Analyst relations 101: Building Influence with the Influencers


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In technology, it is imperative to include analyst relations as a part of your integrated marketing program, as analysts serve as important validators for your product or service. We take you through some best practices we've seen work, and some challenges we've faced. Bob Ragsdale, VP of Marketing for MicroPact joins Elizabeth Shea of SpeakerBox Communications

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Analyst relations 101: Building Influence with the Influencers

  1. 1. Analyst Relations 101 Building Influence with the Influencers Webinar: December 13, 2012
  2. 2. Introductions Bob Ragsdale Elizabeth Shea VP of Marketing, MicroPact CEO, SpeakerBox @bobragsdale @eliz2shea
  3. 3. Analyst Relations…Analyst Relations is a corporate communications and marketing activity in which corporations communicate with ICT industry analysts (also known as research analysts) who work for independent research and consulting firms. --- Wikipedia
  4. 4. Understanding the Analysts§  What analysts are… –  Third party validators for your product or service –  Independent researchers with deep insight –  Analytical, thoughtful, thorough people –  Responsible for understanding a market and providing feedback to buyers of technology products –  People!§  What analysts are not… –  On your payroll –  Paid to say nice things about you –  Pay-to-play resources
  5. 5. “Analysts are info junkies. They spend most of their lives,when they are not on the phone, online. They haveGoogle Alerts set up on the companies they track.”“When getting to know an analyst keep in mind that allanalysts are experts, and they know it. They areextremely confident on their home turf…their area ofexpertise. That is why they respond so well to questions.” --Richard Stiennon Author of “Up and to the Right” Former Gartner Vice President
  6. 6. In the minds of an analyst…“You only do this job if youre passionate about solvingunanswered questions, and the thrill of helping others. Ifyou want to be rich, go into finance, law, engineering, orentrepreneurship. (Seriously).” --Jeremiah Owyang Altimeter Group April 19, 2012 Google+ discussion
  7. 7. Why Bother?§  Analysts talk directly to your enterprise buyers.§  Most analysts have a rock solid understanding of your market and its players.§  Analysts can provide invaluable perspective on your go- to-market strategy, positioning, etc.§  Analysts take pride in understanding who matters in the space they cover. Make sure they know about you….§  Can be one of the more cost-efficient line items in your budget, if done correctly.
  8. 8. Find and Identify…§  Top Tier (Gartner, IDC, Forrester): –  Search their web site, may be overlap with categories. –  Call an account rep to be more clear: they are your friend!§  2nd and 3rd tier firms (1000+!): –  Search online for your category, see who actively covers your space. –  Read articles about your competitors, which analysts are quoted?
  9. 9. Find and Identify… §  Social media channels: –  Who has the most “influence” when searching on your terms? –  Who are your competitors following and engaging? §  Other resources: –  IT Database (ideal for 2nd and 3rd tier firms) –  Barbara French’s Directory –  Institute of Industry Analyst Relations“There are probably going to be new analysts covering your space every quarter. As new research is published keep track of the analysts who author it.” --Richard Stiennon, Author of “Up and to the Right”
  10. 10. For vendors, the problem is clear – how to minimize their expenditure on the analystcommunity while ensuring the best coverage of their company withthe correct prospect/customer base. --Quocirca, The Use and Abuse of Analysts Report
  11. 11. Some Challenges…§  Paid relationships: –  Realize you will have access to a LOT of data. Rarely can you digest as much data as you are required to buy. –  The stakeholders at your company will benefit greatly from the information you consume. It’s a challenge to curate the data and share with those who need it the most. But develop a plan so you can.§  Engagement: Square Peg/Round Hole: –  You won’t always fit neatly into a category they cover. It means you may need to engage multiple analysts at the same firm so you aren’t discounted in one area and covered in another that’s not the right fit.
  12. 12. Bob’s Top Ten Tips 1 Be cognizant of how many analysts/ analyst firms you can effectively engage. Oftentimes, less is more. Work with partners who haverelationships with the same analysts and cross promote, support one another. 2
  13. 13. Bob’s Top Ten Tips3 Advertise against the analyst’s name on Google. For example, when customers/partners look him or her up, a MicroPact ad appears. Same is true when he or she searches for himself or herself! Which they will do.
  14. 14. Bob’s Top Ten Tips 4 Cover the analysts thatcover you, particularlyat their events orsymposiums –  Blog –  Tweet –  Share
  15. 15. Bob’s Top Ten Tips5 Make the most ofyour analyst-related events
  16. 16. Bob’s Top Ten Tips6 Leverage the relationship with your account rep. He or she can be your best ally, coach and cheerleader! If you neglect this relationship, you aren’t maximizing the opportunity.
  17. 17. Bob’s Top Ten Tips7 You may fit into more than one space, and you may need to engage with analysts from both areas to cross-pollinate.That being said, begin one-on-one with each 8 analyst. Having multiple analysts on the phonewhen your category isn’t clearly defined canbackfire.
  18. 18. Bob’s Top Ten Tips9 Make sure every internal expert you have in the company is on hand to address the questions you may not be able to answer. It’s not unusual to choose a different team for each briefing.
  19. 19. Bob’s Top Ten Tips10 Be a relentless marketer: find every opportunity to market to them and build a relationship every day:§  Include their quotes on your website.§  Send them a holiday card, drop them a line.§  Learn about their personal life, family.§  Send them your press releases.§  Treat them like people.
  20. 20. The “Briefing”§  Analysts will take an informational, unpaid briefing to learn about you.§  Analysts love information. Demonstrate data, not marketing fluff.§  Include in your presentation: –  Company vision, who you are, what problem you solve. –  Company stats: size, location, executives, # of employees –  Product details, including your product road map –  Customer list, references§  Don’t include: –  Quotes from other analyst firms –  Market charts: they know the market already!
  21. 21. More Love for “Up and To The Right”§  Invite your analyst to dinner the night before a conference or analyst day. Find out about their interests, their outside passions.§  Send your presentation ahead of time. Don’t attempt to do a live online presentation. Let them digest early.§  Don’t neglect traditional PR activities. Many analysts are still “old school” and want to read about you in periodicals. They are vast consumers of information. Be sure you’re out there.§  Think about what the analysts are seeing when they Google your keywords. Are you there?
  22. 22. More Love for “Up and To The Right”§  Build a Wikipedia page for your company and product. There is an art to it, it can’t be self-promoting, but make it happen.§  Don’t leverage how other analyst firms regard your product, especially with Gartner. “If IDC coins a new term for a product category, Gartner will coin their own and define it differently.” according to Stiennon. Understand and respect that.§  If conducting a paid briefing with an analyst, consider including a presentation/conversation from an influential customer. Address the problem they had, how they chose your company, and how the problem was solved.§  We love this one: advertise in your analyst’s airport. They travel, a LOT. At least twice a week possibly. Can be expensive, but can reap a nice ROI!
  23. 23. THANK YOU! Bob Ragsdale VP of Marketing, MicroPact, Elizabeth Shea CEO, SpeakerBox, eshea@speakerboxpr.comFor webinar attendees only:RAFFLE! We will randomly pick three people to receive a complimentary copyof Richard Stiennon’s Book, Up and to the Right.”You must be present to win!