Once you’re convinced that analyst relations will reap you tasty benefits, the next question is how to make that happen. It hardly ever makes sense for emerging vendors to hire a full-time specialist.
A fractional resource is the perfect solution, and here are seven criteria to help you select the best partner to launch and run your program.
Understands the analyst game inside and out. Find a specialist that lives, breathes and loves analyst relations, and knows how to apply it to your specific market segment. A great partner knows the business dynamics and human interactions necessary to get the most for you out of Gartner, Forrester, IDC and all the others.
Uses creative ways to apply analysts. A great analyst relations partner is always thinking about how you can involve analysts in specific aspects of your strategies and tactics and deliver tangible benefits. Sometimes you’ve gotta take a fresh approach to make an impact.
Focuses on your bottom line. AR for the sake of AR helps no one. An analyst relations pro knows the specific activities that will achieve tangible movement toward achieving your business goals. Put your energy where it makes a difference.
Has seen it all before. Your AR consultant must have experience with varied vendors, from the startups to the behemoths, from the leaders to the followers, from the bootstrapped to the international giants with oodles and oodles of cash to throw around. Analyst relations plays out differently in different scenarios. Broad experience matters.
Has domain expertise. The right AR partner has experience in your general domain and the smarts to master your specific one. Your consultant should have a thorough understanding of the analysts, competitors and issues of your market space. You get the most value from the consultant when they’ve learned on the job – as long as it’s someone else’s job, not yours.
Understands YOU. You are busy. It is overwhelming to run a fast growing business, and the last thing you need is to take on another responsibility. Get an analyst relations partner you trust to handle high level strategies, low level administrativa, and everything in between. Make sure they merge beautifully with you and your company’s operations and style.
Is someone you can laugh with. Sometimes you gotta stop taking yourself so seriously. There’s no such thing as an AR emergency. Nobody’s going to die. Make sure the person who does analyst relations for you is someone you want to spend time with on your bad days.
Analyst relations is a complex and nuanced skill. It takes focus and expertise to make it work. Don’t sell yourself short. Get the best partner you can. Find the resource that fits into your team and helps leverage the powers of AR to best achieve your goals.