Analyst relations is often an overlooked part of the B2B marketing mix. But whether you are a manufacturer, technology developer or service provider you should consider how analyst relations could help to drive you forward.

This is how a programme that influences the analyst community for your sector may help you.


An analyst’s primary job is to talk to their customers and give their opinion on who is performing well in the market, what skill sets they have, and if they deliver on what they promise in their sectors.

Analysts get paid for their expertise and market knowledge, which is then used primarily by their customers to make crucial decisions. And an analyst’s customer is potentially your customer who is using that analyst’s information to create a shortlist of companies to do business with.

You want to be someone that an analyst can recommend and to get on that shortlist. A primary reason for active and ongoing engagement in analyst relations is that it will help your sales process.


Traditionally, analysts generate detailed, often expensive to buy, reports. That’s because the information contained within them is highly researched, very detailed, and has demonstrable value to the buyer.

To be part of these reports you must speak to analysts and make a compelling, factual case for your current business and future plans. If they like what they hear, and you fit that particular report’s criteria, your credibility – and visibility – will increase accordingly.

In recent years, however, analysts have also become increasingly active on social media, tweeting, blogging and posting observations on LinkedIn.

Sometimes those activities are designed to help sell their latest report, but they often use those platforms to inform the market of recent trends, share interesting survey results, and highlight examples of new business endeavours that have caught their eye.

This could mean that they will inform the market about something interesting that you are doing, but they can’t if they don’t know about you.

Finally, in terms of gaining coverage, analysts are regularly asked by traditional industry and business media for quotes about what they are seeing in the marketplace. If they know about you and respect your products or service, you stand a chance that they’ll mention you and increase your media metrics.


Another great benefit of an analyst relations programme is that it can help you to ensure that your messaging matches what the market wants, or is willing, to hear. As part of an analyst briefing, subjecting your messaging to an analyst’s intelligence, interrogation, and interpretation will help you to refine and hone it.

Analysts know the market. They know your customers. They know your product range and those of your competitors. And, very importantly, they know how the market perceives you. This may differ from your perception, which is why it is so valuable. They are ideally placed to tell you if your messaging is on target or could run aground, but you can’t do this unless you establish a programme of regular engagement with them.

And you can do this at almost any stage of your marketing campaign. You’d ideally do it before you launch publicly, but mid-course corrections based on an analyst’s observations can be valuable at any time.

If you listen carefully, you will not only hear feedback about your messaging. Analysts will almost certainly know more about what your competitors are doing than you do. The beauty of establishing and nurturing such relations is that you can often infer a great deal – not only about how you are perceived in the marketplace during the conversation and questions asked – but what your competitors might be thinking.

How do analysts differ from journalists?

Or, another way of phrasing that question is, why do I need a distinct analyst relations programme?

Journalists want a story. Analysts want information.

It can be as simple as that, especially in B2B technology.

Journalists are driven by immediacy. “What can I write about today?”

Analysts typically take a longer view and are driven by, “What can I learn today that will be of use to me and my clients tomorrow?” They prefer to deal with in-depth analysis using data and information that can be carefully assembled, examined, and proven over time.

Many of the experienced and expert journalists we meet here at Napier can ask detailed, intelligent and probing questions, but the questions themselves would be different and the answers required would also need to be different than when speaking with an analyst.

You’ve probably heard your PR team tell you before a media interview that “nothing is off the record,” whereas analysts almost always want an off-the-record chat to allow them to understand you and your products better.

Working with analysts can help both your sales teams and your PR & marketing team, but you will only get value from analyst relations if you deal with them with intent and focus.