White text on an orange background reads "The 7 wonders of outsourced analyst relations. 1. speed. 2. expertise. 3. network. 4. efficiency. 5. scalability. 6. objectivity. 7. best practices." A white Starsight Communications logo is in the bottom right corner.

The 7 wonders of outsourced analyst relations.

Diving into analyst relations (AR) without prior experience can lead to disaster. With Starsight’s 40+ years of experience in AR, both in-house and on the agency side, we have witnessed many small and medium companies struggle and often fail with first-time internal establishment of an analyst relations function. The reasons? A clear lack of AR-specific skills, inadequate internal support with misaligned reporting structures and a fundamental deficiency of institutional AR knowledge.

Avoid the three agency pitfalls.

Before you embark in your journey with industry analysts, make sure you address the following common traps.

Lack of vision and understanding: While a consultancy can be a valuable asset to your AR program, maintaining a clear vision and strategic consistency is imperative. Frequent shifts in strategic priorities can pose challenges for the agency in achieving your objectives.

Lack of communication: Security concerns are certainly paramount in today’s tech landscape. However, when engaging an agency, transparency and collaboration are key. Extend access to essential resources, materials, and documents, treating the agency as an integral part of your team.

Not listening to advice: Remember that you’ve engaged the agency for their expertise. Rather than attempting to assert dominance, embrace their experience and insights. Agencies often possess years of valuable knowledge to share, from analyst engagement to briefing decks and evaluation reports.

The 7 wonders you shall seek from your AR agency.

Analyst relations ROI can be elusive –because analyst relations impact is multi-faceted and can address a variety of business goals. Here is a starter for seven outcomes you should seek from your outsourced analyst relations consultancy.

#1. Speed.

Get going fast, gather precious insights and start driving awareness in months. An AR agency with a good track record will knows trade secrets and advise you on where to focus. It won’t need to spend loads amount of time identifying research firms, analysts or understanding processes.

#2. Expertise.

Fast track your expertise and impact. AR agencies have a specialized focus on analyst relations and deep industry knowledge. We often see generalist PR agencies treating AR as PR, tagging analyst outreach onto their PR agency’s SOW. However, it is important to understand that these two disciplines differ and should be treated as such. An AR specialist can provide the necessary expertise and ensure your AR is delivering on all four business impacts in a timely manner, rather than focusing solely on awareness.

#3. Network.

The right agency will allow you to tap into its existing, long-standing relationships with key analyst and firms at all levels. From CEOs to briefing scheduling teams. If you already work with an AR agency, have you checked who are they connected to on LinkedIn?  AR agencies have cultivated extensive networks of industry analysts that can be challenging for an inexperienced in-house team to establish swiftly. From the FIGs (Forrester, IDC and Gartner) to the long list of influential analyst firms, they already know who is relevant and how to reach out quickly.

#4. Efficiency.

Improve your cost efficiency. Building and maintaining an in-house AR team can rack up substantial expense. In contrast, AR agencies offer a cost-effective alternative. They provide access to their expertise and analyst relationships, mitigating the overhead costs of hiring, training and retaining a dedicated internal team.

#5. Scalability.

Understand how much support you require. AR agencies can tailor their services to meet your specific needs, whether it’s short-term project support or ongoing assistance. They adapt their services to align with your unique requirements.

#6. Objectivity.

Benefit from an objective perspective. AR agencies bring a neutral, third-party perspective to the table. They can assess your strategy and provide unbiased suggestions on what analyst firms to work with, how to adjust your PoV to be differentiated among analysts and suggest analysts that you might have overlooked.

#7. Best practices.

Access industry best practices. AR agencies bring a wealth of best practices and insights gleaned from working with diverse clients. They are well-positioned to advise vendors on strategies, tactics, and industry trends that have demonstrated success. AR firms will ensure you make the most of your analyst firm subscriptions and can advise during contract negotiations.  

A tailored approach is key.

The decision to work with an AR agency is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some vendors opt to manage AR internally, depending on their distinct needs, objectives and available resources. In some instances a hybrid strategy, combining in-house expertise with external agency support, can offer a highly effective approach.

For those seeking to cultivate a successful partnership with an AR agency, we invite you to explore our comprehensive guide. Fill in the form below to access our checklist that will help you unlock insights on harnessing the potential of AR agencies for optimal success. Keep in mind, that it’s not only about using analysts for awareness, AR strategy is much more diverse and versatile.

With thanks to Robin Schaffer (check out this blog post on the same topic).

Fill in the form below to access our ar agency checklist.

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