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Analysts Watch

'Analysts Watch'
The European Media's View of the Storage Analysts'

Today data storage strategies are discussed in the boardroom and as a result the debate has been elevated from a purely technical matter to a broader, more critical business issue. In recent years the data storage industry has therefore been propelled to the top of the European media's priority list. Whereas before it was only the occasional feature that devoted space to this growing market, today a number of storage-focused magazines are published across Europe. Even business publications now regularly carry supplements on this industry. So what does this mean for those vendors and resellers looking to leverage this development to increase brand awareness?

Within the marketing mix public relations, or PR, is a very effective tool. In the data storage industry, where a significant percentage of end users are still heavily relying on vendors and resellers to point them towards the most appropriate solutions, the competition for business is fierce and PR is an ideal tool to position a company as a reliable and trustworthy partner. A successful brand is a trusted brand. But simply communicating with the media is not sufficient a key ingredient of this recipe is local market knowledge i.e. understanding that business in Europe is not done in the same way as it is in the US and that the French will not respond to the same initiatives as the Germans for example. One factor is however constant across the entire continent: independent third-party endorsement is vital if you are to be seen as a leading player. While public customer references i.e. case studies are at best a lengthy process and at worst impossible to agree, trade analysts are a great source of independent comment. Or are they?

A3 Communications, the UK-based networked storage PR specialists, has investigated. Over three months, we surveyed the top 40 European editors who cover the storage industry to find out what their thoughts are on trade analysts contacts at publications such as Computer Reseller News (Germany), Computerwire, Government Technology, InfoStor Europe, IT Europa, Network News (Italy), Storage Newsletter (France), Network World (Poland), and TechWorld as well as experienced freelancers such as Bryan Betts and Danny Bradbury took part in our survey.

The A3 Communications poll consisted of eight questions on various aspects of the three-way relationship between vendors, analysts and the media, e.g. top analyst houses for editorial purposes, US-only Vs. UK-based analysts, customer Vs. analyst quotes and more. So are analyst programmes a way to ultimately add value to your company's brand?