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SVP, Market Strategy @salesforce. Described by at least one person as a seething mass of enlightenment. Loves road trips. Has wanderlust of the mind. Works.

7 responses to “Are Analysts the New Media?”

  1. Barbara French


    Love your post. I agree with you, there’s clearly a dual emphasis on providing marketing support services and tech decision making advisory services. That mix may be unappealing to some. After all, Aberdeen Group tried this strategy and its reputation went down in flames. Those joining this network will need to understand, simply by association, they will be seen as vendor marketing advisors in addition to whatever tech decision support roles they fulfill. That alone should drive them to be objective, fair, etc every day.

    Marketing services aside, Constellation is building an expert network anchored in the industry analyst space. I think that’s a good thing and therein lies what’s new and different.

    There’s a practical need for independent analysts, consultants and subject matter experts to attach to a peer network. The Constellation model can help them grow revenues, share expensive resources, work as part of a stable collective, and improve their own marketing & sales performance. This begs the question of how well will Constellation scale? And will it support fledgling analysts, consultants and subject matter experts — or stick to A-listers?

    Flipping to the other side of the table, IT decision makers and vendor marketing folks alike need a simpler way to contract multiple self-employed analysts. Constellation addresses this need. It’s a significant difference between Constellation and, for example, IDC or Accenture.

    Influence. Hmm. Influence is an individual attribute, and I know talking to you about this is talking to the choir. For the moment, I’d say the Constellation brand is the big winner — it’s sucking influence from its members and advisors. We’ll see how quickly that changes.

    But seriously, would you believe influence metrics that Constellation — or any other firm of influencers — gives you? Really?

  2. John Taschek

    Barbara –

    Thanks for the reply. You bring up a great point – Constellation can present itself as one throat to choke — or a single a access point to the individual star analysts.

    As for metrics – it would be hard to digest any metrics from any firm. But if they are transparent about it and that transparency is coupled with reach analytical measurements that are becoming a burgeoning business, I think it’s a step in the right direction.


  3. Mei Li

    Hi John,

    Your blog post on Constellation Research is brilliant!

    I think Constellation Research, such a power house is going to crush conventional research firms such as Gartner and Forrester.

    These guys will win!!!

  4. Stenbeck Comments – November 10, 2010 | Fredrik Stenbeck - Comments

    […] Are Analysts the New Media? […]

  5. Phil Fersht


  6. Evan Quinn

    First, no, they are not the new media. Period. If they are, no reason to hire them. Will they be relatively expressive analysts in the public domain, say, like, oh, Rob Enderle? Likely yes. But I don’t see them bouncing the NY Times or WSJ tech sections any time soon. Do they carry more media impact perhaps than Gartner who has restrictive rules on media engagement? In terms of numbers, yes, but when Gartner does say something in the press it typically causes pretty big waves.

    On Constellation as disruptor and perhaps being the next big firm: There are some strong analysts in Constellation for sure. But any new firm will go through some growing pains. And Constellation is, no matter how you look at it, a relatively loose amalgamation of “stars,” some with a strong apparent magnitude, some with a strong absolute magnitude. I would argue that those with strong absolute magnitude have staying power regardless whether they are perceived as part of Constellation or not.

    Jumping over the hype, it still comes down to who adds value? Analysts like Ray and Maribel Lopez are stars because they add real value in a private advisory setting, and they possess world-class consultancy skills and manners. Ray being one of the fastest Tweeters in the analyst community is not a reason to hire Ray. His abilities to think, to challenge others to think, to service, to apply his deep knowledge of the industry are reasons to hire him.

    Will Constellation disrupt Gartner, IDC, Forrester, etc.? I think that has already happened – Dana Gardner, Altimeter, HfS, V3 and the strong independent movement of Enderle, Pund-IT, Lopez, Kay and several No Jitter related analysts etc. have shaken though not entirely stirred the large branded analyst firms. The Big Three seem to be holding together fine, thank you, even given that the previous disruptions, and Constellation, may continue to make holding onto the discretionary spending pie slices – whether IT, LOB, Vendor or Investor – more difficult.

    An early mentor of mine once opined “the normal curve applies everywhere.” I believe at some point the sheer weight of statistics will prevent Constellation from including only strong “absolute magnitude” stars. Ray’s challenge and opportunity will be to create a balance of stars, of star-makers, of star-supporters – in order to offer the most compelling value to customers.

  7. Bits & Pieces – December 13, 2010 | Fredrik Stenbeck - Bits & Pieces

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