The Strategic Impact of Analyst Relations in Product Launches

by Jake Hawks

March 18, 2024

AR Industry |

The Strategic Impact of Analyst Relations in Product Launches

Launching a new product is not just about creating buzz. Strategically positioning your company’s latest offering involves a crucial, yet often overlooked component: Analyst Relations (AR). Partnering with industry analysts is pivotal for validating, shaping perceptions, and monitoring the strategies of your product launch through insights. Early and frequent engagement with industry analysts not only fuels your launch strategy with immediate market feedback and customer insights but also provides third-party validation that can help support your latest product launch. In this blog, we will walk through the six steps used for a successful product launch with our own clients. Let’s dive in. 

  • 1. Engage analysts early and often: Spotlight recently worked with an HR technology client on their latest product release. Six months before the launch, we started engaging with the most influential analysts in their target market to seek feedback on the product roadmap and the client’s go-to-market strategy. Rather than the vendor merely presenting their product, we guided our client in preparing transparent and candid material that invited analysts to contribute to the plan. These discussions provided valuable insights into current market trends, and feedback about the vendor, and identified potential risks and opportunities overlooked in the initial plan.
  • 2. Leverage analysts to refine your approach: By gathering early feedback from the analyst, the client was able to identify and incorporate three key themes focused on how their go-to-market strategy could be improved and better aligned with the market. These areas were:
  • Pricing Strategy: When sharing the pricing breakdown with industry analysts, multiple mentioned how a competitor was providing a similar product with fewer capabilities at a much higher rate. Analysts recommended a tiering approach to give more options to the buyer or to offer it as a limited-time lower cost and increase in six months to meet the market standard. 
  • Competitive Differentiator: After the initial briefing, analysts were confused about a clear differentiator for the product. The HR tech market is saturated and we immediately shared this feedback directly with the VP of Marketing so their team could get started on revisions before launch. Being proactive enabled the marketing team to start revisions well in advance of the launch, ensuring an effective position with a compelling and clear competitive edge. 
  • Adaptability: Analysts sought deeper understanding into the alignment of this product within the client’s extensive suite and its role in advancing long-term development and adoption goals. This presented a learning opportunity for our client, extending beyond just this launch to inform future initiatives. It is imperative to include the following when briefing the analysts:
    • Delineate the products use case
    • Explain the problem we were working to solve
    • Share the sales strategy in how this will be communicate with prospective clients. 
  • 3. Arrange exclusive analyst briefings and demos: After kick starting our analyst engagement plan months ahead of the launch, refining product launch messaging, and adjusting GTM plans based on analyst feedback, it was time to give the analysts a sneak peek of the latest product release. About 6-8 weeks ahead of the product launch, our client met with our key analysts to give a full briefing and demo of the new product capabilities offered along with the anticipated impact for end-users. By doing so, our client was able to successfully build anticipation and excitement around the launch while collecting any final analyst feedback ahead of the product launch date.
  • 4. Seek third-party validation through analyst reviews: Following the exclusive analyst pre-briefings, Spotlight collaborated closely with our client to analyze the valuable insights gleaned from these conversations. We were able to identify certain analysts who held particularly enthusiastic perspectives on the product’s potential. With the analysts’ consent, we then sought to amplify their positive views by securing public endorsements.
  • While some analyst firms restrict public commentary, we anticipated this potential hurdle and strategically partnered with boutique firms specializing in the HR tech market. This foresight paid off, allowing us to secure powerful quotes from several respected analysts. These testimonials were then woven into both the product launch press release and ongoing marketing materials, giving our client’s innovative product launch the public recognition it deserved. This strategic approach not only bolstered the launch’s momentum but also resonated with potential customers, becoming an incredible part of the client’s product marketing strategy. 
  • 5. Collaborate with analysts to amplify your launch: Beyond leveraging analyst quotes for press releases and marketing materials, Spotlight helped our client collaborate with analyst firms on additional public-facing content. Strategically identifying firms that offered both paid and unpaid promotional avenues, our client secured valuable showcases in: 
    • An HR technology podcast
    • Multiple analyst blog posts (earned, not paid)
    • A keynote speech at the annual HR Technology conference, reaching over 10,000 attendees
  • This is just one example of how Spotlight partners with vendors to identify the most effective engagements, amplifying your product launch beyond traditional methods.
  • 6. Proactively monitor feedback and track analyst perception: Following the product launch, we used Spotlight’s Oz platform to keep tabs on what analysts were saying about the new product while measuring sentiment and feedback across the market. This information helped our client shape their ongoing product and GTM strategy, and it also allowed AR to address any misperceptions among end users or industry analysts. Tracking analyst engagement before and after the launch, consistent feedback and market perception loops through Spotlight Oz, and calculated analyst pre-briefs enabled us to develop a repeatable playbook for strategically leveraging AR’s impact on future product launches.

In an era where the success of a product launch is contingent on various factors, AR stands out as a strategic and influential component. By leveraging the expertise, insights and credibility of analysts, businesses can navigate the complexities of product launches with confidence, ensuring that their offerings resonate with customers and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Looking to shine a spotlight on your next product launch? Our team of experts is eager to lend a hand. Get in touch with our team today!