On Friday, a colleague in another division asked me “How do you measure the effectiveness of analysts relations?” It’s an unanswerable question we’ve all been asked 1000 times about a wide variety of topics (even a marine terminal gate). As I said then, every time someone asks you to show them the measures, be sure to quote Stacey Barr:
These are not measurement questions. These are questions about strategy or direction. If you know what results your work should produce, then the measurement is almost obvious.
After a brief discussion, my colleague determined that he really wanted to measure the efficiency of his analyst relations team so as to benchmark them with other organizations’ size and budget. We agreed that it would be better to use operational metrics rather than strategic KPIs.
This weekend it occurred to me I never really answered the original question. What are the strategic KPIs for analyst relations? Rather than trying to come up with the answer myself, I did a bit of research and found SageCircle – a firm that positions itself as “analysis of the analysts”. They have this promising description:
When building AR measurement programs, AR practitioners must distinguish between performance and operational metrics. Performance metrics help AR teams measure progress against strategic goals while operational metrics measure utilization and productivity against plan.
However, their specific examples of performance metrics (i.e. KPIs) are not as illuminating: “analyst opinions by market, product, etc. or number of sales opportunities supported by the AR team.” These still seem like activity metrics, not outcomes.
I found a more appealing idea in an article by Katie Paine entitled “How to Measure Relations with Opinion Leaders in the Media“. In a section on successful analyst relations, she says:
As with journalists, the ultimate measure of a successful relationship is if they recommend your product to reporters, editors and customers.
The idea is to apply the customer loyalty concept of Net Promoter Score to analysts. It measures the desired outcome, has a well-defined grading system, and is easily benchmarked with other organizations. This makes sense to me.
What do you think?