Analyst Relations


How Can Analyst Relations Help My Brand?

How Can Analyst Relations Help My Brand?

How Can Analyst Relations Help My Brand?

Whilst there are more obvious marketing and PR processes to help build your brand and raise brand awareness, third party relationship building shouldn’t be overlooked. Building relationships with influencers in your industry can be a powerful way to boost your brand awareness.

An example of this is often seen in the B2B tech industry with analyst relations – a specialist field that involves building relationships with industry analysts.

Can analyst relations help your brand?

Whilst your brand does incorporate the visual elements of your business such as logos and colours, the most important aspect of your brand is how you are perceived by your target audience. This includes aspects such as your reputation, how trustworthy you are, and if you provide quality products or services.

Although difficult to measure, these elements of your brand should not be neglected. Building this area of your brand can be done in multiple ways – with, for example, a thought leadership strategy.

 

“Every brand, regardless of industry, wants to be perceived as a credible player, and influencers are one of the best ways to build credibility. When an unaffiliated expert speaks positively about your brand, significant credibility is attained that is difficult to achieve in almost any other way.”

Michael A. Olguin – The Power of Third-Party Influencers.

Another way to build credibility with your audience would be through independent experts. This is often seen in the B2B tech industry with analyst relations.

Raising awareness of your company amongst an influential group of people such as industry analysts to help them understand what your product is and what issues it can solve will ultimately, when well executed, lead to wider brand awareness and greater credibility.

pink car for a blog about driving brand awareness through analyst engagement
Drive analyst endorsement

 Once your chosen analysts understand your brand and buy into it, they may become an advocate, publicly endorsing your brand and ultimately boosting brand awareness amongst potential customers.

This can be via favourable messaging in analyst reports, in their blogs, presentations, social media posts, or interviews with the media.

Using third party endorsement to raise brand awareness or reputation in this way isn’t a new approach – from the 1860s to the late 1960s, Cadbury and Rowntree did not explicitly associate their brands with any fair-trade certification label or their philanthropic work. Instead, publicity about these companies and their entrepreneurs made indirect associations with Quaker principles such as quality, purity, peace and ending slavery.

This ultimately increased brand recognition and the named companies being associated with fairness, quality, and good work. Cadburys and Rowntree remain two of the most trusted brands to this day.

And trust is what building your brand all comes down to; trusted companies are profitable, sustainable companies.

Fostering buy-in and endorsement on the part of the analyst community through a well-executed Analyst Relations (AR) programme will ultimately help win the trust of your target audience.

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READ MORE: Why your business needs a communication strategy

Adding Analyst Relations to Your Toolbox

It’s never wise to put all your eggs in one basket. Having a variety of growth techniques will help you build the brand from several fronts at once, even through market fluctuations and other changes.

To start forming your analyst relations strategy, reach out to our specialists today.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download The Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations and how to ensure its success

READ this post: How Analyst Relations Helps Your Business Thrive

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and how to ensure its success

The Dos and Don'ts of Analyst Relations to help build credibility with industry influencers.

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AR: Tips For Growing Successful Relationships

AR: Tips For Growing Successful Relationships

AR: Tips For Growing Successful Relationships

Professionals working within any communications field will know how to nurture successful relationships – as will any CEO or executive, for that matter. So, what makes Analyst Relations (AR) different when it comes to growing successful relationships with industry analysts?

Well, for the most part, it pays just to be professional, friendly, and prompt – just like you would with any business communications. But there are a couple of other things you need to know when it comes to getting the absolute best results from your AR programme by building good relationships.

Here are a few tips.

Listen and learn

The foundation for any good relationship is to listen first, then talk. This is something to keep in mind in all areas of business but is particularly important if you want to learn how to build successful long-term relationships with analysts. You need to really listen to what they are saying, what they are interested in seeing more of, and their perceptions.

A great way to gain a better understanding of the analysts you want to work with is an analyst audit. An analyst audit is an in-depth look into industry analysts’ perceptions of your brand and your industry. Understanding the views, opinions and perceptions of your key analysts will enable you to better engage with them and demonstrate you have truly taken the time to listen.

pink tech woman thinking
Take care with materials

When you are collecting information to send to an analyst, or prepping for a meeting or presentation, special attention should be dedicated to the quality of materials and slides.

Analysts really dislike overly promotional/’salesy’ information and want to know what your technology does and which problems it solves. An existing company brochure or sales presentation are very unlikely to satisfy the needs of an analyst looing to dig deep into your organisation.

