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Analysts: the original influencer

The relationship between public relations professionals and the media is a well-trodden path – the end goal being to boost brand awareness and build reputation.

When it comes to analyst relations, however, there is less knowledge, and more importantly, less understanding of its value and of exactly how the relationship works.

For B2B tech businesses especially, analyst relations (or AR as it is commonly known) is an important aspect of the wider marketing picture; not only establishing reputation and building brand awareness, but influencing sales across the industry. But how does it work?

The role of an analyst

To understand AR we first need to consider the role of an analyst, which is to gain insights into companies’ processes and procedures, in order to understand their needs, challenges, their strengths, and their USPs. Then through this network, analysts can provide advice on how a company might overcome any challenges or shortcomings. The relationships between each company and the analyst are mutually beneficial, with an end goal of sales. AR professionals (often, part of a wider PR team) can play an instrumental role in building these relationships, on behalf of the companies.

Whilst AR and PR have many similarities, there are also a number of differences. Both may sit, generally speaking, in communications, but their roles and the techniques used to approach them differ tremendously. We have previously published a Babel Insights interview with Chief Analyst and Founder of Omnisperience, Teresa Cottam, which highlights some of these differences.

In addition to their analyst role, depending on levels of experience, it’s not uncommon to find analysts judging industry awards, advising journalists (and sometimes, even teaching them!), featuring on podcasts, and even writing their own articles for media outlets and publications. With this in mind, good analyst relations can therefore be invaluable to both a nascent start-up entering the market and a seasoned blue-chip company.

Nurturing those relationships 

For AR professionals, and PRs working with AR teams, understanding the nuances between engaging with media and analysts will be what sets apart the really good relations from the OK ones. Sticking to deadlines and promises of delivery; getting to know analysts, not just on a professional level, but where possible, personal too; really know your client and pitch, but don’t over-explain, simplify or underestimate analysts’ knowledge; figure out the best way to make contact, it might be on email or WhatsApp, but avoid Friday afternoons! And much, much more!

At Babel, we are increasingly seeing a demand for analyst relations. In fact, in our recent research, where we asked IT decision-makers at enterprise-sized organisations, we found that analyst and industry reports are the most popular channel for companies to refer to when deciding which brands to invite to pitch a solution or service for the business. Fifty-eight per cent of all those surveyed would refer to an analyst or industry report, whilst only 16 per cent would look at a company’s advertising channel, and 22 per cent would check out the brand’s social media posts. (For more insights, do check out Babel’s B2B Tech Comms Barometer whitepaper.)

With all this in mind, Babel has now launched a dedicated AR team who specialises in identifying, introducing, and nurturing those all-important analyst relationships. We understand the value of a strong analyst relations strategy, and over the years, have built up solid foundations with many of the key analyst houses across the telecoms and technology sectors. If AR is something you think your company would benefit from, then reach out to us to discuss how we could support you.

Latest event

Babel webinar

Cracking the code of tech analyst relations

Tuesday, 11 April, 2 pm (BST)

According to Babel’s B2B Tech Comms Barometer, the single most influential channel for B2B tech buyers is analyst and industry reports. With 58% of IT decision-makers relying on them for making purchase decisions, their influence is not something that can be disputed. With these statistics in mind, it is important that all PR professionals are fluent in analyst relations to ensure that their clients are getting in front of the individuals that can help to influence these all-important buying decisions. In this Babel webinar, an expert panel will outline how your business can engage with analysts and secure recognition in their influential reports.

Register here

Written by

Senior Campaign Director

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