HomeBlog Delivering an Engaging Analyst Briefing: An Insider’s View

Delivering an Engaging Analyst Briefing: An Insider’s View

August 22, 2013 | By Jennifer Ross

Organizations of all types are in hot pursuit of analyst coverage, and ideally a vendor briefing provides an opportunity to establish the foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship. Unfortunately, vendors often fail to make the best use of the time allocated, and many introductory briefings fall short on delivering content than an analyst finds meaningful.

As an analyst, I spend a significant portion of my time attending vendor briefings. I use these briefings to inform published research, respond to client inquiries and offer advice on market characteristics, best practices and vendor positioning.

Analyst Briefing

Organizations of all types are in hot pursuit of analyst coverage, and ideally a vendor briefing provides an opportunity to establish the foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship. Unfortunately, vendors often fail to make the best use of the time allocated, and many introductory briefings fall short on delivering content than an analyst finds meaningful.

Getting it right can be tough. Analyst briefing strategies demand careful planning and even more careful execution to best represent your company’s capabilities to buyers and prospects.

Here are some dos and don’ts to optimize your briefing time and deliver content that captivates an analyst audience:

  • DON’T ignore the audience. Vendors often fail to take into account the nature of the analyst firm and the individual analyst’s research agenda and coverage areas. For example, if you’re briefing me – a research director for Demand Creation Strategies at SiriusDecisions – and spend the first 15 minutes of an hour-long briefing describing how marketers need to deliver higher-quality leads in a complex b-to-b environment, we’ve both just wasted 15 minutes of valuable time.
  • DON’T deliver your standard corporate sales presentation. Vendors must consider the analyst’s objectives for briefings. Many vendors make the mistake of focusing on promoting their products, services and solutions as though they were presenting to a typical buyer. As analysts, we have different expectations. Ask about those expectations in advance. Most analyst firms will provide guidelines for vendor briefings that clearly articulate analysts’ expectations.
  • DON’T generalize. “Optimized, automated, evolutionary demand creation acceleration delivery platform.” Huh? Be precise. Buzzwords can be cool for marketing promotions, but analysts are trying to quickly understand the solution offering, the target market and the offering’s impact on the existing market landscape.
  • DO demonstrate innovation. Identify your demand type by indicating what your product or service actually does within a particular market. Is it a new concept offering that addresses a problem that few – if any – buyers in that market are currently aware of? Does it solve a known problem that already has one or more common solutions? Or is it an established market offering (something virtually everyone buys)? Share your corporate vision and views on your offering’s market impact, supported by clear evidence of market dynamics.
  • DO include your vital stats. Analysts seek to understand the health and viability of the business. What are your current revenue projections? What is your sales strategy and go-to-market strategy? What is the pricing schema and support model? Articulate your corporate vision and share your product roadmap.
  • DO define the buyer. What is your ideal customer profile? Are you looking for customers of a particular size or within a certain geography or industry? Define the key buyer personas. What business challenge or business process do you solve? As analysts, we like to understand how you sell to your customers and their buying behavior; equally important is information on buyer segments or markets you don’t address.
  • DO prove ROI. Show the ROI on implementing your solution in enough detail to help a prospect actually make a decision. Analysts love seeing proof (e.g. case studies, product demonstrations, analyses that show “before” and “after” performance metrics and productivity improvements).
  • DO provide market insights and competitive intelligence. Share insights on the competition and highlight how your offering stacks up in terms of pricing, delivery, support, technology and quality. Demonstrate your knowledge of the market. Analysts are interested in new industries or emerging markets and understand if buyers are adopting or abandoning an approach, process or technology.
  • DO emphasize best practices and lessons learned. As a thought leader or expert in your field, you’ve undoubtedly learned some things about the market or particular strategies or approaches that can help inform an analyst’s view. Playbooks, toolkits, models and frameworks are excellent for demonstrating best practices and showing something tangible.

Jennifer Ross

Jennifer Ross is Senior Research Director of Marketing Leadership Strategies at SiriusDecisions. Throughout her 20 years as an executive-level marketer, Jennifer has employed integrated, multi-channel inbound/outbound marketing campaigns to generate demand, increase brand identity and awareness, and drive business growth. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @Jenross17.

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