The absence of a “free press”: Is this why procurement industry coverage is so poor? by Jon Hansen

Posted on July 25, 2015


The other day I received an e-mail from Fast Market Research under the heading “New Market Research Report: SciQuest, Inc. (SQI) – Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review.”

When I clicked on the link – which I have included for you above, I was taken to a press release. You already know how I feel about press releases – in part due to the shenanigans of companies such as SciQuest – so I won’t expend any further cycles on the subject.

As I read through the text I came to the “Full Report Details” link and clicked on it.

I was then taken to another page, in which I was informed that I could order the full report for $300 U.S.

Pay To Access

It was at this point that I asked myself the question . . . is this the reason why procurement industry coverage is so poor?

First of all, I have never heard of Fast Market Research. But even if I had, why would I pay for their report? Shouldn’t market intelligence be more readily available without cost? Especially when you consider that under this pay-to-see model, expert advice in the past delivered very poor results.

The fact is, industry coverage – true industry coverage – has to be freely and readily available, without influence, and subject to sound journalistic practices.

While I cannot comment on the SWOT analysis being offered by this particular source, because I haven’t read it, even if the information within its pages has value, it is diminished by the fact that you have to pay to get to it.  It is no different than with blogs offering premium access, or for that matter a Gartner – and we all know how well that model has worked out for everyone.

Let’s face it, by and large, the absence of a free press has reduced industry coverage to just slightly above infomercial status. This is because what is and is not reported is subjective, and often times influenced by the all too chummy relationship between analysts and journalists, and the very vendors they are supposed to cover.

You simply have to compare Procurement Insights’ coverage of SciQuest, to those of other industry “pundits”, to see that there is something seriously amiss.

So what is the answer?

To begin, stop paying for reports such as the one offered by Fast Market Research, as well as premium access programs. Instead seek out those resources that provide free and open access to real industry news. When I say real industry news, I am talking about insights that will ultimately inform and empower you beyond the tired and familiar formats, with which we are all too familiar.


Posted in: Commentary