The following post was written by Wendy White, VP of Marketing at Egencia. Wendy has 20 years of experience developing high-impact marketing programs and campaigns for the likes of Intel, Motorola, and Microsoft.
Analyst Reports: How to Maximize Your ROI
Is your market defined by a widely-read analyst report like the Gartner Magic Quadrant, Forrester Wave or IDC Marketscape? If so, your company’s placement in these reports is foundational for establishing credibility and getting you on the short list for customer consideration.
Here’s a revelation: these reports could also be the foundation of your most successful content marketing campaigns. Securing and leveraging analyst reports is expensive. The internal capacity it takes to shine during the briefing and secure positive coverage is resource intensive. Then, you’ll likely have significant marketing costs for the reprints. To maximize your ROI, we suggest following three simple rules:
- Invest in the lead-up.
- Beat the competition at release with a fast, multi-prong approach.
- Win the year with a smart long tail strategy.
Rule #1: Kill it during the lead up by tapping into the market’s anticipation.
The analyst report will be highly anticipated if you are in a fast-changing market or a competitive market where innovation can change the landscape. You can’t share any insights you get from early review copies of the report. However, you can tap into the anticipation with smart, creative teaser blogs highlighting market changes you’ve seen in the last year. If this isn’t your first time being included in an analyst report, make sure you get everything you can out of last year’s report (assuming you have participated in previous years). Wring some lead generation value out of last year’s report by fulfilling with that plus an offer to send the new report when it releases.
Rule #2: Beat the competition with speed and smarts.
If the report is important, you will not be the only company who will buy and market the report. Some competitors may even offer it ungated. Don’t worry; focus on being different and providing value. The first few days after the report is published is your biggest opportunity to crush it with thought leadership and demand performance. The key is to be agile and have an interesting point of view. Here’s how:
- Be bold: as soon as you get the review copy of the report, get ready. Most competition will focus on their press release and perhaps a blog on their own position. Don’t get caught in that low ROI trap. Make product marketing your best friend and partner to pick trend topics that are compelling and click-worthy. The minute the report releases, launch topical blogs like “Winners and Losers” or “Five Market Trends That Shaped This Year’s Report.” Of course, you’ll surround these blogs with smart organic and paid social. (Note: Some analyst firms take up to 48 hours to issue reprint links but do NOT wait. Get out there and collect names and follow up with the report when you have the link. )
- Email nurtures: you already know to swap the report into current nurture campaigns, but make sure to use it to warm up cold leads. Segment out last year’s report recipients and tailor a quick campaign to them. Again – ready to shape their perception before they hear it from the competition and use all your great blog content to reignite a nurture campaign with them.
- Prepare: as soon as the review copy is in your hands, create a narrative you can share with Sales and customers. It’s important to do this right away so your Sales team isn’t unprepared when a customer or prospect brings up items from the analyst report. Send out a response brief that tells Sales how to position your success. Also, don’t forget the report always has “cautions”. Create an objection handling one pager/script that helps Sales overcome questions around the cautions listed in the report. Use this same information to craft a great email campaign to customers. (Note: Don’t forget the RFP team – get a package in their database to help strengthen RFP responses.)
Rule 3: Win the long tail. Win new customers.
As a content marketer, you already know the long tail has real ROI, so keep it going. Keep your finger on the pulse of market-changing news and use it to make the report relevant again with smart blogs. Don’t over-invest –short blogs with a few key few points to tie the news to the report and you have another path to ROI. As the new report gets close to release, see rule one.
It all comes down to a smart, agile process that doesn’t hold back on timing and bold content. That’s it. Now it’s up to you to build those smart storylines that improve your company’s profile and help you crush your numbers.
Like what Wendy had to say? Find her on LinkedIn here.