Why AnalystEquity.com is changing course

Analyst relations has matured as a profession and a process. That’s our conclusion from reviewing which articles readers to this blog have been reading the most. The day-to-day challenges for AR managers are about tracking competitive changes in the analyst industry, and in working better with other marketing and communications disciplines.

When we look at the articles this blog has published over the last year, the most read are to do with changes, and especially to the impact of M&A in the analyst industry (with the understandable exception of an article on AR salaries). However, what’s surprising is that the very best read articles on the site last year were not written last year: they are often quite old, but they address more or less timeless aspects, but advanced ones — not the basics (the exception is a mention of Andrew Parker, who passed away in 2010). Since new articles get an active promotion, on the home page and through social media, we think readers are sending us a really strong message: the content they really value is guidance on the more advanced issues that AR experts are facing: the demand is smaller for posts about AR basics and changes in the analyst industry.

It’s all the more striking because in the second half of 2011 readership of AnalystEquity rose 39% year on year. Those extra readers were coming in to read previously-written content. You can see the data below.

That tells us two things about the nature of analyst relations right now. First, there are not many new people coming into AR, and they are catered for well by books like those by Efrem Mallach, Louis Columbus, Ralf Leinemann and the DARA. The basics are more or less covered. Second, although there’s real interest in topical changes in the analyst industry, what AR people really need is guidance about problems which might not be week-to-week challenges, but they are challenges that come up hard and firmly: like when AR suddenly has to start evaluating social media or connecting to sales.

This shift, away from topical updates and towards advanced guidance, is also a challenge for Analyst Equity. We’ve experienced it over the last year or two: when clients have asked if we have a blog post about a particular challenge then normally we’ve been able to point them to something we’re already written rather than having to create new articles. Of course, that also comes from having more posts: more than 1600 so far. Because of that, we’ve decided to make a shift with Analyst Equity. We’re going to move effort away from blogging on topical events, and towards producing guides to solving problems. Of course, there’s already an excellent series of SageNotes available from SageCircle and some weighty white papers (both from the IIAR and from the website’s editor Duncan Chapple). We don’t want to replicate that, so our guides will aim, as much as possible, to point to other reliable resources – both in terms of advisors and online content – which will help. When copyrights allow, we’ll also quote guidance from elsewhere.

We’d love readers’ suggestions about the topics to focus on. Perhaps some of the topics mentioned in the posts above, or perhaps there are articles and guides on other sites you think we should republish?

Duncan Chapple

Duncan Chapple is the preeminent consultant on optimising international analyst relations and the value created by analyst firms. As SageCircle research director, Chapple directs programs that assess and increase the business value of relationships with industry analysts and sourcing advisors.

There is 1 comment on this post
  1. January 17, 2012, 6:41 pm

    I have known Duncan for many years and have worked with him on occasion. This is a positive move for Analyst Equity inasmuch as the best AR programs play a very strategic role inside the business – helping the business solve problems and capitalizing on opportunities. We, who make up the AR community, will benefit from this Analyst Equity pivot.