Bad timing for Forrester’s price increases?

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In IIAR> annual survey of analyst relations professionals for The IIAR> Awards 2022, over 42.5% of AR professionals who responded expressed frustrations with Forrester Research ($FORR). These frustrations ranged from confusion regarding Forrester’s new go to market offerings to push back on Forrester’s price increase. One respondent said “Forrester’s new offerings have made it extremely difficult to change our legacy contract with add-ons without renewing it early at a higher rate”, while another member expressed that “Forrester has declined in relevance significantly” for their business. (Source: IIAR> survey on AR salaries and budgets, January 2023.)

To facilitate the exploration of these topics, the IIAR> hosted a members-only Discussion Group. During this exchange, IIAR> members were split on whether Forrester had sufficiently enriched its value proposition to match its price increases. Members noted that coverage depth in some tech areas were not strong enough to justify a business case for increased costs. And while some members appreciated the flexibility within the new ‘Leader and Team’ model, there was still disappointment with the lack of options for money-saving ‘reader-only’ seats, and some members questioned the value of the Sirius add-ons and lamented the discontinuation of service units (SU’s).

Attendees also expressed concerns over the Forrester Wave process. New limits have been imposed on the vendor review process –for instance only 15% of scored criteria can be now be rebutted. Additionally, some members reported they experienced Forrester refusing to engage with non-client vendors about inclusion/exclusion in reports.

With the current economic headwinds, analyst price increases have been doubly challenging to AR teams also faced with substantial budget cuts. The group discussed the economic necessity to engage research and advisory alternatives beyond Forrester and Gartner. The consensus from AR pros was to call on Forrester to be truly customer obsessed and rethink using high-pressure sales tactics.

The IIAR> welcomes Forrester to engage with the AR community via a call for IIAR> members. 

What do you think?

Note: this post summarizes the takeaways from a member group discussion that was held under Chatham House rule.

IIAR> members can view the full summary here on our Members portal.

*** UPDATED 4/5/23: following a request from Forrester this post was amended to reflect that vendor feedback on Waves scores is limited to 15% of criteria and not just 4 scores. ***

*** UPDATED 9/5/23: a previous version of this blog post mentioned that some members reported restrictions on vendor briefings for non-clients to a single annual briefing. Forrester reached out to the IIAR> and provided the following clarification: “We do not have a policy of restricting briefings for non-clients to one per year.” ***

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