How We Roll & Why You Can Trust Us

Well, this is a pickle. You want our insights, but you're not paying us — which means we're paid by others. So, how can you trust those insights, right?

Fair question. So, let us lay it all out for you and you can decide for yourself.

Trust is Everything

5 Things to Know About How We Work

#1: We're Paid by Vendors

We work hard to deliver the news, analysis, and insights about the ExTech market that enterprise leaders need to compete and thrive in the experience economy. And we want to deliver that vital information with as little friction as possible. That means that we don’t want to charge you for it.

But, we still gotta eat, right?

So, we work with some of the technology vendors that we cover to pay the bills. That work comes in the form of advisory services, the licensing and sponsorship of content we produce, and the production of commissioned content that they may use on their websites and in other forms. Don’t hold this against us, it’s how we are able to do what we do.

Still, given that dynamic, you have a right to know that we’re not just acting as a shill for our clients. That’s what the other points in this list are all about.

#2: We're Always Transparent

When we work with the vendor community around content, they may commission, sponsor or license it (more on each of these in a moment). Regardless of which it may be, however, any relationship between the content we’ve produced and a vendor will be clear and explicit.

While we always want to make our relationship with any vendor we work with clear, we also have strict guidelines that dictate how we work with them to limit anything that may impact your ability to trust what we have produced.

#3: We Won’t Mention a Vendor in Most Commissioned Content

One of these guidelines is that we generally will not take a commission to produce a piece of content in which we name any vendors. The only case in which we will take a commission that names a vendor is if that vendor asks us to provide analysis specifically about its company, its products, or a specific event (such as a conference or product launch). And, in those cases, we will only provide analysis about that vendor and not compare them to any others (see the next point). If you are consuming content in which we are discussing multiple, specific vendors, you can rest assured that we have produced that piece without any influence from any of the vendors mentioned. Vendors may license or sponsor the content after we completed it (in which case it will be clearly marked as either ‘Sponsored by’, ‘Provided Courtesy of’ or some similar language), but they will have had no editorial input, whatsoever, into the production of that content.

If a vendor does commission us to produce a piece of content, we will not name it unless the piece is explicitly about it — and we will not mention any other vendors. Commissioned content will otherwise take the form of a market or trend analysis and may be made available here on The Digital Experience Report or on the vendors website or other distribution medium. Any commissioned content will be clearly labeled as such.

#4: We Don’t Compare Vendors

While our ExTech Landscape Report identifies the vendors that we believe are positively impacting the ExTech market, we do not otherwise attempt to categorize, rank, or compare them. We believe that every enterprise’s needs are unique and any vendor that we include in the landscape may be capable of meeting the specific needs of some segment of the enterprise market. Therefore, our objective is to paint a broad picture of the market and the players that function within it so that you may make properly informed decisions.

#5: We Don’t Do Pay-to-Play

Many analyst firms have a reputation for being pay-to-play, meaning that if a vendor wants to be well represented on their comparative report they need to be a client of that analyst firm. Whether that’s true or not, there’s no question that many vendors become clients in the hopes that they will earn a coveted spot on a magical chart. We take a different approach. For us, it’s play before pay. By that, we mean that we create our landscape report agnostically and then ONLY do strategic work with vendors that we have already included in the landscape. A vendor must first earn a spot on the landscape before we will consider working with them.

The reality is that there is no way to completely remove bias from the process of providing industry analysis. We’re all human, we have relationships, and we interact with others in ways that can’t help but influence our perceptions and beliefs. We hope, however, that these five rules that we use to govern how we work and interact with both you and our vendor clients help to keep us on the straight and narrow, producing analysis, insights, and other content that you can trust.
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