Top Myths Surrounding Analyst Relations

What’s fact and fiction in the complex world of industry influencers.

Melisa Bleasdale

If you want to know something about a particular industry, talk to an analyst. Their job is to know everything about everything in their industry, and then some.

If you want to sell something in a particular industry, talk to an industry analyst. They know everybody who’s anybody in their industry, and then some.

At a basic level, industry analysts conduct market research to understand trends, make forecasts and develop industry models. But their role as a business and pipeline driver is often overlooked.

Analysts spend a big portion of their time talking to a vendor’s potential customers, offering recommendations for the right solution to solve a particular challenge. Increasingly, analysts are formally joining enterprise procurement committees to help businesses make decisions.

Working with analysts can provide a new opportunity to amplify and validate a company’s messages and products. It’s critical that analysts have up-to-date information on a company and its products or services, so they’re sharing the most accurate positioning in their conversations.

AR is often overlooked as the strategic business driver that it is. In fact, there are many misconceptions around the practice. So we’re here to bust some common myths and open the door to AR as a business lever.

Myth: Only big companies need AR

Reality: The sooner an organization engages with their core analysts, the better their strategic business decisions, customer-facing content, product development and industry positioning will be.

Analysts provide competitive intelligence, insight on market trends and product development guidance, and are a direct line to a vendor’s buyers. So whether you’re stealth, start-up, rebranding or building bigger, analysts can help strengthen a company’s chances of success in meaningful, measurable ways.

Myth: AR is all about the Magic Quadrant

Reality: Being favorably mentioned in analyst research is just one of many positive results that come from building trusted relationships with your analyst community. But it’s never guaranteed. Analysts are meant to be objective observers of their specialized markets, so they’ll only include vendors that they find particularly interesting and meet their strict inclusion criteria.

Beyond reports, analysts can influence business purchases and share insights about market trends that can help businesses make more-informed decisions. Having clear goals for what to expect from an analyst relationship is key to successfully building and leveraging one.

Myth: It’s all pay to play

Reality: Most analyst experts welcome the opportunity to learn more about the players in their space and when relevant, include them in their research. Compelling organizations show up in research because they’re compelling — not because they paid for coverage.

Briefings are free of charge and building relationships with analysts will help businesses decide which analyst and firm have the best understanding of their space and align with their vision and direction. Once a business has a strong AR program in place, only then should they sign on to a financial engagement.

These can be expensive, multi-year commitments, so you want to be sure you’ve found “The One” (or Ones) before writing those checks. Financially engaging with the firms that best support a vendor’s goals and growth plans will elevate all other sales, marketing and new business development efforts.

Myth: AR and PR are basically the same

Reality: Although AR and PR share similarities in that they both include cultivating relationships with influential people that can amplify and validate a company’s message — that’s where the twinning ends.

A successful AR program requires dedicated expertise and ample time to balance a number of competing critical priorities. On a given day, an AR expert might be managing analyst briefings, conducting company evaluations, coordinating vendor rankings, preparing for research interviews, engaging in consistent outreach to analysts and more.

Rather than lumping multiple disciplines into a single department (or a single person’s job), companies with a dedicated AR function (and/or an agency to support!) get the most value and the best results.

At Method, our approach to AR is based on building strong and mutually beneficial relationships between companies and analysts — companies stay top-of-mind in these crucial conversations while analysts are getting the latest and greatest information and insights. For organizations looking to reach more of their ideal buying personas, AR is a proven, targeted means to get that done.