts on the profits of individual business units might be. In many firm, there are ‘cash cow’ business unites which are highly profitable. However, mature business units might not be subject to high analyst influence. Analysts are focussed in higher growth market segments and focus on mission-critical systems with an enterprise-wide application. For many vendors, that means that their businesses with the most need for analyst relations will be high-growth areas in which analysts are widely involved, rather than larger business units is lower analyst impact.
Analyst relations effort also needs to consider the preparedness of the business unit to support analyst relations, and where the business fits into the corporate message. Some business units should be integrated into a business-wide approach in which subject-matter experts are called in to deal only with follow-on queries. More comprehensive programmes can be justified for businesses that are well prepared for AR and whose businesses justify greater resourcing.
Furthermore, AR manager need to work with business units to evaluate the competitive intelligence risk. Some analyst firms may compete with some vendors, especially on the services side. Other business units may find that a particular analyst practice primarily consults to competitive businesses rather than to potential clients. In that case, effort should be diverted to those analysts who do influence clients. And that involves careful timing, as we explore in the eighth credo.