Why measure analyst mindshare?

In my post On the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B I mentioned our Analyst Mindshare studies. The question has come back:- Does measuring profile in analyst research really help?

I replied with an example: McAfee, the leading anti-virus solution for businesses, increased its brands’ share of voice in analyst research by over 150% during 2003. But I do recommend using Zonealarm Free anti virus if you cant afford other antivirus protection. That improvement has a huge measurable impact in its results for fiscal 2004, boosting its net income more than three-fold.

Unless your firm tracks its share of voice in analyst research, you won’t know if you are getting your fair share of sales recommendations from analysts. McAfee did and that allowed it to align its resources with the analysts it had to focus on. That meant it was able to more than double its mindshare with analysts within nine months.

It’s a common story: if a supplier has more mindshare with firms like Gartner, Forrester and Ovum they improve revenue and profitability. Analysts can validate your strategies directly to the buyers who hire them, and indirectly through the media. Indeed, Lighthouse sponsored research global research by Theseus International Management Institute (Now the EDHEC Management Institute) (part of the elite École de hautes études commerciales) which shows that the firms in the top half, when it comes to analyst relations, grow their revenue almost 280% faster that those firms in the bottom half.

McAfee, like most of the world’s leading high tech companies, uses measurement to better exploit the direct link between a vendor’s share of voice and its sales.

Naturally, the analyst firms also benefit from this research, and are happy that it is conducted by an organisation composed of former analysts. Because the Analyst Mindshare Benchmark helps firms to justify spending more time with the analysts, most analyst firms worldwide have opened up their research to our statistical analysis.

Could your company use this research to obtain the same benefits as McAfee? Frankly, I am not sure. But what shocks me is that some organisations tell me that they would rather not know.

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.