Analyst Relations


Why Analyst Summits will remain important post-Covid

Why Analyst Summits will remain important post-Covid

Why Analyst Summits will remain important post-Covid

I may not be the only one who finds myself occasionally reminiscing about the pre-Covid era of travelling and attending industry events. It was in late spring of 2017 when I organised the first ZTEsoft (re-branded to Whale Cloud) Industry Analyst Summit in Nice. The location and timing of the analyst summit was not a coincidence as it was aligned with TM Forum’s annual conference in the city, but our venue of Château De Crémat towering spectacularly above the French Riviera certainly added a touch of glamour.

We may or may not see events of this (rather lavish) kind again, but I would argue that dedicated industry analyst summits, be it physical events, or a combination of online and on site (hybrid) events, will continue to play an important part in any ambitious and comprehensive analyst relations programme in the post-Covid world.

remote analyst briefing

Let’s look at my five top reasons why specialist industry analyst summits will still be valuable.

Focus

Analyst briefings and other engagements, be it enquiries, product deep-dives, or advisory sessions are fundamental to building trusted relationships which educate and inform key industry analysts, as well as gathering their in-depth industry insights. But, capturing analysts’ attention with a dedicated event—an analyst summit—will create a greater mindshare, boost awareness and encourage analyst advocacy.

2 Immersion

Your company most likely speaks to analysts regularly, providing those much-needed updates on new customers, partnerships, product launches, go-to market strategy and roadmap. While these activities, spread throughout the year, provide a 360˚ overview of your organisation, an analyst summit (usually organised once per year) consolidates key updates into a comprehensive agenda that immerses the audience into your brand and value proposition.

One of the objectives of most analyst relations programmes is to build analyst confidence in your ability to execute and deliver value. By opening the stage to your customers and partners, analysts can hear their first-hand experiences, and ask questions about the use cases, challenges and outcomes associated with your technology.

round table briefing

3 Relationships

In-person interactions are the most effective way to nurture relationships and build rapport. As such, analyst summits are a perfect opportunity to strengthen relationships between analysts, AR practitioners and executives in the long term. Analysts will value some face time with your executives that provides an opportunity for honest dialogue in an informal setting.

By supplementing one-too-many presentations, panel sessions and keynotes with pre-booked 1-1 meetings with experts that cover their specific subject area, you will ensure the event becomes a valuable investment of time from an analyst’s perspective.

4 White-glove treatment

There are relationships that you may want to nurture particularly carefully. An analyst summit presents a unique opportunity for treating your (tier one) analysts to a white-glove service. This treatment may take the shape of a dedicated evening programme (a VIP dinner or reception), a 1-1 meeting with your company’s CEO, or simply some extra care and attention devoted to the development of personalised agendas.

analyst summit relationship building

5 Momentum

Companies often talk about their market momentum but that is an achievement that is often hard to pin down and certainly means more than just double-digit growth and impressive numbers on a slide deck. Momentum is a sum total of your raving fans, a growing ecosystem, innovation, happy employees, and so much more. It is hard to demonstrate it online, even with a multitude of formats and an impressive webcast.

Some companies decide to organise analyst summits as separate tracks of their annual conferences. One of the major benefits of going down this route is that analysts get to see the full picture of your organisation and its ‘momentum’. They can strike up spontaneous conversations with your fans, the developer community, journalists or product managers, observe the atmosphere and soak in the ‘buzz’. If your company is truly solving business challenges and unlocking new value, analysts will not only hear it and see it, but feel it too.

These are just some of the reasons why analyst summits will remain an important AR platform to drive analyst advocacy and strengthen analysts’ confidence in your capabilities.

And who wouldn’t want to chat telco transformation on a sunny terrace in Nice again? I certainly would! smiley

Nice France

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

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5 tips for a successful analyst briefing

5 tips for a successful analyst briefing

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.

analyst relations briefings.part of ongoing investment

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.

analyst briefing source of expert knowledge

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.

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.

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

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look Check out the B2B Tech PR Sectors we operate in

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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.

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The Definitive Media Lens Guide 2021 pdf

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Analyst Relations – where do I begin?

Analyst Relations – where do I begin?

Analyst Relations – where do I begin?

As a tech start-up or scale-up, you may be wondering how to approach industry analyst relations (AR), a practice of relationship building in the tech industry that is seemingly (but only seemingly) the preserve of large vendors.

True, you do need a strategic resource, and to invest time and effort in developing relationships with analysts – the expert advisers on how, where and why IT-related products and services are bought and used. There is no reason though why a growing tech company could not establish mutually beneficial relationships with industry analysts and gain their mindshare.

So, what are the first and essential steps towards successful AR? Read our top tips below.

