If you’ve not seen it already, I’d like to suggest you head over to LinkedIn and read the post by Dale Vile of Freeform Dynamics on “Engaging with industry analysts (as an IT vendor) on a tight budget”
He looks at why there should be more to AR than just caring about those firms that act as “advisors in your sales engagements” and/or produce the signature Gartner Magic Quadrant, Forrester Wave and IDC MarketScape reports we’re all familiar with.
To give you an idea, four of his headline reasons are:
- Let analysts help you see the world as it really is
- Analysts can often tell your story better than you can – use this
- Look to get more from analysts than you actually pay for
- Help yourself by helping the analyst
Be sure to check out the comments as well.
Picture the scene.
A world-class analyst from a highly renowned international firm decides they love your company so much that they are going to grant you one free wish (the analyst being slightly less generous than the proverbial genie).
What do you pick?
1) Should they get on the phone and give a glowing recommendation to the hot prospect that sales are desperately trying to close?
2) Perhaps it would be a day with your sales and marketing team, where the analyst shares their knowledge on current market developments and provides an insight into the hot technology and business buttons?
3) Or maybe it will be to have the analyst talk to a journalist at the FT and give them a favourable quote for the big IT feature which is coming up.
As I thought about this, I was instinctively thinking that the choice was between 1) and 2). Analysts deliver real commercial benefit not PR fluff.
And then I thought some more. It’ll completely depend on where your business is.
Might sales be able to close that prospect anyway? Are the sales and marketing team already industry gurus? If so, are you wasting the opportunity? How much use could you get out of that FT story?
We should never forget that there is so much more to AR than getting good quotes for the press (something many PR companies seem never to have learnt or have simply forgotten).
But we should also remember that sometimes providing the quote could be the best thing we ask the analyst to do.