When briefing analysts for the first time, you have the daunting task of compressing everything important and interesting about your company into a 30-minute presentation (and after accounting for Q&A it’s more like 25!). You can’t cover everything, so how do you know what to include and what to leave out? Whether you’re a seasoned PR pro or just getting started, every briefing (and deck) should include some basic fundamental information. Here are nine elements to take your analyst briefing to the next level:
1. A quick introduction of your company: Emphasis on “quick.” This should be a single slide (or less than 3 minutes) and explain your role at the company, what the company does, and what the briefing will cover. For example: “I’m Tom Haverford, the founder and CEO of Rent-a-Swag. We’re a clothing rental company offering high-end fashion for teen and pre-teens. I’m going to go over our business model, market, and future plans with you today.”
2. The context (or the founding story): If you’re a startup, give a condensed version of your founding story, making sure to keep it concise (and consider making this part of that initial slide and again, less than 3 minutes). Otherwise, give some context on why the problem your company solves exists or what the current gap in the market is. For example, if you’re an HR Tech company you might talk about how a shift to work from home has changed much of HR’s responsibilities. Focus on the context that’s important to understand for your business’s benefits.
3. The problem your company solves and why it’s important: Move from context into the problem your company solves and why it’s important. If you’re a cybersecurity company, for instance, you might want to talk about how the attacks that your company specializes in stopping are on the rise, or how damaging they can be if successful. Work to make this and the context as brief as possible – two or three slides at most and just a few minutes in conversation. The analyst will likely already know many of the issues in your space, so you don’t need to oversell.
4. Your company’s solution: Explain what your solution does in 3-5 bullet points (this shouldn’t be more than one slide in the deck). I often see presentations that put the benefits of the solution before an explanation of what it is, which doesn’t provide the analyst with the necessary context. Be sure to address the solution first, and avoid a wall of text on your slide and focus instead on verbal explanation.
5. Benefits of your solution: Now that you’ve explained the solution, it’s time to address the benefits. Again, condense this down to one slide in the deck, but be prepared to go into detail about each individual benefit. This is a good place to share examples of how customers have benefitted from the product or service, or a few stats that quantify those benefits.
6. How it works and what makes it unique: This is where you can expand on your company’s solution. Show some screenshots, an architecture diagram, any other important info relevant to your industry. But be sure to focus on the elements of the product or service that sets it apart from your competition.
7. Notable customers and verticals you work with: Next, share your customers with the most recognizable names and explain the verticals you most often work with (for example, healthcare, retail, education, etc.). This should be condensed into one slide, but if you’re pressed for time, this is a good one to cut (just be prepared for the analyst to ask about it).
8. Feedback and momentum: If you have positive customer testimonials, include one or two and summarize the general feedback you’ve received. Share any lessons you’ve learned about the product or service and what your focus will be going forward. You want to show the analyst that you have good momentum and longevity.
9. Sales, deployment, nuts and bolts: If possible, share any positive sales metrics (i.e. “sales have doubled from Q2 to Q3 of this year and are on track to double again in Q4”) and any other details about the product that don’t fit anywhere above. If you’re a software company, share how your product is deployed and what the installation and configuration/setup process is like – analysts usually ask.
You won’t be able to cover everything in your analyst briefing deck, so it’s a good idea to prepare some talking points for additional questions. Keep in mind, these are supplemental, so you don’t need to proactively address them. And, always be prepared to jump into a demo in case the analyst asks. Analysts often ask lots of questions, so below are some common one’s I’ve heard.
1. Competitors: Some analysts will ask this because they want to know how to position your company in the market. Don’t be coy – tell them who your competitors are. If you don’t feel like you have direct competitors, at least share what stops potential customers from choosing you. Saying “this is a unique offering with no real competitors” can make analysts think you’re not being honest (and let’s be real, there are always competitors).
2. Roadmap and future plans: Determine in advance what forward-looking information you are comfortable sharing. Remember, this interview is for the analyst’s knowledge, so you can be more forthcoming than you would be with press. Be sure to clarify embargoed information before you share it.
3. Common criticisms: If there are any common criticisms of issues that your customers keep bringing up, or are commonplace in your industry, make sure you have an answer prepared. For example, if you are an HR tech company that uses AI, be prepared to answer questions about how you manage bias in your AI models.
These elements are just a few ideas to get your company started with a successful analyst relations program. Keep in mind that every industry is unique, and there may be some additional idiosyncrasies specific to your market. Still not sure where to get started? Let’s chat.