, ,

The ABCs of Industry Analyst Briefings

ABCs of Industry Analyst RelationsBriefing technology industry analysts is a learned art rather than a formulaic science.
The main objective is to connect with the analysts so they understand your company and solution enough to describe it accurately to others. Some of these “others” include journalists and potential customers who may subscribe to an analyst service. While this objective seems quite straightforward, the desired result is often not achieved.

In this post we’ll discuss best practices for briefing industry analysts to help make sure your company connects the dots with these top influencers.

A) Get the Right Analyst While it seems obvious, analysts sometimes are pulled into briefings when they do not belong there. This can be quite embarrassing and/or irritating for all parties involved. Good analyst relations programs start by identifying a list of top candidates with proper research and adequate planning. You can learn about most analysts by looking at their biography on the analyst Web site, reading their quotes in the trade press or following their social media updates. Not doing so shows a lack of preparation.

B) Know the Analyst Firm While most people in the technology business know the profiles of the largest advisory firms, it’s important to be well versed on smaller firms you decide to target. Every firm is different: Many only do work for vendors while others sell research reports. While some focus on quantitative research, others only do qualitative analysis, and some do both. It’s important to learn about these nuances to ensure your analyst briefings reflect knowledge of the firm you are briefing and to best leverage the unique benefits of each opportunity.

C) Prepare the Analyst Do not assume any analyst knows about your company or product. A briefing always goes better when the analyst has time before the discussion to learn about your company. This gives the analyst a chance to think through what you do and is better prepared to ask relevant questions. Vendors or their PR agencies need to provide information to analysts ahead of time including links to recent press releases of significance. They should also provide the analyst with names and titles of people that will be participating in the briefing. If the analyst is not prepared with this basic info, the briefing is more awkward, more time is wasted on background discussion and the analyst is less likely to be prepared to add much value, which is not ideal.

D) Bring the Right People from your Company It’s important to select the best and most relevant spokespeople from your company to attend an analyst briefing. Things to consider when deciding who should attend a call include: the analyst’s seniority, level of technical expertise, vertical industry, and their coverage areas. You should limit company attendees to 2-3 people at the most and offer follow-up communications with other members on the team if necessary.

E) Include Proper Introductions When hosting a briefing, take the time for proper introductions before jumping into your company spiel. Nothing is more awkward than when a company representative launches into slide ware before everyone on the call has a chance to be introduced. While the better analysts will interrupt and suggest introductions, some will not. For the best results, make sure the analyst knows who is on the call and their specific role/s in the company. Also, make sure you let the analyst provide a brief summary of his/her background , coverage areas and specific items of interest before you start, so ideally you can gear the conversation accordingly.

Bottom line, analysts influence people in the business and it is important to be sure they have an accurate perspective on your company and solutions. In next week’s post, we’ll look at more tips to help you make the most of your analyst briefings.