In the world of communications there is often an important part of the mix either overlooked or sometimes just forgotten - analyst relations. No matter your role within the marketing landscape, engaging with or staying close to industry analysts will help you fine tune your product or service offering, hear what is expected by your customers from vendors within your market and what is needed as your customers and prospects look to tomorrow and their next wave of growth.
We have heard a lot about “disruption” within the B2B world. But sometimes we get lost in that word and think of something completely new, when in reality organizations today are looking for a new approach to solving every day problems within their business. That is one area where the analyst community can help organizations approach their business a bit differently and rise to the top in crowded marketplaces. Digital disruption is all around us, and there are a number of older technologies that are solving new problems today. I’d be willing to bet a good amount of them stem from conversations about what’s next with the analyst community.
How do you leverage the analyst community? Analysts are looking at markets as a whole and trends within them. The organizations that work with analysts the best are the ones that open up and listen. You need to understand that it is their job to provide their thoughts on what they are seeing not only from you and your competitors (and no, they don’t provide specific info on different organizations between vendors) but from people looking to purchase a product or service within a certain market. You need to have thick skin and enter into it with an open mind because sometimes you aren’t going to get the glowing feedback you are expecting. Instead, be completely open and provide them with your own SWOT on where you see your organization and take their feedback. When analysts see you put their advice or guidance into action, that goes a long way.
Who should own this responsibility? It should fall under your external communications, PR or marcomm team. You want to be able to enter into an AR program with insights and views from market influencers, key media and customers. The feedback your AR team garners from their work will benefit your media relations efforts, content engine and marketing programs calendar.
Are you leveraging an analyst relations program in your overall public relations and marketing communications programs? If so, are you leveraging any of these key insights in your external communications efforts? If not, why? Be interested in your thoughts.
- Jay O.