The Importance of AR

One question I often get asked concerns the value of engaging with industry analysts. The question doesn’t surprise me, but the large number of companies that haven’t considered analysts as an influencer group sure does.

To be clear, I’m talking about the analyst community that looks at particular markets like Securities and Investment Banking, FinTech, Insurance, Wealth Management, etc., providing opinions, trends, ideas, analysis, and guidance to help companies make technology purchasing decisions, devise product strategy, or examine the impact of new technologies. Think companies like Gartner, Aite Group, TABB Group, etc.

Analysts play a very important role in the decision process that financial institutions undertake when purchasing technology. In fact, some research says that four out of five financial institutions will engage an analyst to help design the RFP that goes to vendors, identify who it should be sent to, and make the final decision on who is awarded the contract.

If that doesn’t convince you of their value, consider who else they talk to (your partners, current customers, the media, and even your competitors). A properly informed analyst can act like an extension of your sales team, opening doors that wouldn’t otherwise open, or providing valuable third party endorsement of your suitability for the project.

The key here is understanding in addition to awareness. Analysts need to be given proper insight into what you do, how you do it, and just how it impacts the bottom line for your customers. If they have that deep insight, they can talk about you with authority.

Failing to give proper insight is the most common mistake we see in companies that have adopted an analyst relations program. Too often companies don’t provide analysts with the right amount of access or information to help impact strategy. They are held at arms-length until information becomes public or not given a chance to apply their market insight to a new product or change in company strategy before it’s executed.

So next time you’re looking at increasing awareness or influencing those that influence your market, make sure you look at how you’re talking to this important group well ahead of time.