Scott King: Breaking Down the Analyst Value Survey

An analyst firm mentioned how respondent’s from a recent survey viewed the firm. They claimed they were highly regarded, independent, and that customers trusted their opinions. They sourced data from an annual Analyst Value Survey conducted by the University of Edinburgh.

The Analyst Value Survey plays a unique role in the analyst industry. It is the only public survey into how thousands of professionals value different analyst firms like Gartner, Forrester, and around 100 of their most successful competitors.

I wanted to read the report but couldn’t find it online, so I emailed the University and the analyst firm that cited it. I eventually received a message from a marketing firm that I could buy the report for $5000. I wrongfully assumed a report from an educational institution would be free and informed them I did not have a budget for this.

After I stated I did not have a budget, one of the report’s authors, Duncan Chapple of the Analyst Observatory at the University of Edinburgh, informed me a webinar archive is available. Mr. Chapple discussed the changing industry analyst and influencer market with Vinnie Mirchandani of Deal Architect.

I broke down some of the most interesting points in the webinar and what it means. You can view the entire webinar below my notes.

Most of the analyst value is received outside of subscriptions.

What this means: Companies are not paying for analyst subscriptions but can find a licensed report that a vendor is distributing. It seems difficult to me that one can remain independent if most of your value is distributed via licensed reports. I am curious how Gartner’s research revenue has shifted from subscription revenue to lead generation revenue over the years. I reached out to a few financial analysts to see if they have any data on this.

Gartner Peer Insights is becoming more valuable.

What this means: Throughout the survey, Gartner dominates brand recognition and clout. Now that it has built its own review portal with Gartner Peer Insights, it will continue to dominate the smaller vendors. Buyers highly regard peer advice and insight, and having verified reviews on Peer Insights is a great resource.

Top 10 most used topics research categories are:

  • AI
  • Analytics
  • Cloud Computing
  • Data Analytics
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Information Security
  • IT Services
  • Cybersecurity
  • Enterprise Tech
  • Internet of Things (IoT)

What this means: If you are selling technology in any of the above markets, you need to pay attention to how analysts portray the market, solutions, and your specific product.

Vendors should focus more time speaking to sourcing analysts vs. only speaking to industry analysts.

What this means: During the webinar, both Mr. Chapple and Mirchandani state how influential sourcing analysts are compared to industry analysts. Be sure and seek sourcing advice if you have the resources to do so.

The speakers mention Peter Colony’s (Forrester CEO) article, Anywhere Work.

What it means: In the article, Mr. Colony states how the pandemic is forcing his company to rethink the office culture and how it affects analyst views and cultures. They most likely will see analyst talent shift from markets with big offices to anywhere. This is happening to all companies as workers realize that there is more to life than sitting in an unproductive office.

Survey respondents provided an average score of 3.3 (1 out of 5) on “How independent are these firms from their commercial relationships?”

What this means: Respondents are cautious when stating analyst independence. They understand that analysts must have favorable opinions regarding customers for long-term revenue sustainability and growth.

The big firms: Gartner, Forrester, IDC, Omdia, and Everest Group maintain the most prominent brand presence, but the smaller niche firms are rated most independent.

What this means: Buyers and vendors need relationships with both large and small firms. 

Analyst Relation jobs may change names and evolve by 2025.

What this means: Some vendors push information into the market and are not asking for analyst feedback. The analysts view this as influence vs. intelligence.

Analyst firms are organized and operated in silos.

What this means: Analyst firms that are viewed as more independent often start with the customer problem and seek to solve that vs. looking at the technologies and then finding ways to apply them.

Other resources mentioned:

UP and to the RIGHT: Strategy and Tactics of Analyst Influence: A complete guide to analyst influence. UP and to the RIGHT is the first book written to guide technology marketers and executives in their journey to the Leaders Quadrant. Written by industry insider Richard Stiennon this is required reading for anyone responsible for leading and growing a technology firm.

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WRITTEN BY Scott King

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