Industry analysts play a crucial role in the marketing sales cycle and supplier selection. Findings from CCgroup’s Catalyst Insights reveal that when it comes to shortlisting vendors for an RFP, B2B tech buyers place analyst due diligence and reports in their top three most valued sources of content.
Analysts view MWC and other events as golden opportunities to solidify relationships; build out and update knowledge of a sector; or gather further industry intel on the major themes in the telecoms & media sector. Their focus is less on producing ‘quick hit’ pieces of content, as they tend to ingest mass amounts of information for digesting at a later date. This is then written-up into myriad content like blogs and reports that make their way to commercial buyers of their intelligence.
Analysts also tend to plan their Congress schedules early. Unlike their journalist counterparts, they are not tied in the same way to a breaking news agenda. It’s therefore critical that you have a separate analyst relations outreach strategy for MWC, and get securing those face-to-face meetings now.
Here are a few tips from CCgroup’s Mobile and Telecoms team to help ensure your strategy and activity has the right bandwidth to engage with global analysts:
The mobile industry is made up of an increasingly diverse pool of players, and leading analyst firms need to ensure that they speak to both established players, as well as up and coming providers. If you are new to the MWC game, make sure you are aware of the analysts who are closest to you.
In the run-up to the show, carry out regular Analyst Audits, review target lists and ensure you are speaking to those analysts most crucial to your buying channels. Analysts don’t often jump ship, but it can be a very fluid community where remits change dependent on client demand.
If targeting analysts at MWC is a major focus, be aware that diaries fill up quickly. Scheduling should ideally start before Christmas, or January at the latest.
Be clear on what you can offer an analyst in terms of spokesperson time or material before reaching out. Develop proof points as early as you can. Prepare tailored presentations for them at the show to ensure you stay relevant and structured. Don’t rely on your ‘standard’ media deck, or a high-level marketing presentation. Analysts will remember something that gives them a deeper level of understanding of business challenges and successes.
Focus is key. And as an analyst covering mobile infrastructure and security told us recently, when it comes to MWC, meetings at the show are only skin-deep.
“In the interests of time I can only meet on the ground with companies that are directly relevant to what I’m working on (as an analyst). We’re simply not likely to prioritise companies with whom we do little business with outside of MWC, and, these introductory meetings are usually only conducted at a very high level anyway.”
Be relevant but ask burning questions
This comes back to the importance of initial targeting. Be certain you are briefing the right analysts who specialise in your sector and know in advance what research they do.
Don’t be afraid to ask analysts questions pertinent to your focus for 2018: they are experts after all, and in most cases, will be happy to share their thoughts and opinion. This applies as much to the market as it does your own strategy.
But accept that analysts work for commercial organisations. They can deliver enormous value to your organisation ifleveraged in the right way. Keep their views in mind for future research studies, content marketing or white papers. Their insightful feedback can be extremely valuable to drive broader thought leadership and conversation.
It’s not all about Mobile World Congress
Too many companies place too great an emphasis on the event itself as the only time to proactively court analyst attention. But the truth is analyst research calendars and consultancy projects carry on throughout the year.
Remember analysts themselves treat MWC briefings more as an opportunity to build and update their knowledge of a sector, not to write quick bits of content. Their views are developed over a long-time period, and though it may disappoint your senior leadership you should consider whether a briefing is best saved for another time or place.
Use introductory meetings at MWC to establish an analyst relationship. Then use the follow up period after Barcelona to cement it. Ensure the relationship thrives with a regular cadence of scheduled updates and meetings over the course of a calendar year.