7 Questions to Ask Before Trying DIY Analyst Relations
Analyst relations is simply too critical to simply do yourself or leave in inexperienced hands. Analyst relations could make or break marketing efforts for your technology products. Their objective and expert insights greatly influence technology buyers’ decisions, and your ability to influence these influencers could mean the difference between analyst coverage/ recommendation of your product and...well, the absence of it. Before you say, “How hard can it be?” ask yourself these questions:
Do you have the depth of knowledge, experience - and confidence - to impress the analysts?
Analyst Relations involves carrying out a series of activities - vendor briefings, industry event meetings/demos/presentations, ongoing information exchange, research reports, and whitepapers, etc. - that maximize interaction with the appropriate analysts to increase your credibility and influence. Pitching your product to an analyst - usually already overwhelmed by similar pitches from your competitors - is an art and a challenge. Are you up to speed on the players in your vertical? Can you distinguish your solution?
Do you have the time to manage the AR program - and still do your real job?
As mentioned above, analysts are a busy lot and are usually not available on short notice. That means you have to plan your analyst relations activities in advance - including sending your briefing invitations at least six weeks before your preferred briefing dates, making time to send follow-up emails, not to mention doing all the preparations for a knock-your-socks-off briefing that will engage analysts, remove doubts, and win analysts’ hearts and minds. Can you do all these without neglecting your other duties?
Do you know how to treat industry analysts as opposed to media reporters?
Interacting the same way with both analysts and journalist is a common mistake - resulting in not achieving the industry influence or media coverage you were aiming for. Analysts and media play different roles in the tech industry ecosystem; they operate differently, require different types of information, and exert influence in different ways. Each exists for different reasons - the journalists to be the first with a good scoop, the analysts to gain insights they can use to advise their clients on which technology to purchase.
Do you think coverage is the ultimate goal of analyst relations?
If you think so, and if you’re just a new or small IT company, you might be disappointed that all your analyst relations efforts have not borne the fruit of even a mention in an analyst report. You could then easily give up or misdirect future AR activities. But AR professionals know better. They know that the long-term goal of analyst relations is to develop trust and strengthen credibility, to attain a sounding board that will guide product development - and they can direct their AR strategy accordingly.
Do you think beautiful PowerPoint slides is the be-all and end-all of a briefing?
To analysts, tons of content are okay, but a comprehensive, in-depth discussion of your technology’s vision, differentiation, business potential is even more critical. More than an elevator pitch, analysts love questions, lots of questions; and even simple, informal chatting can result in unexpected pearls of analyst wisdom, candid feedback, market tips, and helpful devil’s advocating.
Do you feel you should wine and dine analysts to get their attention?
While you’re sure to get your calls answered quickly if you’re a paying client of an analyst group, don’t feel compelled to provide VIP treatment in your next product conference or expo. Analysts will appreciate all this, but they will value a truly substantial phone call about how your technology can make a real difference in their clients’ lives.
Do you research your analyst before the briefing?
The analyst ecosystem is a diverse one. Some analysts are dry and analytical, and others are more engaging. There are those who can deliver straight talk and unvarnished truth and those who can encourage and inspire. Before the briefing, always check who’s coming from the analyst’s side: if the briefing is focused on technical features, you’ll need to get your tech people/engineers involved.
If you answered all the above questions with some trepidation, then it’s time to outsource your analyst relations program to the pros. K2 works with top analyst groups, successfully leveraging their influence for its clients. Experts in public relations, social media, and digital, inbound and content marketing, and analyst relations, K2 can act as your full-service AR partner. You’ll benefit from our:
- In-depth knowledge of the analyst environment
- Track record of excellent relationships with the top analyst firms in your industry
- Strong IT technology experience and knowledge of IT industry marketing and positioning
- Experienced counsel through the entire analyst relations process - from connecting you to top analyst firms to targeting the right analysts, from briefing strategies and preparation to comprehensive reporting of analyst feedback
- Understanding of your competitive environment
- Expertise and experience in continuous analyst relationship building
Contact K2 to get your AR house in order.