By Karsten Weide, Program VP, Media and Entertainment at IDC
Platform interviewed me recently for its report on the changing landscape of analyst relations. The report looks at why companies are seeking analyst opinion more than ever — the answer is that many industries are at a fundamental pivot point and companies are preparing for a future that looks very different to what has gone before. The way we live and work is changing and companies know they must be prepared.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that at IDC we’re seeing growth in both our consulting and non-consulting (reports) business. Clients initially came to us thinking: “we don’t really know how to deal with COVID,” but now the conversation has moved on to: “we would like your support on how to best manage uncertainty and change.”
There were two thoughts that drove these discussions. Firstly, there was the immediate business impact of COVID. Secondly, there was the realisation that there would be long-term changes that would stay even when COVID has gone. Will you be in the office or not? Will you travel or not? There are technological challenges that come with that.
There are companies that feared the tech buying process would slow down, but the opposite is true. One client I spoke to was very concerned about the prospects of advertising and marketing technology in the cloud, but we predicted that spending would continue to grow. The reason is that COVID brought on an economic crisis and when that happens, people want to streamline their business. This accelerates spend in automation. Therefore, we saw an increase in spending on advertising technology and marketing technology across the board.
Companies need to get more bottom line from the revenue they have, even if the top line is going down. And this is a trend that will continue. I don’t expect things to go back to normal. Offices are re-opening, but not to the volume of before, flexible working and agility is here for the long-term. There’ll be a lot more working from home and the technologies companies adopt will continue to evolve to support that. No matter what part of a business you’re in, you need to take a step back and take a look at what you’ve been doing with a fresh eye. Try to imagine what changes you need to make to remain competitive.
Analysts and consultants help you realise how to deal with change. A well-planned analyst relations programme will help you build the right relationships and gain the expert insights to steer your business successfully.
Find out more about the changing landscape of analyst relations in Platform’s report which you can download here for free.