Working with industry analysts — A how-to guide
- While PR professionals spend a great deal of time interacting with the media, fostering relationships with analysts is also an important aspect for helping our clients keep a leg up within any industry. Working with analysts can differ a great deal from working with reporters; for instance, while journalists need good ideas and concise commentary to write quickly and knowledgeably on any given topic, analysts want more in-depth information about your company. And if this is done correctly, analysts can become strong brand advocates and even impact buying decisions of potential customers.What do analysts do? Analysts seek to know all there is to know about a specific industry. With this knowledge, they engage with C-suite executives, industry experts and even the end-user community. Clients of analysts receive advice on strategy and trends, competitors’ moves and market threats and opportunities. Analysts also provide expert commentary to the media. As an example, VOXUS has worked with analyst Chetan Sharma and here he is providing commentary to NPR.
In short, analysts should be considered a vital part of any PR strategy. There is a high likelihood that analysts can influence key decision makers such as your clients, investors, potential customers. Below are some of the basics of building these relationships.
Basics of analyst relations
Keep analysts briefed on all relevant news. This will include your latest corporate announcements and any new customers or partnerships.
Be selective about the analysts firms you build relationships with. Select and focus on the analysts that are most influential in your industry.
Check in with analysts regularly. It is recommended that you touch base with analysts every six months to stay on their radars.
While analyst relations by itself is a process, the rewards for your company include mentions in reports, recommendations to potential customers and gained insight into the broader industry ecosystem.
Now that you know what analysts do and what differentiates them from reporters, you might be asking yourself how you can get the most out of your vendor briefings. In this post, as part two in the three-part series, here are details for how to prepare for a briefing in a way that will build a positive analyst relationship.
• Focus on thought leadership. Even though your interactions start with a vendor briefing, you’ll want to engage analysts at a peer-to-peer level. This means that you’ll have to rely on more than recycled messaging and generalities about your product or service. Be sure to discuss the industry as a whole and comment on any trends you and your company have uncovered.
• Provide data and statistics. Going along with thought leadership, provide analysts with meaningful and relevant industry-specific information. This is especially helpful to analysts since they write comprehensive reports about a market space as a whole.
• Share customer stories. Although it can be difficult to get a customer to talk, happy customers can be the best brand ambassadors. In your presentation to analysts, try to mix in implementation success stories. If your customers are wary about going on the record, you can reassure them most analysts are often happy keeping customer stories off the record. (Be sure to check about each analyst firms’ non-disclosure agreements before sharing any sensitive information.)
• Explain any new partnerships. While announcements about partnerships are rarely newsworthy, sharing this information helps analysts better understand your company strategies and gives them further insight into your industry.
• Check on non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Before sharing sensitive information with an analyst, be sure to see how their firm handles NDAs. While some analysts are happy keeping information off the record, others may consider all information discussed as public. You can check how the analyst handles NDAs on the vendor briefing information page of each firm’s website.
- In your analyst presentation, try to limit the number of slides to less than 10
- Analysts’ schedules fill up fast, so reach out several weeks in advance for a briefing
- Know how to answer the question: Who are your competitors?
By keeping these tips in mind, you should be able to start building positive relationships with analysts.
Here’s an introduction to a few top-tier analyst firms for a better idea of where you’ll want to focus your analyst relations energies. You’ll also see how analyst firms differ.
Gartner is an information technology research and advisory firm covering a variety of IT industries. Voxus has worked with this firm in areas such as mobile and wireless technologies, security and privacy, networking and communications.
- Plan to have a slide deck to accompany the briefing as the analysts will take notes directly on the presentation
- Gartner discourages the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), but analysts will keep strategic background information confidential and embargo news pending an announcement or press release
- All vendor briefings are recorded and made available to all analysts
Forrester is a research and advisory firm covering 13 different areas of business. Its analysts seek to gain a deep understanding in coverage areas such as eCommerce, financial services, media and entertainment, the public sector and more.
- Forrester analysts will want to hear about new products, changes in a business model, new partnerships and other applicable news
- Reach out two weeks ahead of your preferred briefing date as analyst schedules fill up fast
International Data Corporation (IDC)
IDC provides market intelligence and advises in the telecommunications and consumer technology markets. It has the specific goal of helping clients identify industry opportunities and trends globally.
- Meeting topics typically include product strategy updates, messaging sessions, and executive briefings from top-level management
- IDC is willing to sign an NDA, if appropriate, until the information discussed becomes publicly available
Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan provides market research and analysis, growth strategy consulting and corporate training services. It covers a variety of industries including information and communication technologies, energy and power supplies and more.
- The best way to request a vendor briefing with the firm may be to skip its contact form and reach out to your target analysts directly
As this is the final blog post in my three-part series on building positive relationships with analysts, hopefully you’ve learned what you need to start a successful analyst program. Just remember these most-important points: keep analysts up to date on all relevant news, be selective about the analysts you pursue, and check in regularly with them.