How do tech buyers really use analysts?

Each January Lighthouse surveys an international group of CIOs to find out how, and why, they are using industry analysts.

The scale of the study is quite unique. Across Europe, for example, we surveying more than 100 CIOs in each key markets — giving our last study 12 times more technology buyers than our friends at SageCircle were able to. This larger sample size allows us to make meaningful segmentation of the data, by vertical markets, countries or by the sizes of the firms for which these CIOs work. This approach is massively valuable for salespeople, who are able to see which firms are most likely to be advising IT buyers in the market sub-segments they are targetting.

We are also quite careful to ensure the sample is balanced: as we have pointed out before, some research in this area seems, to us, to resemble wild guesses. We set clear target figures for survey participation, and work actively to balance the survey participation by targetting interviewers at those countries where response rates tend to be lower.

In the few years we have been running the study, we’ve seen both stability and change in how CIOs are using analysts. The number of firms using analysts has been fairly stable. Overall spending on analysts’ research also seems stable. However, we are seeing firms that do subscribe to analysts are using them more intensively, and at more stages of the buying process. However, we are also seeing the impact of the internet deepening: more managers feel happy to use analyst research they have found online or been passed [over, or under the counter].

This week we’ll be finalising the survey, and we have a few spaces left open for more questions. If you’ve got something you’d like us to ask — just let us know!

Duncan Chapple

Duncan Chapple is the preeminent consultant on optimising international analyst relations and the value created by analyst firms. As SageCircle research director, Chapple directs programs that assess and increase the business value of relationships with industry analysts and sourcing advisors.