I had a great comment today from an analyst in Germany, who says to me: “You point out that companies like bundles of research and consulting. At least for Germany, I’m not so convinced. We still have this “engineering culture” in many managers: they want to understand how things work and they like buying written research. Bundles are not as much appreciated here than in the US.”
This is correct, as far as it goes. There has been a huge rise in bundled-in advisory time in the English-speaking countries and, in Germany, there are some strong Enlightenment values about learning to understand something for yourself if you are responsible for it rather than deferring to others. German managers do buy data, as well as insight.
However, there is a large market for advice in the German-speaking countries, and META is the case-study for that. The franchise entrepreneurs who built META in Germany developed a very large consulting business, which Gartner has destroyed. Forrester certainly sees the opportunity to win some of that business themselves. Their data-driven approach should give them the opportunity to do that very well, and without harming their sales of research.
My correspondant also gives this footnote: “So Forrester should have a good position in Germany, but surprisingly they don’t – at least in my impression. Many still see them as the hype company they were during the late 1990s. And when it comes to press coverage here, they are way behind Gartner.” [Indeed, Forrester’s footprint in Germany is still weak, despite its $15 Million acqusition of ForIT, even if that footprint is getting stronger].