A lot of technology companies handle communications with industry analysts from firms like Gartner, Forrester, IDC, and dozens of boutiques, out of their headquarters. Your ‘home’ market is a natural starting place when adding this important function to your marketing activity, but if your customers are global, then your marketing should be too. And that includes analyst relations.
Here are some benefits we see from a regional approach to analyst relations, focusing on the key regions of North America, EMEA, APAC and LATAM – which is how the majority of analyst firms organise their teams.
Nurturing ALL the relationships that matter
Each region has its own influencers, and it’s important to nurture the relevant ones in each market. Some examples include CCS Insight, which is highly influential in EMEA where the majority of its analysts are based, and Telsyte, an APAC boutique firm based in Australia. An analyst relations program with a North American world-view may miss out these important firms all together, and lose access to their insight and the influence they wield because of it.
Tapping into local insight
Analyst relationships are a two-way street, and you need industry analysts as much as they need you. My colleague Adele wrote this post about using analyst relations as a core sales and marketing function, and rightly explained that:
“Engaging with analysts offers opportunity for them to feedback on your story. That feedback can be used by your business to inform or adjust business and product planning. It’s a genuine chance to escape the echo-chamber of your own company and see it from the outside in”.
And these often include local nuances based on market appetite, local regulations, specific purchasing habits, and so much more. This insight should be fed into regional heads of sales, channel managers and marketing to action within their teams.
Regional analysts have regional customers, and you probably have a regional sales strategy
As a vendor, you probably have different sales strategies in different regions. Some might be led by partner or channel strategies, others are direct, and different products might do well in different regions. Analysts need access to the global leadership (wherever they’re based), including the CEO, Head of Sales, and product leaders, among others. But these spokespeople do need to tailor each presentation to specific analysts and firms and speak about local as well as global strategies
It’s also worth considering that analyst firms will have close connections with your customer and prospect base in each market. They advise customers, and can influence selection decisions on vendor lists. How analysts represent you in these consulting engagements and through research can have a huge impact on your bottom line. If an analyst in market that you haven’t briefed has an important consulting relationship with one of your primary prospects, you risk on losing out on making the list if you haven’t nurtured this local relationship.
Getting your content right
Having a team who has information about what each region’s analysts want to hear is invaluable, as it means your company is much more likely to develop deeper relationships with all the analysts and firms that matter.
Some of Hotwire’s analyst relations specialists from around the globe offered these nuggets of advice for anyone thinking about an analyst relations program:
Mylan Vu, Managing Director, Hotwire Australia:
“Limiting outreach and engagement to Australia for Australian businesses, and Singapore for Singapore businesses, will limit the potential global exposure of the brand to a highly influential community. While many analysts will cover the whole of APAC, we have a few very specific markets which warrant dedicated attention – namely Japan and China. This means businesses across Asia Pacific need to take a multi-pronged approach to analyst relations, recognising that different sales strategies or even different product offerings entirely – particularly for the Chinese market – are needed.”
Tannis Baldock, sector lead and analyst relations specialist in the US:
“When we talk to our technology clients like NetApp and others about analyst relations, we are actually talking about a truly integrated communications approach. Analysts are one part of a broader ecosystem of sales-enablement, and there should be cross-pollination with product marketing, sales, PR and digital functions for businesses to get the most value out of AR.”
Graham Westrop, analyst relations specialist in EMEA: “The North American market primarily operates in one language to one legislative agenda. But EMEA involves multiple languages, laws and other nuances that vendors must consider. As a result, specialist EMEA AR programs are best placed to inform relevant analysts on region-specific strategy while laddering into global priorities and discussions. Ultimately, knowledge is power and the more bespoke the approach, the more knowledge is likely to be derived from the program.”
To sum up, as with so many other sales and marketing functions, what works for one region doesn’t guarantee success in another, so a copy-and-paste approach from global doesn’t always work. That being said, you can run a global program from any region, so long as you tailor the approach for each region as appropriate.
If you want to speak about how regional or global analyst relations can support your business and sales strategies, please get in touch on Eleanor.firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact any of the other people who contributed to this blog.