At Spark 180 we like to say, “It’s not rocket science. It’s relationship science.” But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. After all, we’re not providing our clients with widgets. We’re using our collective decades of AR experience—combined with our clients’ subject matter expertise—to forge long-lasting, impactful, meaningful relationships that deliver results. And just like personal relationships, it doesn’t happen overnight. Nor does it happen in a vacuum.
With that in mind, we like to recommend some guidelines to each of our clients to help ignite a mutually beneficial partnership. Follow these tips, and you can be confident of getting what you want out of your AR program, too. Basically… the sky’s the limit.
1. Be a subject matter expert
Not to brag, but we’ve been doing this a long time. We know how to get on an analyst’s radar, what they expect out of a briefing, how to land a request for a research interview, and what it takes to score well in major evaluations. In short, you bring the subject matter expertise, and we’ll handle the relationship stuff, like identifying target analysts, scheduling interactions, negotiating contracts, leading prep meetings, and providing intros/context on calls. Don’t worry about things falling through the cracks… that’s our job, and we’re on top of it!
2. Be patient
We know starting an analyst relations program is exciting, and you’re itching to start talking to analysts right away. But in the race for report mentions and client referrals, AR is a marathon…not a sprint. During the first six to eight weeks of working with us, we’re getting to know your company: your strengths, where you’re not so strong, how you work, how best to collaborate, etc. Things will pick up quickly once we have a strategy in place, but in the initial onboarding phase, remember: patience is a virtue.
3. Be honest
Open and honest communication is vital for a successful partnership, and that goes both ways. To get in front of the right people, we need to know everything about your company: the good, the bad and the ugly. When you’re honest about your strengths, your weaknesses, level of commitment, client experiences, and so on… well, we can only craft an ideal plan of attack if we have a clear picture of what we’re working with. And in return, we’ll be honest with you: about expectations, time commitments, guarantees and feedback.
4. Be prepared
It’s not just the Boy Scout motto; it’s our motto too! It’s our job to make sure you’re prepared each and every time you interact with an analyst. We promise you will never talk with an analyst without knowing what you’re getting into. All you have to do is pay attention: attend AR training sessions, participate in prep meetings, read the materials we send. You’re already an expert in your field. Channel your inner Scout by showing up prepared to each interaction, and you’ll get results. (Bug spray not required.)
5. Be committed
In a committed relationship, you’re in it for the long haul—through good times and bad, in sickness and in health. And that holds true for analyst relations as well. Not every interaction is going to be an engrossing conversation. You’re not going to be interviewed for every piece of research you pursue. It may take a whole year of briefings before you’re even considered for a Wave. But success is attainable as long as you demonstrate commitment to, and execution of, the agreed upon strategy by all stakeholders.
6. Be adaptable
Maybe analysts are more excited about your CTO’s views on the Future of Work than yours. Maybe they’re not so interested in your DEI program. Or perhaps your company has unexpectedly acquired a new capability that’s going to blow the competition out of the water. The point is, every partnership is unique and things change… so we’ll most likely make some tweaks as we learn more about you. All we ask is that you be open to change and know that any change is going to be made in your company’s best interest.
Ready for a successful partnership? Contact us today to help launch your analyst relations program.