There is an inherent contradiction in vendors saying the industry analysts are not relevant in the age of social media, while at the same time spending tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on research reprints like the Gartner Magic Quadrant or Forrester Wave. If the analysts are no longer influential – some vendor executives actually make that declarative of a statement – then why are their companies wasting the money spent on reprints? Reprints are not chump change as Gartner in its Q1 earnings call revealed that it makes about $7 million per year in reprint rights. Plus, our Google Alerts set up for the Gartner Magic Quadrant and the Forrester Wave come in every day – without exception – with multiple new hits on vendors bragging about their positions on one or more of these iconic research graphics.
A small irony is that the vendors promoting analyst research in press releases, blog posts, Twitter tweets, reprints on websites, and quotes in sales presentations only help to reinforce the perception among enterprise technology products and services buyers that these analysts matter. To a certain extent, vendors are spending their money in order to do brand marketing for the analysts. Pretty good deal for the analyst firms, eh? Of course, the two biggest beneficiaries of this largess are Gartner and Forrester.
SageCircle has previously posted these discussions of analyst influence in age of social media:
- Research is commoditized – a dead idea
- Context, advice, reputation and time: How analysts can thrive in the social media age
- Published research is only the tip of the iceberg
- Influence is not a zero-sum game so analyst influence is not necessarily diminished by the rise of bloggers
- Why analysts matter – “I get asked daily in one medium or another who to buy”
- Why technology buyers use the IT industry analysts
- Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that analysts will automatically lose influence
- Educate executives that the rise of the blogosphere and other social media does not automatically doom the analysts
- Track Forrester’s and Gartner’s quarterly earnings (the only two public companies) to understand the number of enterprise clients they have
- Track analyst firms’ investments in social media to determine whether the firms are working to ensure they can leverage social media to grow their level of influence
- Track changes in the analyst firms’ overall client bases to determine whether IT buyer-based influence is waxing or waning
Bottom Line: There is no guarantee that any particular analyst firm will “get it” when it comes to the Fog of Influence and take the steps necessary to maintain or increase its influence. However, it is not inevitable that analysts have to lose influence. AR teams and their colleagues in corporate communications as well as PR agencies need to continually monitor their markets to ensure that they have an objective view of the shifting influence landscape.
Question: AR Teams – Do you have executives that express skepticism about the influence of the analyst? Analysts at major firms – Do you perceive that your firm is taking the steps necessary to maintain a high level of influence? Are you taking steps to maintain your personal brand and influence?
Do you have trouble convincing your executives about the influence of the analysts and the ROI of AR? SageCircle can help –
SageCircle can provide you with the 3rd party perspective to reinforce what you are already telling your executives. Some of our services that can help in this situation include:
- Executive Briefing on the Analyst Landscape and Impact
- Custom Training – Including a face-to-face executive meeting as part of an on-site training day is easy and a effective way to educate your executives
To find out more information about how SageCircle can help you take your AR program to the next level visit our website at www.sagecircle.com, email us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or call 503-636-1500.