Provide white-glove treatment

White glove treatment is almost the norm when it comes to analysts. In the tech world, analysts are top tier influencers so ensure all communications with analysts are handled with extreme care.

One of the most important aspects of white-glove treatment is excellent communication – ensure every interaction you have with an analyst is meaningful, insightful, and convenient for them.

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READ MORE: Why your business needs a communication strategy

Make a plan

It’s wise to have a plan beforehand on how you will approach analysts and have a way to record your communications – this will go a long way towards building a relationship that is fruitful for both sides.

An AR programme will help you decide which analysts you will reach out to, how you will reach them, record your objectives, and keep track of your progress. Being organised in this way and being able to quickly recall when you last spoke to someone, and what you spoke about enables you to develop a personal and unique relationship with each analyst.

Follow their work dynamic

Finally, it is important to align with an analysts’ focus area and working patterns. For example, an analyst will usually ask lots of questions during or after a presentation so ensure any meetings are arranged with plenty of time for in-depth discussions.

Most analysts also prefer to receive any presentation or other materials in advance so ensure these are sent well ahead of a presentation and not the same morning.

Also, analysts are based all over the world so keep in mind their location/time zone/public holidays when you are trying to arrange meetings or presentations. Working to their time will be extremely well received!

Adding Analyst Relations to Your Toolbox

It’s never wise to put all your eggs in one basket. Having a variety of growth techniques will help you build the brand from several fronts at once, even through market fluctuations and other changes.

To start forming your analyst relations strategy, reach out to our specialists today.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download The Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations and how to ensure its success

READ this post: How Analyst Relations Helps Your Business Thrive

look at this Infographic: How to interview like a pro

The Definitive Guide To Analyst Relations cover

The Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations

and how to ensure its success

The Dos and Don'ts of Analyst Relations to help build credibility with industry influencers.

Download

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The pitfalls of applying PR best practice to AR

The pitfalls of applying PR best practice to AR

The pitfalls of applying PR best practice to AR

Analyst Relations (AR) has matured as a discipline over the past 10 –15 years, with most companies either employing a dedicated AR resource, or outsourcing parts of their AR programme to external parties on a strategic and/or tactical level. However, PR best practices still get confused with Analyst Relations best practices, with CEOs, CMOs, comms leaders, or other stakeholders expecting AR strategies, activities or success stories to resemble PR.

While AR and PR should certainly be aligned to deliver the desired communication outcomes, there are some pitfalls associated with ‘copy-pasting’ PR best practices to the world of AR. So, what are they and how can we avoid them?

Avoid being coverage-driven

The most common pitfall is to do with the outcomes and measurement element where the success of AR simply cannot be assessed based just on ‘coverage’ in analyst reports, blogs or on social media channels.

Measurement in AR requires a substantially different approach and any AR programme that is solely built on generating mentions in analyst reports profoundly misses the nature and potential of AR to generate awareness and build advocacy within the industry analyst community. Instead of a coverage-driven approach, we recommend developing a bespoke programme of engagements with your key analysts that will (if executed well) result in coverage – in the long term.

PR spring versus AR long distance race

Forget ‘quick wins’

The words ‘long term’ noted above are particularly important. If PR and AR were attending the Olympic Games, PR would certainly be a sprint runner as opposed to AR competing in the middle-or long-distance races. Quick wins in AR are nigh impossible to achieve and, while a well-thought through media launch will generate immediate PR impact, building relationships with analysts requires a more substantial investment of time and longer timeframes.

Rather than launching your new brand to the AR community with a ‘big bang’, do spend time researching and surveying the analysts that really matter to your business. Get to know them before you introduce them to your company’s value proposition, solutions and customers, and tailor your approach to their individual expectations. If you do incorporate analyst outreach into your ‘mega launch’, do make sure analysts are managed separately and pre-briefed well in advance.

Focus on your company’s value proposition instead of industry trends

Perhaps the greatest pitfall is related to the actual content and substance of engagements. Journalists normally value short and snappy ‘soundbites’ as opposed to lengthy product descriptions. They are looking for thought leadership and industry insights. Meanwhile, analysts certainly value industry expertise, but because they are the industry thought leaders, they will not value your executives making general claims about where the market is going or describe the latest industry trends.

The golden PR standard of a 30-minute interview focusing on market issues and news simply won’t cut it. Analysts expect a detailed presentation of your company’s go-to market strategy, solutions, customer case studies and future roadmap. They are interested in getting to know your company’s strengths and weaknesses, they want to learn about the conversations your business leaders are having with customers and prospects, as well as finding out what problem your product is solving.

