When Industry Analysts just don’t get your big idea…

Sonja Keerl
Do you ever leave a conversation with an industry analyst feeling frustrated and unheard? It's even more frustrating than in any other conversation because you know, these analysts influence the market and connect with buyers, competitors, and other industry players.

Do you ever leave a conversation with an industry analyst feeling frustrated and unheard? It's even more frustrating than in any other conversation because you know, these analysts influence the market and connect with buyers, competitors, and other industry players. And yet, they just don't seem to understand what is really going on in your space?

Next time you you feel like this, I want you to consider the following:

… you might not say it well


If an analyst just doesn't seem to get your great idea, consider the option that you might not have articulated it well. 

Analyst engagements are typically short. Especially if you are trying to get your idea across in a briefing rather than an inquiry conversation, where you don't even have a real option for feedback. 

If you do have the luxury of having a bi-directional conversation in an inquiry and the analyst feedback is not what you had hoped for, book this as a learning on how to do it better next time. 

Here's one of the problems: When we're engaging analysts in an advisory capacity, like an inquiry or an advisory day, many teams obsess about impressing the analyst: Dazzling them with all the positivity and features and facts and figures. While that is understandable, it is not always helpful in the early phases of big shifts, big pivots, big ideas. 

So if you are sure your idea has legs, but the analyst can't see it: Change your approach.

… share your vision and collaborate

Go in with the problem your big idea will address. Don't make fancy pants slides and play buzzword bingo. Just talk the way normal people talk. 

Don't come with a solution. Come with a problem, come with your vision for what the world should be. In general, you will find a willing sparring partner in an analyst to help you work through the process. 

… don’t dismiss the Analysts because you don’t like what they say


Assuming that analysts don’t get it has a pretty high opportunity cost. Because - you might be wrong. 

We all have a lot of ideas. And the truth is, the majority of ideas barely get off the ground. That's okay, that is the nature of ideas. If something is missing from your picture, industry analysts are the best possible guardians of reality to help fill in the gaps. 

There's a real benefit in it for you. Because if you realize early that something might not fly, you can change course. Avoid wasting your team's time, avoid wasting valuable R&D resources and maybe missing a bigger opportunity that would lead to tangible growth.


… Analysts may know more about the competitive playing field than you do

Analysts might know about solutions other players in your field or adjacent fields have successfully implemented, or are working on right now, that may help guide your thinking. Missing market developments as you ideate and develop, or even build, can be a big miss for your rollout.  You don't want to be blindsided when a competitor launches a solution that offers something yours doesn't.

… Analysts may help you with your message 

The last but certainly not least big opportunity cost is this: Imagine your idea really is new, innovative, and amazing. Yet, you fail to articulate that in a comprehensive way to an educated audience, like an industry analyst. Do you really think you'll have a chance to convince your partners, prospects and customers? Chances are, you won't. So use the time, and embrace critique to sharpen your message. Because as much as we love products, it's the story you tell that gets you revenue.

The bottom line: Every time you talk to an analyst and “they just don't get it”...

  1. Consider first that you might not have articulated yourself well. Don't treat it as a failure. Treat it as learning, and that’s a win. 
  2. Figure out what you might have missed, or if you could be wrong about something. 
  3. Hone your story and continue to have open and transparent conversations with your main analysts and subject matter analysts, considering the feedback and outcomes carefully every time.
  4. Improve, rinse, repeat.

And yes, in very rare cases, you will find a person on the other end who really just doesn't get it. But in my 20 years of working with industry analysts, those incidents have been so rare that they don’t even count. So ditch your ego, hold up a mirror and ask those questions!

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