Securing executive buy-in and ‘selling’ AR within your organisation

An analyst relations programme will require a cross-departmental effort as well as support from senior executives who will also act as analyst relations spokespeople. Securing financial investment and investment of time and effort by senior executives and product managers is key.

The first step is to eliminate the misconception that analysts are just a more ‘corporate’ version of journalists and can be ‘covered’ by PR. Too often, analyst briefings are tagged onto press days or, worse still, analysts are invited to executive briefings when the response from journalists is low.

Industry analysts require a dedicated, strategic and sustained effort that is managed by AR professionals who have the required tools, know-how and access to executives and product managers in order to be able to drive a strong AR programme. This is the only way to ensure analysts receive the right information (with an appropriate level of detail) at the right time and through appropriate channels.

AR training for spokespeople

Industry analysts are extremely knowledgeable in their particular segment of the market, allowing them to influence, on average, from 40-60% of all IT buying decisions. As such, their views and perspectives are highly focused and insightful. Conversations with analysts tend to be longer (usually one hour) and more detailed compared to press interviews, with analysts expecting an in-depth discussion rather than a classic press Q&A.

Your company spokespeople need to be prepared to interact with analysts in a way that meets their requirements and generates value both for your company and the analyst. An AR-focused training session will bring your executives up to speed with analysts’ ways of working and enable them to forge long-term partnerships (sometimes even friendships!)

AR audit

As with every investment, you will be expected to demonstrate impact and showcase the value of your AR activity. An analyst audit establishes a benchmark against which progress can be measured over a certain period of time, usually a year.  

An audit is an in-depth survey of your key analysts (they are a friendly and helpful bunch!) on what they think about your organisation, your products, market performance, competitive advantage and the industry at large. Such insights not only serve as a reference point when measuring the impact of your AR programme but can also inform your AR and go-to-market strategies.

Tools and monitoring

A robust targeting, monitoring and reporting tool that keeps a detailed record of all engagements is a key component of an AR professional’s foundational toolkit and critical to a professionally executed AR programme.

AR is all about nurturing close relationships with (often) a relatively small group of people so, having an easy-to-use tool that provides a 360° overview of all interactions with an analyst enables a more personalised and tailored approach. Ideally, your platform should allow you to log all engagements, add notes, and serve as a searchable database with analytic capabilities.

When these core AR building blocks are put in place, you are ready to develop and implement an AR programme of activities spanning (in no particular order) briefings, inquiries, analyst days, product launch endorsements, consulting engagements, newsletters and more.

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.

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How Analyst Relations Helps Your Business Thrive

How Analyst Relations Helps Your Business Thrive

How Analyst Relations Helps Your Business Thrive

When businesses want to grow their revenue, they typically turn to the age-old technique of paid advertising. Ads may have their merits, but you’re likely to be missing out on a powerful way to grow your business.

Analyst relations, or AR, is a way to establish a reputation and build your brand in a way that will have positive long-lasting impacts.

What is Analyst Relations?

In the same way that public relations focuses on building your relationship with the public, analyst relations is a way to build your relationship with analysts. We work to form a connection between you and the independent analysts in your industry, like research and consulting firms.

This is particularly important for B2B companies. Because your customers are businesses, not consumers, and the investments involved are considerably greater, they put higher levels of research into their decisions and look for third party counsel. This is where analysts’ opinions and findings come to the fore.

What Problems Does an Analyst Relations Strategy Solve?

The benefit that analyst relations afford you is by enhancing your credibility. When you build a relationship with analysts, they’re more likely to mention and vouch for you in their publications and referrals. In B2B purchases, that extra credibility goes a long way.

Beyond establishing your reputation as a reliable vendor, analyst relations will boost your brand awareness too. Some potential customers will discover you for the first time through the recommendations and findings of analysts, and this can lead to a great jump in revenue.

Phases of an Analyst Relations Plan

Analyst relations is a tricky task that requires specialized AR strategies and expertise. A strong AR plan goes through three critical stages:

1 Message Development

For successful analyst relations, you don’t just need to get in front of the right people – you need to deliver messages that will make an impact too.

The first stage of your plan is to develop messaging that appeals to the right analysts. This takes a combination of experience, research, and insights into past successes.

2 Programme Planning

With your messaging nailed down, the next step is to plan the programme. Who will you reach out to? How will you reach them? What are your goals?

This plan should be a well-defined, step-by-step process, especially if multiple people will be executing it.

3 Delivery

Finally, it’s time to put your plan into action. Follow the steps you laid out in the previous phase and track your results along the way. Don’t forget that you need to continuously nurture your relationships with analysts, as you would with any professional connection.

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: Analyst Relations – where do I begin?

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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.

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