• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    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 […]

    Webinar: Survey shows new risks for analyst relations

    Webinar: Survey shows new risks for analyst relations

    A first glance at the Analyst Value Survey shows new risks emerging for analyst relations professionals. We’re hosting a webinar on November 30 to hear how leading AR professionals are responding to them, and what the best practice is for your analyst relations program. Three risks stand out massively. First, there a big gap between the firms that vendors think […]

    Vendors’ five key thoughts about analyst firms

    Vendors’ five key thoughts about analyst firms

    Five things stand out from vendors’ responses to a survey we conducted after our Analyst Relations roundtable at the English Speaking Union. Analysts (including analysts who call themselves consultants or advisors) are often thought to have bias, especially if most of their revenue comes from vendors. Sometimes the effort put into staying informed makes analysts seem very process-driven but less […]

    Join us for the Forum in San José on November 17

    Join us for the Forum in San José on November 17

    Should someone you know be at the year’s most important discussion on analyst relations? We’ll be at the free ARchitect User Forum 2016 in San José, CA, on November 17. Professionals from industry leaders will introduce the sessions: Lopez Research, Digital transformation; IBM, AR in large organizations; Cognizant, Managing analyst events;  Capgemini, AR knowledge management; Wipro, Intelligence-driven relationships; and ARinsights, AR […]

To generate short list placements, you need to narrow your claims to analysts [Startup Saturday]

rocket-for-startups.jpgFounders and senior executives at startups frequent speak about the future of their companies and markets with grand sweeping statements about how they are going to change the world. They also will say that every enterprise and small business or consumer should buy their product or service. While these might be legitimate statements and required when speaking to the press, when used with IT industry analysts they are often a credibility killer. After hearing such claims from a tiny vendor without many existing customers or demonstrated ability to execute, an analyst will often quietly smirk and not consider mentioning the startup to clients – potential prospects for the startup.

If analysts perceive that you are so scattershot in your target markets that you won’t be effective then they won’t risk their reputation putting you on short lists. What is more effective is being very focused on what markets you are targeting. By being focused it will increase your credibility because the analyst will think that you are being realistic in matching your ambitions to your resources. When analysts have that mindset, they are much more comfortable recommending your company to their end-user clients as “an interesting small vendor that has potential.”

 SageCircle Technique:

  • Develop a series of credible focused target markets to use with the analysts
  • Determine which of these example target markets are relevant to a specific analyst based on their client base
  • During the briefing confirm the type of IT buyer (aka end user) the analyst advises on a regular basis and adjust your example market to use depending on what you learn
  • Position your target market statement in phrases like “If you are talking to someone in _____ market needing ____ functionality, then we should be on that short list”
  • Use candor to increase credibility by eliminating markets in phrases like “if the IT manager needs ___ functionality and ____ vertical expertise, then we are definitely not the company to mention”

Bottom Line: Briefing IT industry analysts can be excellent way for startups to generate highly qualified leads and general market visibility. However, if the analyst perceives the startup has bit off more than it can handle in terms of breadth or depth of target market they will not recommend the startups for IT buyer short lists. By being more narrow and targeted about markets or verticals they are going after, startups will improve their credibility and increase their chances that analysts will send leads their way.

Question: Analysts – What is your opinion of startups that say they can do everything for everybody?

Are you delivering the most credible story you have to the analysts? SageCircle can help.  SageCircle strategists can:

  • Critique your analyst briefing content for hype and credibility killers
  • Review your target markets to ensure they appear realistic without being too narrow
  • Play the analyst role in practices to prepare you for the tricks the analysts use and help you develop credible answers to typical questions

For more information on how SageCircle can help startups leverage the market power of the IT industry analysts please contact info [at] sagecircle dot com or 650-274-8309. 

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