• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is the most influential non-financial business research document. In the late 1980s, it was a quick and dirty stalking horse to provoke discussions. Today it is an extensive and yet highly limited process, based on the quantification of opinions which are highly qualitative. The early evolution of the MQ tells us a lot about the challenge of industry […]

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    A funeral and celebration for David Bradshaw (shown left in this 2000 Ovum awayday photo, arm raised, with me and other colleagues) is to take place at West Norwood Crematorium, London SE27 at 2.45pm on Tuesday 23rd August and after at the Amba Hotel above London’s Charing Cross Station, on the Strand. David considered that that Ovum in that incarnation was […]

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw, one of the colleagues I worked with during my time as an analyst at Ovum, died on August 11. He led Cloud research in Europe for IDC, whose statement is below. David played a unique role at Ovum, bridging its telecoms and IT groups in the late 1990s by looking at computer-telecoms integration areas like CRM, which I […]

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    Reflecting the paradoxical position of many clients, Kea’s Analyst Attitude Survey also goes to a wide range of consultants who play similar roles to analysts and are often employed by analyst firms. The responses to the current survey show that consultants are generally much less happy with their relationships with AR teams than analysts are. The paradox is that as […]

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Some of the firms mentioned by the IIAR’s analyst team awards fall short of excellence. That’s the verdict of several hundred analysts who took our Analyst Attitude Survey, and of the CEO of one of the top analyst firms. Phil Fersht left the comment below on our criticism of the IIAR awards. We thought we’d reprint it together with the […]

What is the ideal stage for startups to start working with the analysts or building relationships? [Startup Saturday]

rocket-for-startups.jpgToday’s post is an answer to one of the questions outlined in Should tech startups invest in analyst relations? The question is “What is the ideal stage for startups to start working with the analysts or building relationships?”
 
The rule-of-thumb answer for this question is “much earlier than you think.” Analysts can provide a startup with valuable market intelligence and insights into what buyers want. Working with a small group of analysts – or even just a single analyst – while still in initial product development can help the startup avoid potholes in the road and speed up their time to market. By working with analysts early on, the startup will build strong relationships that will prove incredibly valuable later during the product launch phase. The startup will then have one or more analysts that can help educate the press about the startup and its products, resulting in more positive coverage. In addition, the analysts can steer the appropriate prospects to the startup.

 According to Enderle Group analyst Rob Enderle at the SDForum Marketing SIG meeting, a great way to use analysts early on is as a sounding board for early messaging. If you are having problems creating a “beta message” early on, this could be an indicator that your ideas for your initial product or service might need to be tweaked. However, for this technique to work you must be talking to the analysts early enough in development for their insights to be easily translated into changes in the product/service specifications.
 
Normally, a startup would not want to brief a broader group of analysts – and may not require client status with many firms – until the product is in production and there are customers to use as references. Exceptions to this rule-of-thumb are startups needing broader exposure to get some beta customers and startups hoping to get exposure in one of
Gartner’s Cool Vendors research notes
 
Because startups have some unique analyst relations issues, we will be posting some articles specifically on topics for startups. These startup AR tips will always be on Saturday, hence the “Startup Saturday” in the subject.

Bottom Line: It is never too early to start interacting with the analysts. Initially it should be as a client of a few analysts in order to get insights into the market and build rock-solid relationships. Then once the product/service is near launch with at least beta customers, start adding analysts in a briefing context to build market awareness.
 
Question:  Do you have a question about how startups should interact with the IT industry analysts? If so, please send them to us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or leave a comment.

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