Briefing IT analysts takes energy — which is in short supply when you’re busy working hard to help your company succeed. So is engagement really worth the effort? There are two telling answers to this important question.
The first answer is ‘No’
This might sound a little harsh. But going into a briefing with an IT analyst firm with your eyes closed can be a costly mistake. Briefings are high reward, but high risk.
Get the briefing right and this is a channel with massive influence that can drive significant business in your direction. Get it wrong and it will all be pointed in the direction of your competitors — as some companies have discovered to their cost and regret.
Instead of adopting your view of your own business, the analyst may walk away from the briefing unimpressed. They may feel negative towards your organization and totally unconvinced by your claims, especially if your briefing is heavy with marketing content and light on evidence.
Unfortunately, this isn’t where the story stops. Your enterprise may still have registered on their radar, but you’re referenced by the analyst as market fodder — ‘also-rans’, wannabes or yesterday’s model — that makes your competitors shine by comparison. It’s a painful twist to the analyst engagement story. Never mind return on investment, think extreme damage limitation.
So it’s no surprise that some vendors play safe and avoid analyst engagement completely. But that’s a missed opportunity.
The second answer is a resounding ‘Yes’
A successful analyst briefing can result in a rapid and substantial return. Successful analyst engagement creates greater awareness for your products and services. In turn, business opportunities arise, sales increase, and the sales cycle accelerates as analysts talk and write about you.
For example, 84% of participants in one important study reckoned IT advisory firms, such as Gartner, as extremely valuable sources of information in determining which vendors are ultimately selected in B2B transactions (Source: G2 Crowd/Blanc & Otus, October 2015).
Advisory research is one of the most trusted source of guidance – equal only to peers – again according to Blanc & Otus. It’s also the first port of call for journalists when researching a story. No other community has as much potential influence. No other dollar of marketing spend could create such a return.
With stakes this high, why leave it to chance?
The more you look into analyst engagement, the more you realise the stakes are incredibly high.
What also becomes apparent is that the process is unique, complex, and nuanced, raising a whole range of questions. For example: How should analysts be approached? What kind of information do they need? What will convince them your offering is different? And should you say anything about your competitors?
Finding the correct answers will maximise your ROI. Get it right and the analyst will be pleasantly surprised and great things could follow, surprisingly quickly.
But if you find the process daunting and want an expert sitting down with you who knows how to get it right, call us. As former analysts, we know exactly what you need — and our advice has been proven to work. See what our clients say about us.
Ready to benefit from analyst engagement?
The Skills Connection can provide the expert guidance, resources, and support you need in a cost-effective way.