Here is a comment from a blog that is representative on the attitude about analysts at major firms covering an emerging technology:
“…I think that the Social Revolution is being underreported by Gartner et al, because the enterprise world is a laggard …”
Or maybe the thought leaders and leading providers of an emerging technology market (in this case social media technology and services) have not done a good enough job briefing the analysts and sharing market intelligence.
Myth #1 – The analysts know everything (see Analyst Myths Revisited)
The commenter was right that a significant portion of the advisor analysts’ client base is large enterprises. It is also true that most enterprise CIOs are inherently conservative in adopting technology. So advisory analysts, like Gartner, that get a lot of data points from their end-user client inquiries will not hear about cutting edge uses of emerging technology. Another critical fact in this situation is that an important source of information for the analysts is the vendor community. However, tech startups and small vendors are less likely to have formal AR programs. This means that the emerging technology crowd is not making its point-of-view heard.
So it is logical that if only one side of a debate (e.g., enterprise IT managers concerned about the risks whatever new technology) is talking to the analysts then that side’s opinion and factioids will be overweighted in research. Equally damaging for emerging technology is when end-user clients don’t talk about a new technology or its vendors at all. We know this is happening in places where social media such as hosted wikis are being used without the express knowledge of the IT department, Gartner’s primary enterprise clients. If the startups themselves and the end users are not talking with the advisory analysts about a new market then it is very likely that these analysts will not pay any attention to that market.
Conclusion: the emerging technology vendors have to get their point-of-view known to the analysts via briefings in order for the analysts to pay attention to them and their market.
I bet that some of you are getting indignant at this point. “Wait a minute, why is it my responsibility? Shouldn’t the analysts make the effort and actually research the market?”Sure, in a perfect world, but we don’t live in a perfect world. Analysts are people too, pulled in many directions, so your emerging market might get lost in the clutter of daily life. In addition, they do not always get the institutional support to research emerging markets that do not interest their end-user clients.
No doubt many of you are now thinking: “Ah, but don’t you have to be a client to brief the analysts?”
Myth #2 – Analysts opinions are bought; the more money = better results
The real “currency” to use with the analysts: information and access to executives and domain experts. However, while it is not required to be clients in order to brief an analyst, startups have to have their acts together when requesting a briefing or risk being ignored. New readers to this blog should checkout the “Startup Saturday” series of posts for tips and tricks on how to approach and brief analysts.
- Startups staff can educate themselves about Analyst Relations 101 through reading AR blogs, attending seminars and webinars, and finding a mentor
- Startups can look for “bite-sized” services that provide AR insights and tools at modest prices
- Startups should use best practices to generate a ranked analyst list that helps them prioritize their briefing efforts (hint: it is not always the analysts at major firms that deserve a high ranking)
- Startups should ensure that they have rock solid message and elevator pitch before approaching the analysts
Bottom Line: Rather than wasting energy railing against the “stupid analysts,” savvy startups use sweat equity to educate the analysts. This provides several benefits to the startup: a) influencing the analysts’ world view so that it matches the startups; b) obtain market intelligence on the cheap; and most importantly c) generate leads as aware analysts start mentioning the vendors in research notes, speeches and inquiries.
Question: Analysts – What are common mistakes startups make when approaching you to request a briefing? Startups – What holds you back from briefing the analysts?
Do you need “bite sized” AR services? SageCircle can Help – SageCircle has created a series of offerings priced for the startup budget including:
- Executive Briefings ($495) builds executive support for AR leading to sponsorship
- AR Briefings ($495) for the marketing/AR/PR team builds knowledge about a key AR issue
- Mini-Workshops ($895) teach startups the “how” to accomplish a task through a bundle of training, content, tools and inquiries
- Webinars ($95) address a key topic and lets you ask and heard others’ questions
- AR Effectiveness Seminar ($995) building the skills foundation for the fledgling AR professional
Visit our website or contact us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or 650-274-8309 for more information about how SageCircle can help take your AR program to the next level.
Since 2000, SageCircle has helped analyst relations teams to focus on business value by encouraging innovative thinking that leverages insights and drives revenue.