There’s a fascinating conundrum in the analyst industry: syndicated research (which is made available to all clients) is the most profitable service for analysts. However, clients have increasing demand for more interactive and customised services from analyst firms. At the same time, the increasing pace of work for analysts and the easy of using online surveys means that the methodologies which underpin syndicated research are getting less coherent.
These research weaknesses were a major topic when I recently moderated an IIAR panel dicussion on best practices on analyst relations (see my report on the IIAR’s blog). Many participants felt that research methods are less crisp and consistent than they were, even within the same firm.Reference clients were being followed up especially inconsistently.
Analysts are using more online surveys, but not all clients are equally likely to respond to them, and the data collected are less insightful than oral interviews. Online surveys have it easier to produce rankings and ratings, which might be good news for people making press releases but their value to end-users are more limited.
This makes it more important for Analyst Relations managers to make sure that their communications programmes are giving analysts some of the insight that might be missed by analysts who do not use customers references deeply. To find out more about how to do that, we recommend Efrem Mallach’s book, Win Them Over.