Thursday, June 24, 2004

Theories re: Working With Industry Analysts (Work For It!)

Too many companies, particularly start-ups, often err on the side of "bribing" several analyst groups – spending too much money for too little return.

It is the analysts' job to keep abreast of the market. Ostensibly companies are paying for access to this knowledge; they are not supposed to feel as if they need to bribe an analyst group in order to "ensure coverage." Corporate executives are in the trenches, so arguably they should know more than the analysts do about the state of the market.

Broadly speaking, it is best to align with analysts that meet at least one of two key metrics: 1) They can introduce your company to sales opportunities, and/or, 2) They can act as media advocates. (To be controversial, I am going to dare suggest that a start-up company prioritize its funds toward "frequently quoted" analysts before considering work with "smart" analysts.)

If you have a budget for Analyst Relations, pay the analysts for WORK done on YOUR behalf. Good examples of such work must extend beyond "strategic consulting" (presumably you know what you're doing or would not have received VC funding), toward projects that help your company gain share.

One idea: get your "pet" analyst to be a keynote speaker at your events & webinars. This forces them to get educated about your company AND just as importantly, this maneuver associates their brand with your own in the minds of prospects, customers and the media.

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