Analyst Relations In 2020: Building A Successful Program
Last updated on May 3rd, 2021.
by Emily Tran
The challenge that all enterprises face when selling products and services to B2B organizations is that there are independent third parties that are often giving advice to buyers. These third parties are often industry analysts.
Analyst relations (AR) is a strategy to bridge the gap between enterprises and analysts by using a combination of corporate strategy, communications, and marketing activities. Maybe you already have an analyst relations strategy in place, or maybe you’re just getting started. This blog discusses the significance of analyst relations and how you can begin to create a successful program or improve upon your existing analyst relations strategy.
Defining Analyst Relations and Industry Analysts
Before we dive in, let’s define a few key terms.
Analyst relations is a corporate communications strategy used to manage interactions and communications with industry analysts.
An industry analyst is an objective, unbiased researcher (who can be either independent or associated with an analyst firm) who covers a specific technology market or multiple markets. They may frequently interact with both your existing and potential customers and partners, and they will provide information and advice about prospective products. Analysts’ influence can not only affect purchasing decisions, but can drive potential investor behavior and push.
The Problem with an Ad Hoc Approach
It is common for enterprises to take an ad hoc approach when it comes to monitoring and managing the analysts that cover their firm or offer them insights. The problem with this is the lack of consistency—without a consistent approach, patterns in interactions, ratings, and sentiments can often be missed, and so can the solutions for remedying them.
Developing a consistent approach to analyst relations can lead to better coverage of and ratings for your enterprise, its products, and its services. Here’s why:
Understanding the Impact of Industry Analysts
Analysts are constantly speaking with your current and potential customers, partners, and investors. It’s important to understand what they’re saying about your firm and why, because it can have a direct impact on your brand’s reputation and your bottom line.
Positive analyst ratings and sentiment will provide you with credible and reliable third-party validation based on independent research and data. This can generate increased market awareness, increased lead generation, increased customer satisfaction, and even increased revenue. Negative analyst ratings and sentiment can have a detrimental impact on your brand’s reputation and customer base. They may cause your customers—both current and future—to seek out other solutions.
Poor communication with analysts can often lead to negative ratings and sentiment. If the analyst does not understand your organization, what you offer, and what you plan to offer in the future, and is not kept up to date on your offerings, they cannot pass this information on to your customers and prospects.
The good news is that there is a lot you can do to facilitate strong communication between you and the analysts who cover you.
Steps to a Successful Program
Aragon has developed a key set of criteria that with proper execution, will lead to an improved analyst relations program. We’ll share a few of them here in this blog. Find the rest and the details in full in our toolkit Creating A Winning Analyst Relations Program, available to our Aragon Foresight subscribers.
Identify the analysts that cover your firm, your products, and your services. It will be important to receive feedback from multiple analysts and gain insight as to why perspectives vary.
Know what is being said about your enterprise. Research firms are consistently publishing new information for you to be able to source through and discover ways to influence the research.
Develop regular touch-points with your analysts. This is the foundation of analyst relations. Keeping analysts informed and up-to-date is crucial to the development of your enterprise.
Touch-points do not have to look the same across industries. Some ideas include: sending analysts your company newsletter, scheduling regular briefings, attending industry conferences and meeting with analysts, or having monthly check-ins by phone or messaging. In the post-COVID world, which has seen a massive decline in in-person events and on-sites, hosting an Analyst day each year—even if it’s completely virtual—is a great way to keep multiple industry analysts updated at once, and provides and interactive format to showcase your latest product updates. Even better yet, send them a welcome kit to help kick off the day. A tactile touch can be a great way to boost engagement and can help analysts remember your brand.
These are just several ideas Aragon has brainstormed to foster better relationships with your analysts. The more time your enterprise dedicates to this outreach, the better the trust between you and industry analysts.
For Steps 4 through 7, read our toolkit, available to Aragon Foresight subscribers.
In the end, the success of analyst relations will be how much time and energy your enterprise is willing to devote to it. Analysts should be regularly informed about your company and what you’re doing so that they can share that information with your prospective clients, and so that you can understand what the analyst is saying about you and why. This is key to opening up a channel of communication and keeping that communication going.
At Aragon, we take a more personal, hands-on approach to our clients’ success. We provide many opportunities for interactions with your lead analyst, such as local and virtual briefings, our annual Analyst Relations & Public Relations dinner, strategy days, online webinars with live Q&A, and more. If you haven’t briefed us on what you’re up to, we invite you to schedule a complimentary vendor briefing.