If you work for a B2B tech company, you’ve probably heard the term “industry analyst” by now. While some companies are fully submerged in a robust analyst relations (AR) program, perhaps you’ve only dipped your toes in the water, unsure of what exactly analysts do – and why your company should consider AR alongside PR activities.
First, let’s start with the basics. What is an industry analyst? To put it simply, an analyst is an unbiased expert and influencer in one specific area of the tech industry. What separates analysts from media is that they conduct research about companies and trends in their area of focus and publish the findings in data-driven reports. These reports are then used heavily by businesses trying to decide which vendor to go with. In fact, the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations reports between 40-60% of all technology-purchasing decisions are influenced by analysts.
To give you an example of exactly how influential these analysts are, let’s flash back to 1990. (The year of “Pretty Woman”, the first Simpsons episode and when East German military officially began dismantling the Berlin Wall.) And the year that leading analyst firm Gartner Research wanted to describe a new suite of integrated software applications being developed, so they created a name for this developing trend: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Since then, ERP has gone on to become its own market entirely, projected to reach $41.69B globally by 2020. Analysts hold a lot of power.
Engaging with analysts can push the needle forward for your business in a way that engaging with media cannot. Here are three reasons why your B2B tech company should consider integrating an AR program into your marketing strategy:
Analysts provide strategic guidance and business advice.
Analysts are dedicated to knowing the ins and outs of their industry of focus. They are constantly being briefed by technology companies who are sharing insight into their products, recent updates and how their offering fits into marketplace trends.
Businesses can take advantage of analysts’ insights by requesting an inquiry. You can use analysts as a sounding board to bounce ideas off of, talk through your business or product strategies and receive strategic feedback based on what else is going on in the market. You can also ask analysts about their published research and how their key findings can be applied to your business strategy. Developing relationships with analysts and having them in your corner helps make your business decisions more successful than ever before.
Analyst reports generate new business, investor interest and lead to new customers.
If you’ve ever had to select a vendor for your company, there’s a good chance you’ve checked out a Gartner Magic Quadrant, Forrester Wave or IDC MarketScape report. While securing inclusion in a report can be challenging, the benefits often have a more direct impact on your bottom line than multiple pieces of media coverage.
Analysts are trusted to be knowledgeable and unbiased when it comes to recommending vendors. If your company positively stands out from competitors in an analyst report, you have a higher chance of securing business. Additionally, being recognized as a leading or emerging vendor by an analyst firm is a strong piece of evidence that can be leveraged by your sales team.
Analyst reports also lead to awareness from investors and, ultimately, more funding for your business. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority notes that analyst reports are a commonly used source for investors looking to learn more about the industry’s top companies.
Analysts influence the media and boost your credibility.
Journalists frequently reach out to analysts when seeking expert commentary about companies and market trends – in fact, Kea Company reported that working with the media takes up about 10% of an analyst’s day. By developing close relationships with analysts, you increase your chances of being mentioned during an interview, which can result in positive, third-party validation with the media, boosting your company’s credibility.
Questions about analyst relations or how you can take steps to build out an analyst relations program? Reach out to one of our experts!