As a result, prepping for journalist interviews differs from the preparation for analyst briefings. Going into an analyst briefing without a well-thought through presentation covering the main talking points above will make your company look ill-prepared.

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READ: Top 5 tips on conducting an analyst perception audit

Don’t overdo the news

PR is news-driven and very time sensitive so every good PR practitioner will never miss editorial deadlines and will align their press outreach with the timings of a busy editorial day (e.g. those all-important editorial meetings).

Analyst work tends to be (amongst other things) research-driven, with timescales stretching up to six months. As a result of the difference between a typical news cycle and an analyst research calendar, the cadence of engagements differs too. Analysts that cover your specific industry niche will want to hear your updates regularly, usually once per quarter or at least twice per year. That being said, do make sure to pre-brief them on major announcements!

Analyst relations runs to a different cadence compared to PR

When it comes to news (i.e. your drumbeat of news releases), analysts certainly like to be kept in the loop, but it is best practice to summarise your main announcements and developments into dedicated analyst updates, usually in the format of quarterly analyst newsletters.

At EC-PR we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download Our Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations and how it can work for your business

READ Curious and want to get started? Read Analyst Relations – where do I begin?

look Check out the B2B Tech PR Sectors we operate in

to receive regular insights on how to make your PR work harder.

The Definitive Guide To Analyst Relations cover

The Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations

and how to ensure its success

The Dos and Don'ts of Analyst Relations to help build credibility with industry influencers.

Download

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Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

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How Are Analyst Relations Different To Public Relations?

How Are Analyst Relations Different To Public Relations?

How Are Analyst Relations Different To Public Relations?

We briefly touched on the difference between analyst relations and public relations in a previous post but will now examine the differences a little more closely.

Our previous article concluded that there are lots of differences between AR and PR.

You may be wondering then, why we are bothering to discuss the differences at all if the two fields are so different?

Because AR is in the same arena as PR and is a service offered by some PR agencies or professionals, people want to know what the two have in common. There also tends to be some misunderstanding regarding activities or outcomes – especially amongst CEOs, CMOs, comms leaders, and marketing professionals.

orange apples
What do AR and PR have in common? 

The primary link between AR and PR is that both fields require many of the same skills needed to bring together an effective strategy or programme.

A PR professional will also be well versed in effectively communicating with others and cultivating mutually beneficial relationships – skills any AR pro will also have mastered. 

A very simplified way to compare the two is to think of AR and PR as both being ways to communicate with an audience, albeit in two quite different ways and which is why PR best practices can’t be confused with AR best practice.

According to our own AR expert, Alenka: “While AR and PR should certainly be aligned to deliver the desired communication outcomes, there are some pitfalls associated with copy-pasting PR best practices to the world of AR.”

Let’s take a look at the key ways AR is different to PR.

While AR and PR should certainly be aligned to deliver the desired communication outcomes, there are some pitfalls associated with copy-pasting PR best practices to the world of AR.

3 key reasons AR is quite different to PR

1. Analysts require facts and data

Although analysts will indeed need to be up to date with your latest news and developments, the channels, and ways you will deliver this are different to PR.

Analysts are not receptive to marketing messages – they will be looking to engage with you and your businesses executives to thoroughly understand, amongst other things, what your product or service does, how it is applied, your unique selling points, information on future developments, and strong proof points.

The messages crafted to sell products and services are not appropriate or useful to analysts looking to understand your business, and where you fit in the wider market and amongst vendors.

In a well-planned AR programme, relevant content and the substance of engagements is key to success. Whilst PR people might be used to delivering attention-grabbing, short messages, a seasoned AR pro knows analysts expect more.

2. The target audience

PR can target a wide-ranging audience depending on organisational goals, but analyst relations target a specific and quite small group of people…analysts.

This group is not only smaller, but they are looking to receive different information in a specific way and that information will be used in a different way.

As mentioned, analysts are looking for, amongst other things, information on your business, product data and information, product roadmaps, and information on how your customers are using your products and services.

Unlike a PR campaign, this information needs to be formatted in a factual way and through the appropriate channels. Interactions with analysts can take many forms from sharing presentations to holding an analyst briefing.

3. Measuring AR success is fundamentally different

AR is no different to PR in that if you are going to invest time and money, you need a way to demonstrate what you are doing is a successful and worthwhile activity for your business. However, AR goalposts and PR goals are vastly different. The timelines on which goals are achieved may also be much, much longer with analyst relations.

apples and oranges pink

Adding Analyst Relations to Your Toolbox

It’s never wise to put all your eggs in one basket. Having a variety of growth techniques will help you build the brand from several fronts at once, even through market fluctuations and other changes.

