Updated: Jul 29, 2021
Psst… There’s a secret weapon for technology vendors in the scale-up phase.
It can help get customers… refine product-market fit... get a seal of approval for investors… amplify your brand and messages.
If any of those are on your to-do list - this is the ammunition you need.
The weapon? Industry analysts. No, not financial analysts, that’s a different group. Think Gartner, Forrrester, IDC and boutique specialists. This weapon can be more powerful than you probably believe.
The power comes from the fact that you cannot buy it. Industry analyst engagement takes time and energy to build great relationships. Money doesn’t buy you coverage or positive evaluations.
Industry analysts play a critical role in the B2B technology ecosystem by advising buyers, providing feedback to vendors, validating acquisitions and investments, and connecting partners. Their knowledge goes wide and deep, and they are indispensable. Why?
They help you sell. B2B buyers need guidance because business technology is very complex. The number of categories and vendors a buyer needs to navigate to make the right solution decisions is dizzying. And more come every day. Buyers have never turned to the analyst community more, and they trust analysts when they discuss and explain a vendor’s positioning and potential fit. A good word can make a sale. That’s quite valuable.
They help you build products. The depth and breadth of buyer interactions gives analysts deep and authentic insights into the problems faced in the market. You can access this first-hand perspective of the specific strategies, capabilities and offers that will resonate. That’s your ability to make bolder decisions faster. Direct competitive value.
They help you build the right partnerships. Their deep presence in a technology ecosystem gives analysts line of sight to all the players, with the understanding of who should partner with whom. They have a tremendous amount of contacts. That gives you a tremendous amount of value.
They help with brand awareness. They have megaphones. Analysts write reports that are purchased to inform strategies and shortlists. And blogs, and tweets, and they are frequently quoted in the press. Not for celebrity status - but for reputation of insight. A mention of you gets you on the map. Valuable? You bet.
They impact investment dollars. Industry analyst’s expertise in a technology category means those seeking to invest or acquire a company will turn to them for insights and validations. That can deliver a different dimension of value.
That’s a lot of value and it is there for the taking. Are you taking it? Are your competitors?
Analysts will drive value if you engage early and work with them the right way. Far too many vendors wait far too long to take advantage of this channel. Or they approach with a PR mindset, which never works. They tend to see it in a limited, transactional and one-dimensional way.
Don’t be that vendor.
The key is a solid analyst relations foundation that starts with your business goals and builds initiatives purely to advance those goals. It approaches analysts strategically to build respect-based sustainable relationships -- not for the sake of relationships per se, but for the analyst’s trust and willingness to put their hard-earned reputation behind you. Not for some quick coverage, but for the long haul.
There are seasoned professionals out there who can help you assess your opportunities, ensure you have a robust plan, and secure the foundation you need to take off. It can be fascinating and exciting. So, start today. Use the analyst community as a weapon that helps you outplay your competitors.
Be that vendor.