If you’re in the B2B tech space, there’s a high likelihood a sales rep for one of the major analyst firms has reached out to you. In the long term, your company’s plan may be to launch a sophisticated analyst relations program. But, at the time of outreach, you may not be ready to spend the resources and commit to a paid program.
So, should you take the call? Yes, it’s worth exploring your options and hearing what the representative has to say – it’s opening a door to future possibilities. Then, we recommend taking a few steps back to assess your organization’s readiness for the commitment.
First, do you know if the firm has research applicable to your industry? Depending on your market positioning, a specific quadrant, wave or grid report may have a disproportionate influence. To find where your company fits in, you need to do the research. One of my clients desperately wanted to fit into the iPaaS space, but because of the criteria required by the analyst firm, its solution would never qualify. It resulted in a frustrating situation for the company and the analysts they worked with. Other firms with a higher ROI and better understanding of the client’s industry would have been a better fit.
Next, it’s beneficial to set up analyst briefings before you make any type of buying decision. Sometimes picking the right analyst firm means finding the right personality fit. If you’re going to be leaning on an analyst to help with webinars and reports, you’ll want to work with someone who understands the company voice and feels comfortable being a brand evangelist. It’s a matchmaking process.
Third, you need to look at your long-term product roadmap and how it ties to your marketing strategy. Analyst relationships can be used to provide additional insight. If you’re considering product improvements and messaging changes, their knowledge is indispensable. You’ll want to engage when you’re ready for feedback and you need to be honest with yourself. Is your company in the right position to listen to external voices?
Finally, you need the time and resources to take advantage of a paid analyst relationship. A PR team can help you manage those relationships, set up briefings, arrange inquiry calls, make recommendations and project manage agreed-upon deliverables. Ultimately, your company will get the most value if a dedicated person on your team has time to engage with the analyst firm strategically.
This commitment is also tied to budget. There’s a wide range of options ranging from multi-year, six-figure contracts to projects in the $25K ballpark. Based on your resources, you may get more value out of smaller, more niche analyst firms.
Next PR is here to help navigate analyst relations decisions and share our experiences. If you’re contemplating how to handle the sales outreach from an analyst firm, we’re happy to discuss and provide research on areas of strengths and market fit. Next time an analyst sales email hits your inbox, consider taking it – it’s one step in a much bigger process.