Series with practical advice for dealing with analysts (Part 1)
Analyst relations is an important instrument in the marketing and positioning of IT-companies. The relatively small group of analysts is an important factor in the IT industry. It is therefore important to take into account the specific characteristics of this target group. This series of blog posts will give you nine advices for dealing with analysts.
In most IT companies analyst relations belongs to the area of responsibility often associated with marketing and communication. The subject is well placed there. However, it is important that the fundamental differences between analyst relations and other marketing tasks are recognized.
1. Install a Special Program for Analysts Relations.
Industry analysts have a fundamentally different demand for information compared with journalists. Simplifying, one could say, that journalists are especially interested in the present and the past, whereas analysts focus primarily on future trends and opportunities.
In practical terms this means that journalists are mostly interested in experiences from day-to-day practice, or example, detailed customer success stories, concrete experiences from specific use cases or economically quantifiable benefits. Analysts, however, have a greater interest in information on the strategic orientation of a company, in future developments and product roadmaps, in marketing strategies, or in specific alliances. In addition, analysts usually have a deeper technological knowledge and are also very much more interested in technical details, whereas journalists don't need all the details for their articles. Talking to analysts requires deep technological knowledge.
While interviews with journalists or press tours concentrate on getting the content and messages across, briefings with analysts typically focus more on a technical discourse in an off-the-record style. This view is confirmed by the traditional division of labor between analysts and journalists in the market. While analysts are primarily concerned with a technical review of products and services and with the outlook for the future, journalists spread the found knowledge and set it in the context of practical experience in the market in the form of case studies, discussions, etc.
Analysts are therefore an important source of information for journalists and must accordingly be informed separately before information is given to the press. Thus, marketing and investor relations will benefit largely from analyst relations. Good feedback from analysts is an excellent home base to address customers, investors, and financial analysts.
Of course, here the exception proves the rule as well. You will also meet analysts who are more interested in "PR-topics" and vice versa. But in principle, you should consider the different information needs and readjust in individual cases.
In the context of an overall communications and marketing planning you should set up a dedicated analyst relations program. It is not just a subtopic of public communications. In our next post, we will explain how to properly evaluate the importance of analysts for your company properly and how to set up an analyst relations plan.