August 30, 2020
A number of years ago, the CEO of a promising cybersecurity startup contacted us about helping his company access interview opportunities.
At the time, this startup had recently completed a follow-on investment round and was starting to generate revenue from its initial customers here in Israel, although the company had not yet committed to a consistent go-to-market strategy.
For us, there was a lot of potential for successful engagement. However, the CEO was stuck on the idea that if he could get just one or two interviews published about the company in a major media outlet, his startup would take off and customers would line up to place orders.
Before speaking with us and without proper consultation, the CEO had sent long emails detailing the company’s technology and products to dozens of journalists at large newspapers like the Wall Street Journal as well as Tech Crunch, Venture Beat and other prominent technology news sites. To no surprise, the CEO did not get any responses from of the journalists he contacted.
Clearly, the expectations of this CEO were not realistic and his objectives for interacting with journalists and reaching out to the market to attract customers were not obtainable.
Our Approach: Strategic Planning for Long Term Success
Since the inception of Noteya Innovations over ten years ago, we have always promoted the idea that good press and analyst coverage can turn almost any company into a market player and even a market leader. Feature articles, interviews, news stories, analyst reports and industry awards can strengthen a company’s brand and promote all of its corporate initiatives.
For technology vendors selling indirectly through sales channel partners, such as distributors, value added resellers, managed service providers and system integration firms, strategic press and analyst coverage is essential for initiating business development activities and supporting ongoing sales activities in local markets.
This is achievable for almost any technology vendor, especially those in Israel. From our experience, the starting point for this is creating a strategic press and analyst coverage plan based on the following principals:
- No one-off or unconnected coverage – any coverage has the potential to be positive, although interaction with journalists and analysts is most effective within the framework of a strategic plan. One-off interviews will only lead to a short term spike in movement at best, while the publication of a series of unconnected coverage items may actually create confusion about a company in its market.
- Sustainable overtime – many technology vendors approach us with the idea that they want to bombard the market with press releases and online publications with articles about their news. While press releases and news coverage are important elements of any coverage plan, all coverage should be spread out over time in order to give the market time to digest each coverage item. At the same time, a vendor that makes a lot of noise and then goes silent for an extended period can be perceived as a risk to both its sales channel partners and potential customers.
- Leverage different coverage types – building on the above ideas, a strategic plan for press and analyst coverage over time should include a full range of coverage types. For most technology vendors, it is unrealistic to distribute a press release every month and other coverage types should be added to the coverage mix, such as interviews unrelated to corporate announcements, analyst coverage, guest articles and more.
- Broadcast progress and growth – each coverage activity, regardless of its type, should build on previous coverage in order to broadcast that the company is making progress and growing. For example, a coverage plan can start with a press release and news coverage about a new product, continue with an announcement about new go-to-market partners and follow up with interviews about new customers. Sales channel partners are attracted to this approach and know how to utilize coverage in this direction to promote the sales processes they are managing in their local markets.
Without a strategic plan for press and analyst coverage, a technology vendor runs the risk of keeping its company and innovations hidden from the market and its potential sales channel partners. Even the most well designed web site with full SEO optimization and engaging content is not enough to attract the attention of sales channel partners in local markets. Of course, internally produced content has value, although sales channel partners consider press and analyst coverage to be significantly more influential.
Part Two Preview
Okay, this is enough information to digest for one update. We will continue with Part Two next week.
In Part Two, we will outline a typical press and analyst coverage plan that we often recommend and explain the benefits it can provide for supporting a technology vendor’s business development activities and the sales processes of its sales channel partners in local markets.
In the meantime, if you would like to send us any questions or share any feedback, please do so through the form below.