Melissa Beck has written a short article on analyst relations for the Washington Institute of Technology magazine. She explains how often a third-party industry analyst or firm will be referenced as unbiased persuasion to buy, sell, or invest and outlines some key myths in AR:
Myth #1: A Sales Presentation can be used as an Industry Analyst Presentation
Do not give a sales pitch; keep the presentation to a maximum of 15 slides. There are three essential components: business process, cost and implementation. Do not over-quote other analyst firms
Myth #2: Briefings guarantee a Report mention (The time was taken after all)
The goal of briefing industry analysts should not be for inclusion in reports or alerts. The goal should be to open the doors to awareness, advocacy and advisement with the analyst, whether the company has a subscription or not.
Since briefings should be thought of as information exchanges, the presenting company needs to actively engage the analyst with questions, rather than just dump information off thinking it will resonate. Analysts vary on their answers; some will offer advice on others in their organization to speak with, or provide direction on whom else to investigate for potential partners. However, do not anticipate obtaining in-depth competitive information or an analysis of the business or product plans.
Myth #3: Industry Analysts are Part of a PR Program
Analysts are not PR tools. Analysts are market and competitive intelligence-driven thought leaders where business development and sales should be key to their research and insight.
Myth #4: Ready to Launch, NOW let’s (confidentially) tell the Industry Analyst Community
Nearly all industry analysts operate under strict confidentiality and know their boundaries, many even honor non-disclosure agreements. However, the more trust that is shown an analyst, the richer a relationship can be. This can be done with quick updates via e-mail or phone on the product, comments on a recent news item or by attending an analyst executive conference and scheduling a one-on-one meeting.
Great stuff Duncan. This will help me pound the message into my clients thick heads.
Very actionable advise Duncan. A couple of tips to go along with it:
1. If you have slides send them along before the presentation. Webex is only advised for demos. Never name the file after the analyst firm (ie. gartner.ppt) Put *your* company name in the file so the analyst can find it quickly.
2. If you are in the security space do not make your message “companies need us to comply with SOX-HIPPA-GLB. That is getting so old.
3. Never use the word holistic in your presentation.
4. It is good to share financials with the analyst. But watch out! they remember what you tell them. If you lie to an analyst you have to be consistant from then on. Not easy, especially with turn over in your AR group.
This is good advice; thanks. I especially like the point about the word ‘holistic’. When I was an analyst I had a macro that stripped out around 30 of these aspirational marshmallows.