The Tornbohm effect: why analyst profile in the media can be counter-indicator for importance

The Google News Timeline feature shows the frequency with which terms appear in the media it indexes. There’s a nice example here of what we call the Tornbohm Effect, after the Endele Effect.


For those who don’t know her, Cathy is one of the most senior analysts at Gartner following the services market. Few analysts beat her in our CIO Surveys, and her close knowledge of deal flow in the services market makes her a valuable advisor to many of the largest businesses. She’s also a highly rated presenter. And after ten years at Gartner, few can equal her growing influence in the market. However, some might think that there’s a contradiction between that and her media profile, which is declining.


In fact, we see this pattern for many senior analysts: their profile rises not only as they establish themselves in their firms but also as colleagues’ confidence in passing them media leads increases. However, as the seniority and time pressures grow on these experts, their availability to speak with the media falls. Their time is focussed towards the business press and the broadcast media. At the same time, other analysts arise in the firm who are able to handle media inquiries more or less as well, but at a much lower operational cost to the organisation.


So the slow tailing off in media profile is something which, while not being universal, is often seen in senior analysts. It’s an important reason why media data alone are not a perfect guide to analysts’ influence on buyers.

Duncan Chapple

Duncan Chapple is the preeminent consultant on optimising international analyst relations and the value created by analyst firms. As the head of CCgroup's analyst relations team, Chapple directs programs that increase the value of relationships with industry analysts and sourcing advisors.