Congratulations! You've launched your tech startup and have all the foundational pieces in place: a business plan you're excited about, the core team hired and fully behind your vision, funding (if you needed it to get started) so you can execute against your plan - and enterprise clients that are fully embracing your product. So what's next? It's time to think about analyst relations. Having a sound strategy to engage with industry analysts is a necessity when it comes to building credibility among potential clients and venture capital/private equity firms looking for their next investment. When thinking about an analyst relations program, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Know where you fit in.
Analysts need to know where a tech startup fits within their coverage. A surefire way to turn off an analyst? Claim to be a unicorn. Or, claim you don't have any competitors (see next point). With very few exceptions, tech startups need to be crystal clear on where they fit within an analyst's coverage. You may think you're a unicorn, but very few analysts will.
Know your competitors.
You have competitors...know them. What do you do better? What do they offer that you don't? How can you differentiate yourself from the competition? Are you faster? Do you serve specific industries? Do you solve a problem in a new way? Unless your company is a social media network or online search engine (ahem), there's plenty of room for you and your competitors.
It's all well and good that you can talk about how great your solution is, but do you have clients that are willing to do the same? Analysts need to know that your product or service actually does what you say it can do. Clients that are willing to be references are the best way to prove it.
These are just a few things to have in place before investing in analyst relations. If you think you're ready to invest, what should you do next? Should you...
Schedule a 30-minute consultation to see if we're a good fit?
Add analyst relations to an existing team member's responsibilities?
Hire someone so they can focus exclusively on analyst relations?
Work with an analyst relations consultant?
Engage with Forrester or Gartner (they both have analysts who focus exclusively on helping companies with their analyst relations programs)?
Check out other resources like the Institute of Influencer & Analyst Relations?
The answer? It depends. No two startups have the exact same needs, so why not explore them all to see which option is best for you? (If you schedule a consultation with us, we'd be happy to discuss the pros and cons of each.)