To start forming your analyst relations strategy, reach out to our specialists today.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download The Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations and how to ensure its success

READ this post: How Analyst Relations Helps Your Business Thrive

look at this Infographic: How to interview like a pro

The Definitive Guide To Analyst Relations cover

The Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations

and how to ensure its success

The Dos and Don'ts of Analyst Relations to help build credibility with industry influencers.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

EC-PR Packages - B2B PR Pricing Guide - front cover

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Our transparent guide to B2B PR pricing for tech brands.

Download

What Are Analyst Relations?

What Are Analyst Relations?

What Are Analyst Relations?

Analyst relations, or AR, is a field of communications commonly used by B2B tech businesses to establish a reputation and build brand awareness amongst industry experts, known as industry analysts. Amongst other things, analysts influence sales in the tech industry. 

Businesses looking to raise their profile amongst their target audience can utilise an AR programme to effectively communicate key strengths and unique selling points to analysts and build mutually beneficial relationships.

For tech companies willing to thoroughly understand and utilise AR, the benefits can be huge.

What is the difference between AR and PR?

Perhaps you’re thinking AR sounds quite like PR? Whilst the two fields have some similarities and both lie within the wider area of communications, they are quite different in terms of audience and the techniques used.

AR requires information to be delivered to a certain group of people – so does PR but the audiences, and therefore the approach required are completely different.

What does an analyst do? 

In the same way that PR focuses on building your relationship with a target audience, analyst relations build relationships with analysts.

Analysts operate in the IT/tech industries performing primary and secondary research to determine market descriptions, trends, and forecasts. They will also offer services to both end-user businesses and tech vendors which can range from impartial advice on buying decisions to supporting new product development.

Because the IT and tech industries are often complex, there is high demand for the information and services offered by analysts. Buying decisions are often a significant investment, so companies want to be as informed as possible before signing any contracts.

Buyers trust analysts so it makes sense that any business in the tech sector should want to build a relationship with analysts.

However, it isn’t quite so easy to engage with analysts, let alone turn them into advocates. Analysts are interested in gathering facts, trends, and information – not marketing collateral. To reach analysts and make the relationship beneficial for them and your business, it is best practice to put together an analyst relations programme.

eye looking through torn paper
What is an AR programme?

An analyst relations programme is a way for you to formally strategise which analysts you will reach out to, how you will reach them, record your objectives, and keep track of your progress.

Your programme could consist of activities such as analyst briefings, and inquiries, an AR summit, product launch pre-briefings, consulting engagements, and much more.

Like a PR strategy, an AR strategy needs a solid foundation of research. It also needs buy-in within your business from the relevant people (product managers, your CEO and other executives).

The first step before your programme is to gather the information from within your organisation that is most likely to appeal to the analysts you want to engage with.

The quality of your programme can be increased significantly by performing an analyst perception audit to gain deeper insights into the views and opinions of your chosen analysts. This will help your business engage with analysts on a deeper level and increase the effectiveness of your AR programme.

Who can help you engage with analysts?

The role of analysts and analyst relations continues to grow and change alongside the technology market. For tech businesses looking to get a foot in the door, having in-house AR specialists wouldn’t really be feasible – even though the number of people you would engage with your AR programme would be a small group of individuals or analyst firms, developing the kind of relationship required is best left to specialists.

For that reason, there are now agencies offering AR services and professionals offering services on a freelance basis.

Because PR professionals already have some transferrable skills required for AR and both professions fall under the communications umbrella, some PR agencies now employ AR specialists and offer analyst relations services.

At EC-PR, a B2B PR agency working with clients in the tech industry, analyst relations are a natural expansion of our services as we are well placed, informed and up to date on all things technology and AR. We even have our very own AR specialist.

Adding Analyst Relations to Your Toolbox

It’s never wise to put all your eggs in one basket. Having a variety of growth techniques will help you build the brand from several fronts at once, even through market fluctuations and other changes.

To start forming your analyst relations strategy, reach out to our specialists today.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download The Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations and how to ensure its success

READ this post: How Analyst Relations Helps Your Business Thrive

look at this Infographic: How to interview like a pro

The Definitive Guide To Analyst Relations cover

The Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations

and how to ensure its success

The Dos and Don'ts of Analyst Relations to help build credibility with industry influencers.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

EC-PR Packages - B2B PR Pricing Guide - front cover

How much does PR cost?

