Influence the Influencers – Getting on the Analyst Radar
Building relationships with industry analysts is important for marketing, PR, product development and overall business strategy. The analysts are looked upon for their knowledge of industry trends, product recommendations and they frequently influence buyer purchase decision.
Analysts deal with countless numbers of vendors each day. Everyone wants to be in the Forrester Wave, on the Gartner Magic Quadrant and mentioned in the slew of reports that come out during any given year. Unfortunately, this is not always as simple as asking for coverage.
Getting on the radar and staying on the radar means having an Analyst Relations strategy and dedicating time and resources to engaging the analysts on a regular basis. One of the first things to do is identify the most relevant analysts covering your marketspace.
Once you’ve identified and prioritized your analysts, you can begin building a relationship. Regularly brief these analysts who are covering your marketspace and speaking with your potential clients with relevant information. And, do this often. It is very important to stay top of mind and in order to accomplish this you must keep the analysts abreast of anything that is news worthy. Launch a new version with updated or new functionality, schedule a briefing and provide a product demonstration. Close a big deal with a client, schedule a briefing and share the details and reason why the client chose you over the competition.
Don’t resort to sending the analysts emails with your press releases. Get them on the phone and engage them with your story. If you are doing great things and your solution serves a purpose in a particular marketspace, they will pay attention and they will remember you.
Ask the analysts for feedback on your briefings. Are you briefing them enough? What type of information would they like you to provide? Would they like to speak with some of your clients? At the end of each briefing call ask the analyst questions about how they prefer to interact with you and your team. Don’t assume you are giving them enough information. There may be something they need in their research or something that will help them understand you better. The more targeted information you can provide to each analyst, the better they will understand your solution and the more likely you will get mentioned in research and recommended to their clients.
Be honest. During briefings you may be asked questions about your product’s functionality, your customer base or even your revenue. If you are fortunate enough to participate in a research report, you will definitely be asked for this information. It is always tempting to embellish the number of customers you have or your revenue or even say “yes” when asked about a specific feature. However, it is best to be honest. Just because you don’t have a feature or your customer base is smaller than the competition, does not mean you will be excluded. It does mean that you won’t risk poor coverage or even be banned from future research for not telling the truth.
Other ways to engage with analysts include scheduling an Analyst Day and inviting the top analysts from your primary marketspace, scheduling inquiries with key analysts in an effort to involve them in your business strategy and gain their feedback, attending industry events sponsored by the analyst groups, monitoring research reports and evaluating how you might fit in and staying up to date on the trends that the analysts follow so your interactions remain relevant.
Engaging with analysts does require dedicated time and resources. It’s very difficult for an employee with an already full plate of activities to build a quality relationship with the analyst community. Whether your organization has an Analyst Relations program that is well established or you are just launching an AR strategy, reach out and let’s talk about how we can position your solution and organization as an industry leader.