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For companies targeting enterprise buyers, particularly in the technology sector, analysts can be important influencers that are often left untouched by communications. However, in skipping this audience, a number of fruitful business opportunities can be left unexplored.

Several international analyst houses have increased commitment to the Middle East and Africa region over recent years, expanding their operations from sales offices to – in some cases – fully fledged research operations. This local presence is enabling analysts to build a closer focus on the fast-growing economies of the region rather than the Euro-centric view of years gone by.

From a company’s perspective, analysts offer opportunity to establish a reciprocal relationship that yields returns through building conversations over time. Analysts spend much of their day speaking to industry leaders with their eye on new trends; young start-ups that might be the next big thing; and government bodies that can influence the changing tides of investment. Sharing information about business success, direction and marketplace trends can be an astute investment if in return your conversation garners valuable insight from an industry expert.

And the discussion can be more detailed than that which might be shared with the media; these exchanges are not going into print. Instead, analysts are often reference points for companies considering big investments and weighing up potential suppliers, so the more they know about your business the better armed they will be in this conversation.

There is opportunity to partner on research and whitepapers on industry trends in the region, shedding new light on the economic and industry trends here, and contributing to knowledge development. Analysts can bring credibility to these reports through their position as independent experts, and offer another angle for driving coverage through the press with opinions to support business findings.

Bringing H+K’s expertise from around the world, where in many places analysts are a staple part of a technology engagement programme, we hope to see more involvement between companies and analysts in building the research and knowledge amongst industries across the region.

– Katy Branson, Head of Technology UAE at Hill+Knowlton Strategies Dubai

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