Aligning AR metrics to business goals

One of CCgroup's key gains in 2022 has been consolidating our analyst relations (AR) metrics methodology to an industry-standard approach to integrated marketing communication (IMC). It has six elements: 

  1. Interrogation. Understand the business's goals (especially in regard to competitors), the desired success and the legacy measurements available to consider for analysis. 
  2. Research. What would the goals mean translated into the market?
  3. Prescribe. What are the SMART objectives?
  4. Tactics. What's the plan of action? 
  5. Reporting. What's being accomplished? 
  6. Outcome and evaluation. Beyond the metrics, what are the insights and business benefits arising from the communications? How does this help us refine the next cycle of the programme. How can these outcomes engage stakeholders in line with the value we create for them?

Better insights and recommendations are the key benefits of better evaluation. Business goals change, and analyst insights are increasingly used to help test and refine product development and firm up business objectives that can underpin more valuable goals. 

However, this requires diligent work at the start of each work planning cycle. AR often needs fight to get into the room, able to discuss strategy, relate them to goals and then show how objectives are measurable and clearly understood. Communication goals can seem nebulous: organisations want to increase awareness, and improve their reputation and trust. Interrogation and research are essential to avoid purely tactical and operational AR programmes, which don't align with desired benefits for the business.  

Share of Voice and Power of Voice should not dominate that evaluation. While Power of Voice approaches offer a huge advance by foregrounding the most authoritative content, there's more measures available. CCgroup's programmes involve dozens of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), because each business has different goals. For example, B2B tech firms high prioritise thought leadership, lead generation, base awareness, audience engagement, or reputation building. All the different goals need differing KPIs.  

A specific strength for us, because of CCgroup's marketing services business, is a freestanding process for helping in-house communications leaders to sell more robust measurements internally. The best measurement programmes are co-created with stakeholders. Doing so has increased our clients' investments in measurement by 27% over the last half-year, and that growth continues to accelerate. 

If you'd like to know more about this approach, we'll be recording a talk on AR measurement on January 24th. If you'd like to access that discussion, let me know.

Picture of Duncan Chapple

Written by Duncan Chapple

Over the last 20 years, hundreds of technology and solution providers have worked with Duncan Chapple to develop insight and advocacy from industry analysts. After working as an analyst and consultant at Ovum, Europe’s largest analyst firm, he held senior analyst relations roles in Omnicom, Deloitte, Octopus Group and Kea Company. He has co-authored two books on analyst relations. In his spare time, Duncan is an active alumnus of the University of California at Los Angeles, King’s College London and London Business School. He also volunteers with the Analyst Observatory at the University of Edinburgh Business School, advising on the annual Analyst Value Survey and Analyst Firm Awards.

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