By Suzannah Archibald (LinkedIn,@suzannah_a),Head of Analyst Relations at CCgroup.
IDC is usually one of the better analyst houses I encounter. They usually show tight co-ordination amongst their end-user practices, and reach out and access their client and subscriber database across over 10,000 IT decision-maker professionals (and counting). So, in mid-2017, what’s changed at IDC? And how are they handling organisational change since their change of ownership, earlier this year? These were just some of the questions posed by Industry Analyst Relations professionals at a recent IIAR webinar and networking session with…
Dan Timberlake (UK&I MD, VP Sales, EMEA), Tom Meyer (GVP Research EMEA, @tomtxt), and Mathew Heath (EMEA Marketing Director, himself the brains behind the always-entertaining @IDC_EMEA account).
They were refreshingly open, honest and transparent with all of us on the call from the international AR community, and talked us through recent organisation-led changes, as well as how they perceive the end-user IT buyer’s market is likely to adapt to market forces and further change over the next three to five years.
Some of what I took away:
IDC EMEA averages over 85K client interactions per year – much higher than even the closest competition
IDC Predictions webcasts are all free to attend, and their IDC Directions events in both the US and EMEA are super well-attended by vendor audiences, as well as by IT decision-makers. The conference portfolio includes 180+ conferences and these events boast 10K attendees last year who attended events they do, or co-host with vendor organisations
IDC aims to attract more of the CMO line of business audience, through custom research, and customised business units, by building out more research aimed at specialist marketers. This includes: increasing the scope and size of their sourcing advisory services, government policy coverage, and specialist units currently under development for 2018 in areas of CDO, GDPR, Blockchain, and DevOps.
Some other interesting quick IDC titbits to digest, that I also picked up on:
– Inbound search performs extremely well, and targeted content marketing campaigns run by IDC Interactive Tools provide 50x better return on investment compared to industry-wide averages they themselves benchmark against, according to the team– IDC’s data remains enormously useful to the challenger IT and Global Investment (i.e. VC) communities; since 2014 IDC averages in the region of 15,000 interactions with the financial community per year and 500k data extractions were used by the financial audience in 2016– IDC’s making concerted efforts to show more EMEA-centricity to its EMEA based clientele. There are now several IDC European practices based around Innovation (Phil Carter has been IDC’s chief analyst since 2016), as well as IoT, and even blockchain/distributed ledger technologies – the team of Tom Zink & Giorgio Nebuloni.
The EMEA management team is rightly proud of its heritage providing both tactical and strategic data to drive data-driven decision making; as GVP Research Tom Meyer says: At IDC, we give the ‘best-in-class’ in terms of data in the industry at this point.’
Far from being nervous since the ownership change, the lads from IDC seemed buoyed by the prospect of new energy and life being breathed into the IDC market research organisation. IDC EMEA itself experienced a 10 % hiring increase, adding 6-7 new senior analysts this year to the UK market alone. This despite parent company IDG Corp. announcing lay-offs to US based editorial and journalists in May, but the market research side of the business seems unphased, and largely unaffected, by recent changes.
IDC is priming itself to go after more and more of the enterprise technology IT-buying ‘mindshare’ – and attempt to create more content and resources targeted directly at them
It’s too soon to say how the change of ownership of IDC and IDG Corporation will have an impact, a bit of a watch and wait in that respect.
My opinion only – but they do need to make optimising their website and search across the website a bit easier from a UX perspective. Searching for relevant analysts, particularly outside of your own market, is still a pain. Offering free to download resources which list key analysts in a given vertical market is a step in the right direction, as is offering language-optimised web pages.
Finally, after a couple of years in the wilderness, IDC looks to become more strategic, bolder and more involved in the CMO line of business. They are definitely attempting big strides to bite bigger chunks out of the retained accounts of both Gartner and Forrester.
My thanks to Mathew Heath (IDC EMEA Marketing Director), Dan Timberlake (IDC UK & I Managing Director), Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic, IIAR Board Member and Head of Influencer Relations, Criteo) and Richard Fogg (CEO, CCgroup PR) for their input. And, another great event put on by the IIAR, my thanks to the board for hosting me. Can’t wait for the next one.
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