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Ask ITSMA: Research-Based Thought Leadership

Momentum ITSMA Staff

July 13, 2021

Is it necessary for solution providers to partner with industry analysts or publishers to do research-based thought leadership?

Ask ITSMA: Research-Based Thought Leadership

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Question: Is it necessary for solution providers to partner with industry analysts or publishers to do research-based thought leadership?

Answer: Given that solution providers are among the most trusted sources of information, according to our research, I would like to think that their research and thought leadership can stand alone. However, there definitely seems to be some brand cache that comes from partnering with either analyst firms, like Gartner and Forrester, or media outlets, like Forbes and the Financial Times. Research and thought leadership content developed in conjunction with an industry analyst firm is most preferred, followed by research that is published with a major publisher. Still, our research shows there is a significant segment of buyers, about 20%, who said they place a higher value on content that is published solely by the solution provider. Surprisingly, few report not having any preference at all.

Interestingly, buyers’ preferences for solution provider research and thought leadership partners varies by executive job role and seniority. Business executives are more likely than IT executives to favor solution providers that go it alone (25% vs. 15%). C-level executives are also more likely to prefer research and thought leadership from just the solution provider (25%). Nevertheless, in both cases, the executives proclaim a preference for solution providers that partner with analyst firms and publishers.

The bottom line? You need to publish a variety of thought leadership, with and without partners. Although my advice is to invest heavily in building your own research and thought leadership credibility and prowess. After all, the number-one, most important information characteristic that buyers of high-consideration solutions and services are looking for is “proven, from a solution provider that has direct, intimate experience with the solution.”

Add some measurable results, and you’re golden!


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