(Based on comment’s Forrester VP Eric Lobel and review of notes and Forrester quarterly earning call transcripts, we are changing this post to remove Forrester from the discussion that the move to role based research is a means to significantly raise the price of syndicated research. While Forrester executives do regularly talk about raising the average selling price of its services through reduction of discounts and annual price increases, there is no price difference between WholeView and RoleView.)
Forrester and Gartner has have a variety of services that they offer at different price points. One of the products that both firms are Gartner is pushing their its sales forces to sell more of is the role-based products (“RoleView” at Forrester and “Gartner for Business/IT Leaders” at Gartner). During its 1Q08 earnings conference call Forrester’s CEO even introduced a new metric, “roles per client,” for financial analysts to track. Gartner’s CEO updates financial analysts each quarter on the progress his firm has made in switching clients from traditional Core Research seats to the role-based seats.
Why the emphasis? Switching a client from Forrester WholeView or Gartner Core Research to one of the Gartner role-based seats is effectively a significant (up to 100%) price increase. The draw is for the additional “analysis” more suited to the person’s role. While a role-based seat might offer sufficient incremental value to be worth the price difference for some buyers, that might not always be the case.
It is important for buyers of analyst services, whether enterprises or vendors, to carefully examine all the deliverables associated with services to select those that are best aligned with the buyers’ needs. Too often buyers “over buy,” signing up for a service with deliverables they won’t use. For example, Gartner’s Advisory (can do inquiries with analysts) Seat is much more expensive – up to 4x the price – than a Research (only reads published research) Seat. Why buy an Advisory Seat if the seat holder is only going to read research notes occasionally and does not intend to do inquiry?
This approach also applies when considering buying services from Forrester or Gartner, when an equivalent service at a different firm costs less. Buyers need to carefully analyze the deliverables of competing services to see which ones align better with their needs.
- Develop a comparison table that helps you break down services into constituent deliverables and compare offerings side-by-side (click here for example)
- Highlight which deliverables meet the requirements outlined in Part 2 as must have, nice to have, or not needed
- Identify which offerings meet your “must have” requirements
- Focus on those offerings that meet, but not exceed your must have requirements, accepting offerings that offer “nice to have” features only at no additional price
Bottom Line: Don’t overspend on analyst services by buying services that exceed your requirements.
Question: Do you create comparison tables of analyst products before deciding which firms and services to buy?
This post is one in a series on the SageCircle blog about how buyers of analysts service, whether enterprise IT or tech vendors, can ensure they are might the right purchasing decisions. For those analyst clients needing much more depth than what is in this blog series, please check out the SageCircle AR Wiki where you can find a lengthy thread of articles that provide more depth and breadth on this critical topic including checklists and tools.
- Using five rights to avoid a wrong when it comes to purchasing Gartner or Forrester services
- Right reasons – Evaluate why you are purchasing analyst services
- Right services – Align the services you buy to better match the reason for info or advice
- Right firms – Search out alternative services providers that better match your reasons
- Right price – Acquire those services that meet your basics requirements
- Right usage – Drive usage of the services you buy to ensure maximize business value