Initiating Contact with Industry Analysts – the Who, What, Where, How and Why
Industry analysts can be very helpful for your company since they often strongly influence industry trends and key buyers. We would like to share where, why, who, what, and how industry analysts can support and boost your business in the complex and data-dense world we live in today.
The first question we need to ask ourselves is, why do we need to even engage these analysts in the first place? Especially for an enterprise software company, but equally valid for companies in other industries, it is important that the relevant analysts understand what you do and how your product or service improves the lives of your customers.
The two major reasons we believe you should engage analysts are one: to learn about the industry and understand who the leaders are; as analysts are in touch with many of your potential customers and can give you valuable feedback on the market and other competing vendors. Secondly, they can be quite influential for buyers, especially in complex technology fields like IT or cyber security. If you are not in touch with analysts, you cannot expect them to include you in their reports or to recommend you to end customers.
The second question you should ask is, where do the most trusted, respected, and informed analysts publish research on your field or area of expertise? Gartner, Forrester, IDC, and Frost & Sullivan are some of the major players in the high-tech industry and to name a few. We suggest doing research in your particular field to understand where the most appropriate analysts in your field publish their work.
The next question to answer is, who are the most influential and experienced analysts that cover the field your business is in? Get to know what their background and expertise is in so that you can feel confident in their analysis of your product or service based on their experience and strong understanding of your industry. You can get this information by reviewing the analyst bios – usually available on the Web — and any research they have published to understand if the analyst covers your field.
There are thousands of analysts out there. What is the most relevant research these professionals have covered? Have a look at articles they have been quoted in and blog posts they have written, especially since you may not have permission to view their entire pieces published by the analyst firm if you don’t have a subscription.
Finally, you must ask how can we contact the analysts and hook their interest in what we do and how we are helping to change our industries for the better? You should begin by briefing them-which are usually one-way and a chance for the vendor to update the analyst. The process is typically explained on the website, and be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
Once you do get a chance to speak to them, the analyst will occasionally offer some information about the industry, but usually in a briefing call, their role is to listen. For analysts who are active on social media or blog regularly, sometimes simply commenting on one of their blog posts or social postings can help you get their attention as well.
To gain deeper access to the analyst’s insights, you often need to become a client of the analyst firm, and then you can schedule inquiries or other more in- depth sessions to learn about the industry, polish your product strategy, or better understand the competition.
image source: Information Builders