There is great value for startups that sell to corporations or large governments to invest in analyst relations (AR). The analysts can:
Bolster startups’ credibility by characterizing the startup as “viable” or an “up-and-comer”
Generate highly qualified leads by placing the startup on buyer short lists
Create marketplace exposure and visibility by quotes in the press
Illustrate new marketplace trends that validate the startup’s approach
Startups have reported an “explosion of white-hot leads” due to being placed on an analyst firm’s signature research graphic – strong proof that analyst relations’ value can be measured in actual revenues.
Even if the analysts do not write about the startup, they can have the same effect by talking about the startup. Analysts deliver a significant portion of their research and recommendations – especially helping build short lists for buyers – via inquiries (i.e., telephone-based one-on-one conversations) with their end-user clients. In addition, analysts can raise a startup’s visibility by mentioning the firm during a speech or client teleconference. Therefore, it is important that the startup not measure the success of its AR effort merely by counting the number of times that it shows up in the analysts’ written research.
In this context, the interaction with the analysts is an extention of marketing and sales. There is also value for startups in using analysts in a client context to improve their decision making. That will be a subject of a different article.
Bottom Line: Because startups are short in the marketing budget department, leveraging the industry analysts’ role with technology buyers can be a cheap — in dollars — method to increasing visibility and leads.
Question: For startups — Have you experienced an increase in awareness and/or leads because you were mentioned by an analyst verbally or in published research?