Industry analysts have a powerful impact on B2B technology buying decisions. In fact, over 80% of buyers cite analyst reports and private analyst consultations as the top drivers in their purchasing decisions.
Despite the benefits of analyst relations, many tech vendors are hesitant to implement an AR program into their larger PR and marketing approach. Some are turned off by the perceived pay-to-play model, and fail to understand the value of the investment or are too reliant on instant gratification.
The truth is, a successful AR program is a long-game approach that rarely comes with no cost involved. For any company truly committed to becoming a leader in its space, AR is a must-have strategy that delivers strong ROI and helps rack up high-profile customers.
Here are a few other reasons why it deserves a portion of your PR budget:
AR provides strategic insight. Because analysts have a pulse on exactly what buyers are looking for, an active analyst relationship can provide valuable insight into your product positioning and go-to-market strategy. Through inquiries, analysts can discuss their published research and how their findings should be applied to your business strategy.
They know the competitor landscape and can offer advice to help refine key product features and messaging to better resonate with buyers and investors. Just as buyers look to analysts for strategy and decision-making, having an analyst in your corner can help you make more informed, successful business decisions, too.
AR cultivates third-party validation. While PR-driven news coverage is certainly a valuable influencer, buyers admit that analyst commentary carries more weight. They know analysts dive deep into a solution's features and benefits to objectively evaluate the value proposition of your product against others in the market.
Think of it this way: Media coverage informs buyers of possible solutions, but analyst coverage confirms which solutions are the best, helping businesses cut through the clutter. Journalists often look to analysts when seeking expert commentary about companies and market trends.
AR can drive big sales. Analysts have a technical understanding of the industry that traditional PR doesn't address, and buyers look to them for product recommendations. Developing relationships with analysts who advocate for your company can position your solution as a leader in the market.
This is especially critical now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many businesses operating remotely, having the right technology in place to support employees is crucial. Businesses are also forced to make difficult financial decisions about spending cuts and reallocating assets. Analysts can recommend which technology businesses should invest in.
Whether it's an HR tech platform to easily manage a remote workforce or a financial planning and analysis platform to help in a volatile market, an analyst recommending your platform could mean millions in revenue down the line.
As our economy sputters amid the COVID-19 crisis, there's no room for error. Buyers must make smart decisions, quickly. Cultivating a robust AR program now can put your company in the perfect position to come out stronger when our global economic pause is finally over.
Rachel Bernstein is a senior media relations coordinator at SSPR.