Everyone understands the importance of media relations and the role it plays in a successful public relations strategy. But in an age where big data drives business decisions, how often is analyst relations incorporated into the mix? More specifically, nurturing relationships with industry analysts?
“I wish people understood that analyst relations can strengthen media coverage. An analyst who is well briefed on a tech vendor’s strategy can be a powerful independent force helping to improve the credibility of the coverage.” – Sarah Tourville, CEO and Founder of Media Frenzy Global
What is analyst relations?
An industry analyst, also known as a research analyst, constantly has their finger on the pulse of an industry. These analysts typically work for research firms or independent consulting firms, and spend their days delving deep into new research, attending conferences, speaking to various companies, and gathering all the intel they can find to produce a highly detailed snapshot of a specific industry.
From new product offerings and groundbreaking trends, to sales forecasts and analyses, these analysts have data to support predictions for future market opportunities within various industries. Think Gartner, Forrester, and IDC.
“Analysts are info junkies. They spend most of their lives, when they are not on the phone, online.”
– Richard Stiennon, Author of “Up and to the Right”
Why should you incorporate analyst relations into your communications strategies?
Get recognized and stay competitive
Industry analysts are wells of information waiting to be tapped, but sometimes they can exclude certain companies in their studies for a number of reasons (size, annual revenue, length of time in the industry, etc.).
By continually encouraging positive relations with analysts in your industry, you’re not only making your name known to them, but are also opening the door to be included in future studies. This means more trusted recognition for your brand, which could lead to more positive media mentions. However, don’t expect to be included simply because you’ve begun to develop relationships with these analysts.
Set up meetings to firmly establish these relationships. Reciprocate value with these analysts by periodically sending updates on your products, sales figures, and general company information. That way you’re consistently top-of-mind.
Also, don’t wait to purchase analysis reports at the end of the year. Commission or buy them as soon as they’re released to get a better understanding of where your business stands in the marketplace, and how you stack up against your competitors.
Collaborate on content marketing efforts
Once you’ve established long-term relationships with analysts, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility to collaborate on content marketing efforts. Commission some research for an upcoming whitepaper or case study to strengthen your content and leverage the brand recognition associated with your analyst and their firm.
Remember, analysts will not show a bias. Just because you collaborate with them, doesn’t mean they’ll praise your product or say that it’s the best. And these reports don’t come cheap, so don’t expect favouritism for the price. Also, some firms might request that you not share the commissioned reports outside of your own information, but that’s okay! Leverage some of the insights to indirectly produce new content.
Also, make sure to leverage analyst relations in strengthening your PR pitches. Statistics and quotes from industry experts not only make your pitches more compelling, but they also add an extra level of credibility journalists can highlight in their coverage.
Find new partnership and sales opportunities
By maintaining and nurturing analyst relations, analysts will begin to know your company and products on a more in-depth level. This is beneficial to your business because customers are prone to ask industry analysts for referrals, as they are seen as unbiased industry experts with an extensive knowledge of various product offerings. And most consumers will trust an expert’s opinion. This has the potential to lead to many sales opportunities for your company.
Industry analysts may also be able to pinpoint other mutually beneficial partners that your company can benefit from — a partnership where neither product offering or service is cannibalized by the other. Some business partnerships are catalysts to drive sales, innovation, and technology.