• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    IDC could flourish after IDG’s sale to Chinese consortium

    IDC could flourish after IDG’s sale to Chinese consortium

    As we predicted in our April Fool’s Joke last year, IDC has been sold as part of a Chinese-led purchase that leaves CEO Kirk Campbell at the helm. IDG Capital will take control of the IDG Ventures; China Oceanwide will control IDG and most of IDC, and an independent trustee will take control of IDC’s High Performance Computing (HPC) practice, […]

    Kea Company acquires UK analyst relations consultancy Active Influence

    Kea Company acquires UK analyst relations consultancy Active Influence

    Merger consolidates Kea Company’s position as world’s largest analyst relations consultancy January 19, 2017. London — Kea Company, the world’s largest analyst relations consultancy, today completed its acquisition of Active Influence. Founded in 2010, Active Influence has helped many of the world’s largest technology companies to gain measurable business benefit from their relationships with analyst firms. Founder Richard East has become […]

    Top ten global analysts: 2016’s outstanding research

    Top ten global analysts: 2016’s outstanding research

    2016 produced some outstanding analyst research. We’ve picked the best articles from each of the world’s ten leading analysts firms, as ranked in the 2017 Analyst Firm Awards. Together they show how diverse analysts’ most compelling content can be, including deep quantitative research into mature markets, like cellphones; pointed competitive insight into corporate changes, like Dell’s integration of EMC, and […]

    IDC overtakes HfS in 2017 global Analyst Firm Awards

    IDC overtakes HfS in 2017 global Analyst Firm Awards

    Gartner and Forrester’s leadership is no surprise, but this year IDC has won back third place in our annual Analyst Firm Awards, pushing HfS Research into a still-impressive fourth place. PAC and Ovum have also risen substantially this year, rounding out the top six. In last year’s awards, we saw that firms that could create business leads for their clients […]

    Analyst Value Survey shows deeper frustration with industry analysts

    Analyst Value Survey shows deeper frustration with industry analysts

    I’ve been in New York this week discussing the Analyst Value Survey with both Kea clients and industry analysts. The 2017 report will be available early in January, but the responses show that many users of analysts’ services are reaching out to more firms than before, and are gathering quite uneven value. Firstly, the good news is that many users […]

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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