I recently came across another blatant example of an analyst firm misusing the process by which analysts are invited to attend a vendor briefing.
I was looking to set up a briefing with IDC’s Energy Insights. Although the analyst had accepted the briefing, the company still wants me to complete this form. According to the group operations manager: “This is a standard company policy when requesting a briefing with our analysts.”
Now although it’s a pain, I don’t usually have a problem filling in vendor briefing request forms.
For those who aren’t familiar with them, these are normally used to capture information that will help:
- the firm ensure that all relevant analysts are aware of the request, and
- the analysts decide whether or not to accept a meeting.
But it’s a bit annoying when the analyst firm is using the process to capture information that is obviously more relevant for its sales force than the analysts.
For example, alongside the regular stuff (eg what’s the briefing about, who would it be with, tell us about your company), Energy Insights wants to know:
- Who is the head of marketing for your company? (Name, title, email, and phone)
- Who is the head of product marketing for your company? (Name, title, email, and phone)
- Who is responsible for your company’s strategic planning? (Name, title, email, and phone)
- Does your company use market research to assist in strategic planning?
- Does your company currently have any relationships with other market research firms?
- Would you be interested in learning more about our services in your market area and the benefits of having a relationship with Energy Insights?
Easy enough information to provide – but does an analyst at Energy Insights really need to know this information in order to qualify a meeting? I’d love to know.
Now if it’s for use by the sales force… well, that makes more sense. I can see why an analyst firm thinks it’s a smart idea to capture all this information. Lovely juicy contact data for the new business machine.
But IDC, why not be honest (and obviously honest) about why you want it. Otherwise, this feels a bit slimy and underhand.
I checked the other IDC companies as well:
IDC itself requires a considerable amount of information but you can see that it would all be useful to the analyst team. It’s roughly in line with the information requested by Gartner. Forrester Research (registration required, but it’s free) and Yankee Group.