Our transparent guide to B2B PR pricing for tech brands.

Download

Top 5 tips on conducting an analyst perception audit

Top 5 tips on conducting an analyst perception audit

Top 5 tips on conducting an analyst perception audit

The word ‘audit’ may sound slightly intimidating if you’re working in finance but in the case of an analyst audit, it simply indicates an in-depth piece of research into industry analysts’ perceptions of your brand and your industry.

There are several important reasons why a company would invest resources in conducting this type of research. An analyst perception audit is invaluable in informing your analyst relations (AR) planning and also serves as an important part of any AR professional’s measurement framework. Crucially, gaining insights into the views and opinions of your key analysts will help you and your executives to engage with them more effectively, increasing the quality and impact of your AR programme.

Approaching an analyst perception audit requires careful preparation, execution, analysis and reporting. We share our top five tips to maximise its outcomes.

Think long-term

Changes in perception take time. It is highly recommended to conduct an analyst audit before the start of an AR programme, and then once per year to monitor shifts in perception.

Social media researchers often refer to this type of research as longitudinal, meaning that data is collected at multiple points in time to detect any changes. As such, at least one part of the questionnaire needs to be kept the same over longer periods of time to allow for comparison of data over time.

An analyst audit is a key tool in your AR measurement toolbox and should complement other, more short-term KPIs, such as number of engagements and their sentiment, to provide a comprehensive measurement framework.

Analyst perception audit longtitudinal study

Be strategic with your questionnaire

While an audit should not take more than 15 minutes to complete (analysts’ time is precious!), do come up with a list of key strategic areas that you’d like to explore. In addition to uncovering analyst perceptions of your company (the brand, its value proposition, product portfolio, go-to market strategy, geographical footprint, etc.), this is an opportunity to find out more.

Additional focus areas can include your competition (who the analysts see as your main competitors, the names may be different to what you had envisaged!) and the wider industry. This is a chance to ask the question about key industry trends and drivers that will shape the face of your industry in 5 – 10 years’ time.

Some more tactical topics may include upcoming reports and events (remember those analyst summits?) to find out what your target analysts are working on and where you can engage with them in the future. 

3 Focus on quality over quantity

As we can see, a significant amount of time should be invested in survey design (the process of creating the audit questionnaire). Another area that requires careful consideration is your sample.

AR programmes tend to engage with a limited number of people so sample sizes for analyst perception audits tend to be relatively small too. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but typically an analyst perception audit garnering 10 – 20 responses is considered robust enough.

Make sure the sample includes as many of your tier one analysts as possible as they are the ones that know your company best and are deeply knowledgeable about your market segment. If you’re repeating the audit every year, do aim to include as many analysts from previous samples as possible to maximise the comparability of data.

full picture from analyst perception audit

4 Combine data collection methods

Data collection methods vary and they all have their pros and cons. A well-designed online survey clearly has its advantages in terms of efficiency and convenience. Analysts can fill in the audit questionnaire at their leisure, while AR professionals can analyse results quickly by exporting them straight into an Excel spreadsheet.

However, in our experience, 1-1 interviews (usually conducted over the phone or via web conferencing) have some very strong benefits too. They not only enable you to get to know your key analysts better and strengthen your relationship with them, but it also allows you to tease out additional insights and highly valuable nuggets of information. Interviews tend to generate richer insights that may not appear in responses submitted online but, on the downside, they are obviously much more time consuming.

If you’re really pressed for time, an online survey combined with interviews with key analysts is a good compromise.

5 Utilise throughout the year

It goes without saying that key findings should be presented in a clearly laid out and engaging format, combining key perception stats with qualitative insights, and, if possible, comparing results with previous audits and highlighting any changes in perception.

An analyst audit is a valuable piece of work only if its findings are socialised across the organisation and utilised for strategic planning and analyst engagement on an ongoing basis. It’s possibly the strongest weapon to showcase the effectiveness of your AR programme and drive its continuous evolution.

analyst perfecption audit get full spectrum

At EC-PR we are passionate about B2B communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download Our Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations and how it can work for your business

READ Curious and want to get started? Read Analyst Relations – where do I begin?

look Check out the B2B Tech PR Sectors we operate in

to receive regular insights on how to make your PR work harder.

The Definitive Guide To Analyst Relations cover

The Definitive Guide to Analyst Relations

and how to ensure its success

The Dos and Don'ts of Analyst Relations to help build credibility with industry influencers.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

Your definitive media lens guide

This PR guide provides a framework for B2B businesses to identify their sphere of maximum potential influence.

Download