[GUEST POST] Engaging with mobile analysts … now’s the time!

Mobile World Congress logo on IIAR Website - GSMA

The final speaker agenda is being nailed down, and the Global Mobile Awards judges have now announced their shortlist. However, there’s no resting on your laurels when it comes to Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona outreach. Next on the action list is the extremely important task of your analyst outreach strategy.

Industry analysts play a crucial role in the marketing sales cycle and supplier selection.

Findings from CCgroup’s own 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 that 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 some quick tips to help ensure your strategy and activity has the right bandwidth to engage with analysts:

Target away

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 depending on client demand.

Be prepared

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 a bog-standard sales deck, or a high-level marketing presentation. Analysts will remember something that gives them a deeper level of understanding of business challenges and successes.

Flexibility is also crucial. Analysts often have to prioritise multiple, competing requests during their time in Barcelona and on-the-show-floor meetings may only be skin-deep. So, for true company deep dives, a pre- or post-event briefing is still a good way to show return on AR investment.

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 if leveraged 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 MWC

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 that initial 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.

 

Suz Archibald (@suzannah_a,  LinkedIn), is head of analyst relations at CCgroup, a full-service Tech PR Agency in London. This post originally appeared as part of CCgroup’s Congress Crunch series of blogs in the lead-up to MWC 2018. See other blog posts by the CC Group team.

 

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