Why Every B2B Company Should Consider an Industry Analyst Relations Program

Have you ever wondered why business-to-business companies include an industry analyst outreach program as part of public relations activities? If so, you’re not alone. In the 25+ years that St. Conti Communications has provided public relations services to high-technology and other business-to-business companies, we’ve been asked about this many times. So many, in fact, that we created a primer on the topic.

Let’s start with what an industry analyst is. An industry analyst (not to be confused with a financial analyst who primarily makes investment recommendations) is an individual who follows an industry segment and writes about its ongoing advances, topics, and trends. These analysts, as a group, are made up of individuals in the trade press as well as in market research organizations such as Gartner, Inc. and Strategy Analytics. There are dozens of such organizations—each with its own special focus. According to Glassdoor, a technology analyst’s main job is to communicate with stakeholders to understand their technical needs, develop and analyze functional specifications, and coordinate with developers to build and implement technology solutions. They also collect feedback from end-users regarding system performance and troubleshoot any issues that arise.

Suffice it to say the knowledge and information that industry analysts gather is highly influential in educating the markets on which they report. As a result, they can also attest to the merits of a company and what it has to offer. They do this directly by producing research reports that buying companies reference, and they do it indirectly by responding to editorial queries, which frequently influences industry trade publication content. For these reasons, every company should consider implementing a public relations outreach program that includes an industry analyst relations program designed to keep them informed.

Sectors and Roadmaps

As mentioned, industry analysts define and report on a business sector to provide a picture of its boundaries, who the main competitors are, and where the sector is going. The intelligence gathered is useful to the editorial community as well as to potential investors and organizations looking to partner or form alliances. Industry analysts compile and publish industry reports for purchase by subscribing companies looking to use the information for their planning and purchasing purposes, and they occasionally publish their own articles. Additionally, editors and reporters reach out to analysts for their insights and comments on key industry players. The more industry analysts know about a company, the more likely the company is to be mentioned in reports and/or or in editorial query responses.

Because industry analysts are trying to gauge a sector and a company’s placement in it, briefings focus on the industry trends and market landscapes. In general, it is good to provide your product roadmap, otherwise known as a product/services timeline. Information can also include anything from planning to attract customers in a new vertical market and expanding product features, to looking for companies with which to partner.

What to Provide

Industry analysts want up-to-date, information-packed materials–ones that truly explain what a company is about, what its products and services are, while providing information about the technology behind them. This information includes company milestones or accomplishments that allow analysts to see a timeline of events, which helps them in creating profiles.

When preparing your presentation, write materials using clear, concise language. Industry jargon and acronyms must be explained. Limit your presentation length to approximately 25 slides, keeping company information to just a few slides. It is best to place executive biographies and frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the end of the presentation, so that what’s most important to the analyst—what the company is doing—is up front. This helps ensure that all key points are covered in the event the briefing runs too long or gets interrupted. Lastly, be prepared to provide a copy of the presentation and the company’s most recent news releases. Sometimes before the meeting, as many analysts like to prepare questions ahead of time.

This article by Dan Richman at GeekWire provides additional information about what influences industry analysts. In essence, industry analysts get their information by following other analysts and journalists. Above all, the article mentions that 23 percent of consulted analysts look to Forrester Research for much of their information. Something to keep in mind is that, when a public relations agency is at work keeping key editors and analysts informed, it is a company’s subject matter experts who’ve provided the information to those analysts and writers via briefings.

So, now you should have a better idea of who industry analysts are, where they fit in the information stream, and why it is important for business-to-business companies to include industry analyst relations programs as part of public relations activities. For help in identifying what analysts to contact and brief and in creating presentation materials, consult with a seasoned public relations agency such as St. Conti Communications.

#Technology #PR #PublicRelations #B2B #Analysts #Outreach