Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Do industry analysts understand how and why Fortune enterprises buy research?
Periodically I get pitches from small industry analyst firms attempting to sell their value proposition and wonder if they have any understanding of the marketplace. Us enterprisey folks do understand that top talent tends to gather in small firms who have a particular focus and that the analysts that work at these places tend to be the types that have in the past worked for large analyst firms and got tired of working with other analyst boneheads.
So selling on your unique and deep knowledge is intriguing at some level but isn't sufficient for most enterprises to pull the trigger. Part of the problem is that we at some level have gotten out of the habit of buying research. Do you understand that all of those small VC driven firms usually provide us with the reports simply for the asking?
Some of the new world industry analyst firms tend to not produce formally written research and have fell in love with blogs. At some level blogging appeals to me as I have been doing every single day for over a year without interruption. Yet, I understand that many of my peers would prefer something a little more formal. Maybe you shouldn't stick strictly to blogging and consider doing both.
Engaging in a dialog via the blogosphere is a new method of interaction that could provide us enterprisey folk with more value than traditional approaches to industry analysis ever could. Just the ability to observe a dialog between two parties is something we really dont see today. Keep in mind though that the masses in corporate environments barely know what a blog is. Maybe you are too early?
Anyway, if you were to ask the opinion of any enterprise architect they would tell you that they have an initiative/directive to reduce the amount of vendors they interact with. The notion of consolidation really shouldn't be foreign. You have probably guessed that the average enterprise probably has relationships with over 500 distinct IT vendors and the thought of casually adding another one is frought illusions of pain and frustration. We do understand that from your perspective, you are easy to work with and any pain is more than worth it, but shouldnt you attempt for a second to understand ours?
Just so you folks don't get it twisted, how about coming up with a mechanism such that an enterprise could from a procurement perspective buy research from all small analysts under one fixed fee contract just like the big guys? Do you think us enterprisey folks would pay more attention if say we could buy the research of Redmonk, Zapthink, Nemertes, 451 Group, Elemental Links and Tolly in one swoop instead of having eight different conversations?
Maybe you could do industry analysis on the industry analyst vertical to figure out whether what I am suggesting makes sense and not only blog about it but make it easier for us to do business with you?