Overheard at MarketingPulse 2018
You’re building up an analyst relations program and want to bring in an integrated agency to support you. Great! Now, where to begin? Well, start with these four analyst relations best practices:
Develop your analyst relations strategy
What is driving the program, what is the goal, and how can an agency help? Analysts can provide a huge wealth of information, but clients have to know what to ask and look for before going into a briefing or inquiry.
To maximize the effectiveness of each analyst interaction, consider the end goal. If a company has multiple business segments, their competitors will vary from segment to segment, so they will need to choose one or two areas to focus on.
Delegating background research and relationship building to an agency frees up the internal analyst relations team to focus on establishing goals, talking points and messaging with the subject matter experts.
Establish a targeted list of analysts to work with
The analyst ecosystem is massive, from the world’s largest firms to smaller firms and independent analysts, and each has their own set of strengths and weaknesses.
Don’t discount the small, independent analysts, as they often contribute regularly to the media through op-eds and quotations in articles. Enlisting the support of an agency can help an AR program broaden its breadth and depth, as the agency can leverage existing connections and help maintain relationships on a client’s behalf.
Treat media relations and analyst relations differently
While media and analysts are both experts in their fields, analysts come with a subscription model that changes the nature of the relationship.
Additionally, analysts usually sign nondisclosure agreements, or NDAs, as part of a subscription and can be briefed on products still in development, which gives product developers a unique opportunity to tap analysts’ expertise and adjust product features early on based on customer and market insights shared by the analysts. An agency can help track analysts’ feedback, neatly convey this information to the product development and other interested teams, and eventually highlight which suggestions were incorporated into the final product and why.
Lastly, be thorough
Analysts have a vested interest in knowing minute details of a market space, down to a company and product level. Approaching the appropriate analysts is the first battle, but be ready to provide micro-level detail on the product or company.
Similar to media, analysts are unimpressed with buzzwords. Analysts are focused on making market comparisons across products and companies; to do this, they need all the details (this is why listening in on an analyst briefing is one of the most efficient ways of understanding a product!).
Developing an analyst relations plan may sound overwhelming, but it’s an invaluable tool to bolster multiple aspects of a business. Keep these four analyst relations best practices in mind and, if appropriate, bring on an agency that can help build accountability, focus, and sentiment monitoring into the program as well. Results may not come immediately, but gaining familiarity with analysts and their research goes a long way.