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.
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.
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