(If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know that I am one of the moderators of #B2Bchat – a weekly conversation on all things B2B. This post also appears on B2Bbloggers.com web site, which serves as the content hub for #B2Bchat. For all posts on #B2Bchat, search for #b2bchat tag on B2Bbloggers, or visit http://www.b2bbloggers.com/blog/tag/b2bchat/).
In a recent post “Buyers vs Influencers: Who really controls the deal?” Fred McClimans discussed the role of influencers in the B2B sector, and the role that analysts, consultants and analyst relations professionals can play in establishing a strong B2B strategy. Increasingly, analysts (along with consultants and strategic advisors) are playing a larger role in influencing purchasing decisions and partnerships in the vendor/B2B space, an expansion of their more traditional role as advisors to the end-user consumer community.
Much of this is as a result of the increased pace of technology development, as well as economic uncertainty and a desire on the part of both vendors and end-users alike to mitigate risk in purchasing/partnership decisions. As a result, the importance of Analyst Relations (AR), in terms of identifying key analysts and influencers, has increased considerably over the past few years.
The questions we will discuss will include:
- Q1. What role do analyst relations/analysts play in your B2B strategy today?
- Q2. What’s the best approach to identify the key analyst/influencer in a particular business sector or deal?
- Q3. How can analyst relations and marketing work more closely to identify market/customer/channel opportunities?
- Q4. What are reasonable metrics and measures of success (i.e. tools) you use to value the impact of a B2B strategy or analyst relations strategy?
- Q5. What role can social media play in expanding your reach into the analyst/influencer market?
- Q6. Are bloggers “influencers”? Why or why not? What other categories of influencers do you track?
#ARchat was started and moderated by Fred (@fredmcclimans) and Steve Loudermilk (@loudyoutloud). Fred is an Information, Technology and Business Analyst with over 20 years of experience, including starting several business ventures, and hardware/software product development, strategic marketing, company/product launch strategies, business partnerships, investment evaluations, fund-raising and acquisition strategies. Steve is the head of Industry Analyst Relations for Alcatel-Lucent’s Services group. He is also a leader of PRSA/GA and has over 20 years of experience in media and analyst relations.
Please use #b2bchat hash tag as your primary tag (for tracking purposes). If you wish, add #archat as a secondary hash tag to your tweets, but be aware that “double hash tagging” will decrease the amount of characters available to you. If you enjoy the discussion this coming Thursday, be sure to check out the #ARchat proper, which takes place on Tuesdays 12 pm ET.
Join us on Thursday October 7 at 8 pm Eastern, 5 pm Pacific! Be sure to follow @B2B_chat for updates.
For other posts on social media topics, see:
- Primer on Twitter Chats
- Want to Build a B2B Community? Twitter Chat Offers Advice and How-to’s [#B2Bchat Recap]
- Practical Social Measurement for B2B: #B2Bchat Recap
- Corporate Twitter for B2B: Getting Started
- Corporate Twitter for B2B: 12 Types of Compelling Content for Your Feed