Are analyst firms the modern-day canary in the coal mine?

The idea of working with an analyst advisory firm sounds great. But the reality never lives up to expectations. Here's why.

I’ve spent the last decade working in, with, and around analyst firms. And I’ve always found myself asking the same question: How long before this market gets disrupted?

As these organizations sit looking up at the big consulting houses, commenting on market disruptors in other industries, acquiring each other and trying not to be the first item on the budget chopping block, they’ve failed to address their own core challenges. 

What are these challenges? My industry peers and our clients agree: we love the idea of working with an analyst advisory firm, but the reality never lives up to expectations. The concepts seem good,  but they add unnecessary complexity, and their impact on our business is minimal. 

Why does the offer not match the hype? A few reasons:

  • The models and frameworks are academic and theoretical. You’re excited in week one but deflated by month three. The reality is implementing these models is extremely complex and leaves you with over-engineered, partially implemented technology that doesn’t get results.
  • The junior analyst can’t relate to your business needs. You have much more real-world experience. Their generic advice seems to be based on a report they wrote and will not drive change in your business or market. 
  • You don’t have time to read all the reports they send. No doubt these firms produce some great IP. But it’s hard to get value from all this content when you’re not even allowed to share it with a team member to read and summarize.   
  • Their restricted access models are not customer-centric. Many teams abandon subscriptions due to frustrations over who can access research, and who must be on calls with the analyst. 
  • The sales-first mentality of analyst firms is a major frustration. Marketing leaders look at their organizations struggling to get value from the subscription, only to see junior sales teams running around their organization trying to penetrate other teams and up-sell subscriptions.  

These experiences are so common that Demand Spring decided to start a new advisory service offering the opposite: personalized, pragmatic, executive guidance that brings results without the headache.

Leap by Demand Spring will revolutionize the analyst advisory business.

Matt Roberts

Vice President of Strategy

As Demand Spring’s VP of Strategy Consulting, Matt brings a breadth of experience from his past marketing leadership roles at Forrester, Staples, and Schneider Electric, where he led demand generation transformation programs. Matt is a big believer that mass marketing transformation programs are dead. He has a passion for building pragmatic marketing programs that allow for agile change by combining outstanding strategy, digital expertise and excellent people skills. Originally from the UK and now based in Boston, he enjoys a good IPA and his beloved Arsenal football team.

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