Analyze This: Getting to Know Industry Analysts

Thinkstock Industry analysts play a key part in the world of IT. Put simply, they share expert insights with clients, media and investors on how businesses and consumers can take advantage of existing and emerging technologies. Their perspectives impact million-dollar tech deals – a Blanc and Otus and H+K Strategies study found that industry analysts (along with peer-driven word of mouth) are the top driver of B2B tech adoption – but their influence is not always fully understood by communications teams.

This lack of understanding can negatively impact an entire communications program and is a particular problem at this time of year when communication teams are preparing to brief analysts at events like Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and RSA in San Francisco. Some key questions to consider before baking in your analyst relations (AR) strategy for the year include: how can I ensure that I am briefing the right analysts on the right topics? What can I do to really maximize the value of analysts for my stakeholders in the product strategy, marketing, PR and sales teams?

While many communications teams do a solid job covering the basics with ‘outbound’ briefings, many still fail to capitalize on the wealth of ‘inbound’ insights that analysts can bring to the table through inquiries, strategy days and consulting projects. It’s a common talking point within AR circles, and analyst firms comment on it too. When framing up any communications and marketing strategy, it’s important to know each analyst firm’s specialties, client base and the methodologies they use to analyze product markets. Getting to also know the analysts as individuals – dislikes, likes and their interpretations of a market space – is also very important.

Never a shy bunch, the AR team here at Blanc and Otus are big fans of sharing insights and best practice with others. As a result, we’ll shortly be launching  ‘In The Tech Trenches: Analyst Interviews,’ a recurring Q&A with analysts from around the world. For each interview we invite a guest analyst to tell us about their firm, speak about their research agenda and share insight on how vendors can best engage with them. We’ll also be offering our own perspective on key things vendors should bear in mind when planning AR strategies and briefing analysts.  We’re delighted to announce that we’ll be kicking off our very first Q&A interview with 451 Research’s Alan Pelz-Sharpe in the coming month.

Not sure which analysts you should be speaking with? Wondering how you can best leverage analyst insights before, during and after an industry event? Then drop me a line at