Industry Analyst Relations

Understanding the significant role of industry analysts in the cybersecurity technology buying process

Independent market research conducted by CCGroup and Coleman Parkes shows that industry analyst reports are the only information source used by most B2B buyers when selecting a security solution provider. It’s not the only content they use, but it’s the only content named by a majority of buyers as an influence on selection, the part of the buying process when buyers sharpen their awareness of suppliers and then make their final selection.

Buyers are exposed to multiple forms of content during their day. However, not all of that is relevant to their technology selection processes. To find out more, we asked a transatlantic sample of 360 senior cybersecurity buyers where they turned to support their purchasing of security technologies. The study asked buyers about the content they used through a range of purchasing activities.

Some key findings about the impact of industry analysts are shown in the table below.



Overall use: Most influential

Technology strategy: top four

Consideration: used by most

Decision: used by most

Buyers rank analysts as the most influential content

Analysts are one of four channels used by 68% to 67% of professionals when deciding which technologies to adopt

Industry analyst reports was the only content type mentioned by most buyers (58%)

Industry analyst reports are the only content used by a majority (62%) at final section

Industry analysts’ reports are most influential content in the two key purchasing activities: becoming aware of vendors to consider; and the final selection itself.

  • Buyers were asked what type of content drives their awareness of security technology suppliers. Industry analyst reports was the only content type mentioned by most buyers (58%), with webinars coming second on 42%.
  • Buyers told us what resources they use to finally select a vendor. Industry analyst reports are the only content used by a majority (62%) at final section. Video case studies came second, on 48%.

These two findings show the unique primacy of analyst reports in those two use cases: they are the only content type named by a majority of the study participants in those two use cases.

Of course, analysts are part of a broad information landscape. Buyers are exposed to other forms of content. While analyst content is primary in the consideration and decision stages, it’s part of a mix of resources used in the technology strategy discovery phase of the purchase. Even there, analysts stand out.

  • TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY: Before considering a specific supplier, buyers want to understand whether or not a particular type of technology is needed. Four channels were named by more than two-thirds of buyers as an influence on which technologies they adopted: industry events (68%); business technology media (68%); industry analysts (67%); and the industry/trade media (67%).
  • Buyers were asked to rank the different content sources they use by influence. Industry analyst reports came top, with 64% ranking it first or second. The next most influential content type was ranked first or second by 53%.
  • THE UNITED STATES: Analysts were even more influential in the United States than in the United Kingdom. When US cybersecurity buyers were asked about influence on awareness of suppliers, industry analysts came in top place, at 78%.

The findings about industry analysts are discussed in a September 2023 report by CCGroup, which sponsored the study. The data was collected by Coleman Parkes in the second quarter of 2023, following a methodology also followed by a similar report in 2021. A parallel report, also published by CCGroup, looks at the wider range of information sources, especially investigating the role of the business and trade media.

Written by Duncan Chapple


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