For B2B tech companies, nearly every media relations strategy also includes an analyst relations plan for industry analyst outreach. But why? Analysts aren’t part of the media and conversations with these individuals don’t typically result in editorial coverage. However, analysts understand their field of interest better than anyone, making these relationships extremely valuable.
You’re likely already familiar with Gartner, Forrester and some of the other major players. In addition, many industries also have smaller research firms that fit a more particular niche. These firms can provide insight, identify trends, and supply credibility to products and companies looking to make a splash. Their depth of knowledge is a valuable resource, and fortunately, analysts are always looking to gather more information—giving your organization a chance to learn and share new data all the time.
So, what is analyst relations, exactly? It’s a strategy for communicating with analysts who work for independent research and consulting firms. These analysts typically do one of three things: advise end-user technology buyers on strategic purchases, evaluate financial data to track market share and industry growth, or help vendors better position themselves in the market by offering feedback on messaging and marketing programs.
Some companies maintain paid relationships with analysts for regular conversation and guidance on business strategy in relation to their respective industries. Others prefer to go the unpaid route, which saves money in the budget, but adds a bit of difficulty when trying to get your company in front of an analyst. Because industry analysts are in such high demand, they can afford to be picky, and paying customers typically get first dibs.
Regardless of your company’s relationship with analyst firms, there are a few things you need to consider when developing an analyst relations strategy. Here’s a list of tips to get you started:
As mentioned above, analysts are in high demand. Their schedules often book up weeks, if not months, in advance. Don’t wait until you’ve launched a new product to present it to an analyst. By planning ahead, you’ll be able to give them a preview of what’s coming, putting your company at the top of their mind the next time they’re asked about the movers and shakers in your industry. Even better, by making the connection ahead of your product launch, you’ll likely receive valuable feedback on the state of your industry, as well as advice on your go-to-market plans.
Analysts have a great deal of knowledge about their chosen field. They likely already know all of the surface-level information you might present to a journalist unfamiliar with your business. If they don’t know something, they’ll ask; your focus should be on sharing information they don’t have. Come to your call or meeting ready with relevant data, helpful visuals, and an educated perspective. This doesn’t just apply to your company, either—be ready to share insight on competitors, market trends, and more. The analyst’s job is to understand the industry as a whole; your job is to help them develop that expertise.
Maintain the relationship
A good analyst is worth his weight in gold. Try to keep up the relationship by periodically touching base with company news, industry insights and observations on market trends and competitor moves. It’s also acceptable to occasionally ask for the same in return. A long-term relationship with an insightful analyst is beneficial to both parties, so don’t let the water run dry—stay in touch and reap the rewards.
If you’re planning a product launch, want some insight on a trend in your market or just want to discuss the industry, start building an analyst relations plan today—they’re a wealth of information just waiting for your input.
Want to know how BLASTmedia can help you develop an analyst relations strategy? Contact Lindsey Groepper to learn more!