On a recent podcast called, “How should AR evolve to grow in the next 5 years”, Allen Valahu, MD of Global Industry Analyst Relations with Accenture, and Erin Zehr, VP of Analyst Relations with Dell Technologies, joined Beth Torrie, Founder of Torrie Communications and discussed changes that are transforming the analyst and influencer sector.
They discussed the changing world of analyst relations and how influencer relations is becoming part of the mix. In recent years, influencers are playing an increasingly important role in the communications success of every company as the marketplace gets noisier and more chaotic.
Dell, Accenture discuss analyst relations and influencer relations
There is obviously a difference between analysts and influencers, but both are important to companies in different ways. What’s interesting is many high-profile analysts are influencers as well.
According to Accenture and Dell, putting analyst relations and influencer relations together is not a new concept, but is increasingly the path we are heading in.
Therefore, companies must carefully blend these two different models, successfully. Some companies are working toward this end more successfully than others.
This is a new challenge corporate management must work through going forward.
Blending analyst relations and influencer relations going forward
I agree with their point. As a wireless industry analyst for more than three decades, I have learned that I am also considered an influencer.
This has been my business model for more than three decades. After working with and following countless companies over more than thirty years, I can honestly say some do a much better job reaching out and building helpful relationships.
That being said, every company needs to understand the changes that are occurring and must both improve and blend their Industry Analyst Relations and Influencer Relations programs for tomorrow.
This webinar discussed how the needs of analysts and of companies in the technology business is evolving. How companies are changing, how the industry can capitalize on the growing influence of analysts and how AR needs to pivot to focus on a wider pool of influencers.
How industry analyst relations differs from influencer relations
Accenture and Dell both brought up several important key trends. Some of these are new and others have challenged companies for decades.
One of the key questions every company must answer is, who are the most influential analysts and influencers in their sector and for their company?
There are generally two groups.
One is a smaller and more limited group of key analysts and influencers. Two is the larger group. One group requires a more personal relationship, while the other is a more generalized one.
This is obviously a little-known skill only a few executives practice well. Yet, it is becoming so important for the future health and growth of every company in an increasingly noisy and competitive marketplace.
Companies must choose key industry analysts and influencers
The real question every executive needs to learn the answer to is how they can achieve top results with their analyst relations and influencer relations?
Building relationships early and keeping them vibrant are key to every company’s success.
Timing is also part of the mix. Some years companies can’t seem to do anything wrong. Other times, they struggle. That’s why having a strong and healthy ongoing relationship with key players is important.
Bottom line, in a noisy marketplace with plenty of competitors and competing messages, most companies struggle to get their messages out and heard.
The vast majority of companies have a real need to continually compete and get their messages out, especially as the noisy marketplace around them continually changes.
How companies must handle changes in industry analyst relations
Understanding the importance of getting this right starts at the top. Every senior executive needs to understand, create a budget and have great people involved with building their analyst relations and influencer relations.
Does your corporate leadership understand the importance of AR and IR. Do they support these programs? Do they provide a budget for this program?
You cannot craft a successful position among competitors in the blink of an eye. It takes time and effort. This is something that must be built over time.
As Dell and Accenture have discussed, companies who focus on building and growing their program for the long-term win. Period.
Yes, the world is a very noisy place. Being heard and more, understood with investors, customers and workers is getting harder with every passing year.
A company’s reputation and place in the industry is a hard-fought battle.
Remember, because analyst and influencer opinions are important to the performance of every company, the last thing an executive want’s is for them to think better of a competitor and their products and services, simply because they didn’t do a good.
It takes time, effort, commitment and money to build a successful program over time. Beyond that, it takes the right talent to fully understand the needs of every individual they do business with. This is very important for the ongoing success of every company and for every executive to fully understand.