By: Robin Schaffer
While it may be true that analysts and vendors have a complicated relationship, they do share a joint stakeholder: technology buyers. These buyers expect unbiased information to aid their decisions, so analysts cannot take sides here. Yet despite this conflicting relationship, the analysts and vendors can’t survive without the other. They are “co-dependent!”
Analysts want to hear about a vendor’s business and products, as well as their view of the industry they play in as a whole. From a vendor perspective, one positive review from an analyst can skyrocket sales, so it’s important to build strong relationships.
Spending time with vendors is a great chance for analysts to learn about their specific strategies and gather unpublished case studies directly from the vendors. This helps their analysis. Analysts also engage with the vendor’s competitors in order to identify key players in the market and analyze the entire ecosystem.
These vendor/analyst relationships also flourish when vendors host events. Analysts love the opportunity to express their thoughts and opinions and will do so eagerly with a vendor’s customers.
However, one of the burning questions many vendors want to find the answer to is whether giant budgets from giant players result in preferential treatment from analysts. According to Mike Guay, former Gartner analyst, top technology companies invest significant amounts of time nurturing their relationships with analysts and subsequently provide those with whom they have relationships with much more information than they do others. So money doesn’t talk, but time and attention do.
Analysts’ jobs are to provide legitimate information to buyers and their audiences while trying their best to avoid biases. If analyst relations executives know the best way to provide analysts with what they want in order to achieve the best return, they form a win-win scenario.
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Robin Schaffer guides AR and influencer relations teams in strategy, execution and value creation. She has led transformative analyst relations and marketing leadership for three decades, most recently with Kea Company, Alteryx, Glassbox, and the Analyst Observatory. Her prior experience in the technology industry includes Collibra, Unit4, NICE Systems, and AT&T.