The End of Industry Analysts? Why Review Sites Are Disruptive to the B2B Tech Buying Process

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Scott Baradell

"Traditional analyst firms should be on the watch," TrustRadius CEO Vinay Bhagat told me in a recent MarTech Talk interview. "Paying for reports is going to be a dinosaur."

The writing is on the wall for Gartner, Forrester, IDC and other analyst firms. Online review sites for B2B technology are disrupting how corporate buyers are making purchase decisions -- and that means the influence of analyst firms is on the decline.

"SMBs don't follow the advice of analysts," Bhagat said. "The reports are written by someone in an ivory tower who has never actually used the product. People are looking for in-the-trenches feedback from people just like them."

Even among large enterprises, where the opinions of analysts still hold sway, decisions about technology are increasingly distributed among business units rather than made by a central IT department. Technology products like Zoom didn't beat out Cisco Webex because of Gartner; it won because small groups within large organizations began using it, liked it, and it gradually gained traction.

Venture capitalists have invested $100 million in G2, $12 million in TrustRadius and millions more in other B2B review sites over the past two years because of their promise. Gartner has gotten into the fray as well, buying top review sites Capterra, Software Advice and GetApp in addition to its own Gartner Peer Insights.

Analysts must redefine themselves to overcome the review-site disruption, Bhagat said. "They are going to need to be more conscious of providing value."

Watch my full interview with Vinay below.

 

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