Published: August 2013, updated May 2021.
Industry analysts are top influencers, consistently ranked in the top 3 for B2B technology solutions and services, throughout the decision making process.
- The 2020 IDG Decision Makers Study found that 48% of tech buyers made purchasing decisions based mainly on analyst opinions, and Analyst firms were the most important sources in the evaluation and selection phases of the decision making process.
- Analyst content is the most important content consumed during the buying process – more so than vendor presentations, media or input from peers
- They are thought leaders, creating and establishing new solution categories and with a following that extends way beyond their subscribers
- Some are also strategic visionaries that can provide future vision, roadmaps, ref architectures to senior end-users for longer term planning
- They also influence buyers directly by prescribing approaches and recommending vendors for consideration
So, what is an industry analyst?
The IIAR> defines an industry analyst as:
An information and communications technology (ICT) industry analyst is a person, working individually or within a firm analysing and publishing research and/or opinions, forecasts, market sizing, on ICT products and services trends, adoption, market-fit, procurement, deployment and/or advising independently technology buyers and vendors and/or providing go-to-market services.See the IIAR> Best Primer: Who are industry analysts and what do by Caroline Dennington (@CDennington, Linkedin) and Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic, LinkedIn), August 2013, updated May 2021.
What do industry analysts do?
Analysts benefit from a unique vantage point as they speak to all market players, on both the buy side (technology and services users) and the sell side (ICT solutions and services vendors), which in turn makes them invaluable sources of insights for vendors.
- They routinely give advice on M&A on the vendor side and are part of due diligence for the technology users side.
- They inform product engineering and marketing on roadmaps and positioning
- Analysts provide guidance to communications on messaging and have the ear of vendor C-suites as they provide invaluable market insights and unfiltered feedback.
- Influence the company/brand perception to a wider audience via many routes including social media
Who are industry analysts?
Example of industry analyst firms include:
- Gartner is the largest analyst firm by far, followed by IDC, Forrester and ISG.
- Omdia and Teknowlogy and KuppingerCole are good examples of local champions.
- Constellation Research and GigaOM both have a wide technology coverage, 451 Group (now S&P) and ESG are well known in the data centre space, HfS Research is an independent firm specialising on IT services, Celent and Aite Group are known in financial services technology and ZK Research is a good example of an independent analyst.
See also the list of firms and analysts awarded the IIAR> Analyst and Firm Of The Year.
- IIAR> Certification
- IIAR> Primer: What is the Analyst Relations (AR) role and the AR job description?
- IIAR> Webinar recap: What is analyst & influencer relations (AR)? (see recording below)
- IIAR> Primer: Analyst Relations and Industry Analysts – The 7+7+7 Golden Rules of Engagement
- IIAR> Primer: Future Shock: The Coming State of Analyst Relations
- IIAR> Primer: Why should startups and scale-ups have an analyst relations strategy?