Human Capital Analyst Reports - how to get them read by more HR decision makers

I got really excited last week when one of our marketing/PR services team members (Adriana SaldaƱa) forwarded me the executive summary for the new Bersin & Associates talent acquisition study titled Talent Acquisition Systems 2010: Facts, Practical Analysis, Trends, and Provider Profiles.

I highly recommend you check it out just like I highly recommend you check out the HR tech reports from the human capital analysts at Gartner, IDC, Forrester, Bersin & Associates and Aberdeen.

When you can afford it, that is, other than being a paying member of the analyst firm.

The Bersin TA report is $995 for non-members. Not a shocker and pretty much in line with most analysts charge for their industry reports.

But I'm not buying it. Granted we're not an analyst firm by the traditional definition, although we've got a pretty good finger on the HR marketplace pulse and our marketing/PR services team has done a great job in analyst relations this past year on behalf of our HR supplier clients, we also do our own supplier/buyer research every year that's pretty solid.

So we've got that covered. Would I like to read the human capital analyst reports? Absolutely.

I'm sure the HR decision makers and influencers out there would like to as well, but most never do. Bill Kutik confirmed that earlier this year (and I agreed with everything he said in the article).

Smaller to mid-size firms don't have IT directors or CIO's (chief information officers) who historically have been the folks to buy these reports or be members of these analyst firms and get the reports as part of their service.

Member costs are huge annually depending on the level of service - $20K, $30K, $50K, etc. Keep in mind that I'm not saying the value of analyst membership isn't worth it for buying firms or the suppliers themselves. It's just a lot of frickin' money in an already flattening world of accessible information online.

The reports themselves can be invaluable to large organizations shopping for talent management, performance management or learning management software systems.

But why not expand on the Aberdeen model and allow supplier sponsors to subsidize the cost of the report and give it away to their prospects?

Really, why not? I don't have any stats on what kind of revenue these reports generate, but based on what I do know, membership is where the bank is. As it should be. There are a lot of very smart people who work for the analyst firms, especially the analysts, and their services have been invaluable for many enterprise-level customers in the HR marketplace.

That's why so many investment-funded HR software suppliers clamor to get in the reports and/or buy services from analysts.

We already get there's some conflict of interest in analyst firms when it comes to reviewing who the paying suppliers are and who the paying buyer firms are. It's inherent in the model. As Bill Kutik wrote in his analyst article, "I feel comfortable about their objectivity, and you should, too."

I do, because they're really smart people who know HR tech and software systems, but the value of the reports could reach so many more buyers and influencers in the HR marketplace if the reports were used in content marketing to generate publicity, traffic and leads:

Wouldn't that in turn increase their annual services revenue and market share on both sides of the buyer and supplier food chain?

Nearly 6 million companies say so.

Post by Kevin W. Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn - and now join HRmarketer on Twitter!)

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