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Industry analysts such as Gartner and Forrester might be familiar names, but tech businesses are often unaware of exactly what they do or how they can help to promote their business. Here we explain the importance of building relationships with analysts and how to make the most of the opportunity.

What do analysts do?

Analysts firms conduct research into different market sectors, identify trends and understand the different products and services on offer within the market. They use this information to publish reports and provide independent advice to help executives make the right buying decisions.

Between them, they cover almost every area of technology. Gartner, for instance, has more than 13,000 associates based in 100 countries. It conducts nearly 400,000 briefings with suppliers each year to ensure its 11,000 clients are given advice based on the most up-to-date insights.

How can they help your business?

While analysts are there to serve their paying clients, there are benefits for tech firms. Analysts recommend suppliers and their solutions as part of their consultancy work. They reference suppliers in their industry reports and they also inform the media conversation, defining industry trends and influencing buyers and investors.

Analysts are powerful influencers and it pays to build relationships of trust with them. Some PR agencies include analyst relationships as part of their service.

How can you make the most of the opportunity?

Here are some tips on how to engage with analysts effectively:

  1. Arrange an interview– analysts use interviews with technology suppliers to gather info about new products and services. The prospect of being interviewed by them can feel intimidating, but all they really want to know are the latest developments in the industry and you’re your business can deliver.
  2. Prepare in advance – familiarise yourself with the analyst’s experience and background, which can help to build rapport in the briefing. Check out their LinkedIn, Twitter and website. Think about the products you want to focus their attention on during the interview, anticipate possible questions and consider the answers you want to give.
  3. Keep answers short and succinct– Interviews don’t last long so after introductions and pleasantries, stick to the point and get your info over clearly and in plain language.
  4. Ask how to provide follow up – at the end of the interview it’s a good idea to ask if they would like further info and how they might like to receive this, e.g. e-mail.
  5. Keep in touch– one interview does not make a relationship or necessarily bring the benefits you want. Analyst relations are a long-term process. If you feel the analyst is right for your business. you can ask to talk to them again when you have a genuinely new service or product to offer. You can also send over relevant relevant releases or white papers.
  6. Follow them on social media– such as Twitter and LinkedIn. If they follow back you have an additional opportunity to gain visibility, so make sure your PR content is uploaded.
  7. Remember press coverage helps– analysts will read the industry press, so building a profile in key publications will start to be noticed.
  8. Make the most of coverage in analyst reports– if you do feature favourably in analysts’ reports, actively promote it as shown by this example.

If your business is an innovator with competitive solutions, engaging in analyst relations can be a very effective use of time. Make sure your PR agency is exploring the opportunity for you and your business.