Why vendor top-of-mind presence is critical with analysts

On any day an IT and telecommunications industry analyst has the opportunity to verbally mention your company or products via micro-blogging and conversations or inquiries with a number of your key constituencies – customers, prospects, press, current and prospective partners, financial analysts, current and prospective employees – impacting their perception of your company.

Also on any given day, an industry analyst could be working on a formal piece of research – whether a research paper, blog post, or conference presentation – that could have a shelf life of months or years.

 

A critical fact is that in many cases vendors and their products that are used as positive examples of some topic or trend are not pulled from a carefully considered list, but just which ever vendor was top-of-mind at that particular moment. This reality puts a real premium on analyst relations (AR) teams maintaining a steady stream of touches with their key analysts. 

SageCircle Technique

  • Develop an AR plan that schedules regular touches with key analysts
  • Use a mix of interactions and topics to ensure that the analysts will find the touches interesting
  • Emphasize the use of client inquiry where available
  • Informally track analysts’ interactions with your competitors. For example, analysts on Twitter frequently mention upcoming vendor briefings and events
  • Periodically review your interactions database to ensure that an analyst has not accidently fallen between the cracks, easy to do if you have an Analyst Relationship Management (ARM) tool

Bottom Line: Maintaining top-of-mind presence is key to leveraging the analysts’ influence to drive revenue growth. An analyst mentioning your company in a positive light almost acts as an implied endorsement.  While difficult to measure it can have a profound effect on sales deals and market perception.

Question: AR teams – Do you have formal or informal standards for how often you need to touch your key analysts?

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4 Responses

  1. Mine’s a mix of both formal and informal:

    – Top tier analysts — Interact with weekly, either via blog, client inquiry, informal “how ya doing?” email, big news update, NDA (if applicable) impressive deals closed, feedback from customers, quotes for press releases, or I find them media opportunities that may or may not directly benefit my company (i.e. “goodwill” opps) etc.

    – Second tier analysts — Every two weeks, any of the reasons above minus NDA info, plus all levels of analysts get touched for strategic input on product launches

    – Third tier analysts — Usually contact them as needed for pre-briefings for product launches; they are also included in my quarterly AR newsletters or Webinar invitations since they don’t get the ongoing information as often. So this gives them a quarterly overview. I have a 97 percent attendance rate over two years for the webinars.

    Hope this helps others.

  2. Hi Jennifer, Thanks for the comment.

    Great suggestions. It really does take a mix of interactions to maintain that critical top-of-mind presence.

    Do you ever get any pushback from your top tier analysts that you are interacting too much?

  3. No, I don’t. I think because of two reasons:

    1. I’m not bugging them every week with the same sort of content / interaction. One week it’s an FYI news announcement, the next it’s a “hey, how was your weekend?” and so on.

    2. I spend a lot of time building relationships and showing the analysts that I want to provide to them the information they find valuable – not just what my company wants them to know. I even conduct periodic analyst audits that ask the analysts to give me honest feedback about the quality and quantity of interaction. I started with this when I first built our program, and have made sticking with the results of the audit a priority. It definitely helps.

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