Guest post: Don’t settle for horizontal analysts

Many thanks to Evan Quinn at QAD for allowing us to publish this post disputing the recent post on vertical analysts.

There is “very little verticalized technology?” That is patently incorrect, and this is not the right advice. There are a ton of vertically-oriented tech solutions out there. What there is, however, is a relative lack of vertically-oriented coverage by analysts versus horizontal coverage. That doesn’t mean, however, that the AR pro should shrug shoulders and throw in with the horizontal analysts.

I work for an ERP company that focuses on Manufacturing. We work more with IDC Manufacturing Insights than the horizontal software coverage at IDC. We look into analyst backgrounds for manufacturing experience before we proactively work with them; not hard to do. Not sure why we need to connect with the “majority of influencers” – we want to connect with influencers that are relatively knowledgeable about our target markets: they are better advisors and more accurately cover us. Why would you want an analyst with no background in your target vertical(s) advising or writing about your company unless you only offered “horizontal” solutions. An example, me: I spent a fair amount of time as a “horizontal” analyst, but also worked for 15 years in banking and 7 years in engineering/construction management. I received plenty of outreach from vendors that had strength of offering in those verticals. Makes sense. Read the bio to determine vertical background and act accordingly. Never settle for quantity over quality. Customers and partners know the difference.

PS Duncan Chapple responds: “Companies operate in a real world, and technologies are adapted to the national, linguistic and industrial specificities of that world. However, these technologies themselves are generally not specific to vertical markets. ERP solutions like QAD work across several industries. A food company and a pharmaceutical company are in different sectors, but they have similar issues: compliance, the speed of the supply chain, responsiveness to changes in supplier and customer information, and so on. The ERP technology itself is not vertical, and while each company is different, the differences are not crucial. We know this is true because if verticalized analysts provided higher value to enterprises, then they would be growing at the expense of others.”

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.