Forrester’s mammoth AR Survey: why reply?

Reedwan Iqbal is conducting Forrester’s “AR Annual Budget Survey”, which seems to be a new Forrester survey of AR budgets and costs at global and regional AR teams. Our clients received invites mid-week, and were asked to reply by Tuesday next week.

While the use of the data has not been finalized, Iqbal explains that Forrester “currently intend that the results will drive some reports on cost-effective analyst relations and we will happily provide a summary of one of them to” participants.

First things first. It’s a wild survey. I worked my way though over 150 questions, and then saw that I was still only half way through. How big is this thing??

It reminds me of those diners where the food is free if you can eat everything on the menu. Who does that?? But in this case the incentive is so modest [a summary of one report, when Forrester already gives away whole slide decks], and the effort is not in line with the reward.

Furthermore, there’s no suggestion that participants will get a summary of the data, or even something as simple as a comparison of their responses with the average. That breaches the common practice of analyst firms. It also runs against the principle of reciprocity. As a result, they will have a weaker sample with greater self-selection.

My other main observation is about the pace: one week to collect the data. That says a lot about the importance placed in this study. Since a major criticism of Forrester AR research has been the small and non-random sample sizes, it’s interesting that they are not taking more time with such a difficult survey.

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.