5 tips for a successful analyst briefing
During conversations with clients or prospects about an analyst relations programme and specialist skills related to an analyst relations practice, we often hear questions along the lines of, “But an analyst briefing, surely that’s like hosting a press interview?”
Not quite, no.
Industry analysts are a distinct group of influencers with deep specialist expertise in their segment of the technology market and have specific ways of working. A tailored approach is required to develop a strong relationship between an analyst and an executive, and regular, well-prepared and meticulously executed analyst briefings are at the core of such a relationship-building programme.
Let’s look at our five top tips for organising and facilitating a successful industry analyst briefing.
Prep, prep, prep
Compared to a ‘standard’ press interview, an analyst briefing requires a greater investment of time in preparation and pre-briefing of executives.
There is no set way to do this but a detailed briefing note containing an overview of an analyst’s background and a summary of relevant pieces of published research (including blogs and key social media posts) is essential, along with additional insights into their opinions on the subject matter in question. It is best practice to add some notes or thoughts on the analyst’s overall approach (e.g. formal/informal) gleaned from previous interactions.
An analyst briefing should ideally be part of an ongoing programme of interactions so, a quick snapshot of any key questions raised during previous briefings is worth flagging during an executive pre-briefing to facilitate a personalised approach.
2 Tailored slide deck
It is recommended to use a slide deck to introduce key company/division/product developments and updates. Bear in mind that you are speaking to an expert so content should be focused and detailed, with strong proof-points and (ideally) examples of customer implementation.
Information about your company’s vision, go-to-market strategy, key company stats and future roadmap are important too.
Analysts love to prepare for a briefing so slide decks should be sent across at least 24 hours before the meeting to facilitate their own preparation.
3 Build in time for Q&A (and stick to it)
An analyst briefing is longer than a press interview and more focused on a specific segment of the market. Industry analysts are a great source of industry expertise which they are willing to share so allowing time for gauging their opinions and market insights is worthwhile.
We recommend that executives dedicate at least 15 minutes of a 1-hour briefing to Q&A. This will provide suitable time for ideas exchange and gathering of feedback.
4 Impeccable logistics
Every business meeting (either in-person, on the phone or via an online platform) should be meticulously planned from a logistics point of view – analyst briefings are no exception.
Double-check those time zones (many analysts have global roles and are based around the world), dial-in details or online conference call settings. If you are planning to use an online platform, do opt for a secure, robust, and paid-for option to avoid any technical hiccups. Make sure your executives are familiar with the platform too as they are the ones who will normally be sharing their slide deck. Precious introductory minutes should be spent on building rapport and introducing all parties, rather than trying to make the screen share work!
Global analyst webinars are a good format for briefing larger groups of analysts on an important update. These will require several dry runs (and a back-up platform) to ensure everything goes smoothly on the big day.
5 Diligent follow-up
Ensure that any follow-up actions such as requests for additional information or materials are completed. Building relationships with analysts is a long-term, ongoing investment – follow-ups also present an opportunity to continue the conversation, showcase expertise and provide useful information/proof-points.
Analyst briefings are a fantastic platform for bringing your key target analysts up to speed on the strategic direction of your company and the maturity of your solutions. If executed well, they can also be an excellent source of expert knowledge and market insights that inform your strategic planning.
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