The analyst racket

As product managers and product marketers our role can bring us into contact with the big technology analysts – with their magic quadrants, waves and cycles.

We buy their research to use in our market analysis but we also try to get them to endorse our company and products in their reports so that customers will buy from us and investors will think we’re a good bet.

They aim to provide impartial independent expert analysis but base their research on information we provide. At the same time they try to sell us their reports and consultancy services.

This does appear to create some potential conflicts of interest…

Should we buy the reports or consulting services from a particular technology analyst company just because it might get us an introduction to an analyst we want to influence and which could tip the balance on which quadrant we end up in?

In an analyst briefing should we ‘sex-up’ the presentation of our product and provide a detailed pack of supporting research, industry statistics and interesting graphs in the hope that the analyst might just think it’s easier to re-use our stuff rather than write it from scratch?

If we tell the analysts all our clever ideas about where the market is going and what we’re doing next – will they be sold as ‘consultancy’ to our nearest competitor in a month’s time?

You need to decide for yourself.

But while you’re thinking have a look at this very funny send-up of technology analysts. Hopefully it will be still be online and you’ll see a press release about Harvester Research introducing forcesales.com and their Analyst-as-a-Service (AaaS).

Ian Lunn
Director, Product Focus

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