Welcome to the latest segment of RSG's "Real Story Vendor Procurement" (RSVP) best practice series. In this post, I'll cover a subject near and dear to the hearts at Real Story Group: researching the marketplace.
MarTech/CX marketplaces continue to evolve rapidly and has become more complex with more overlaps, new vendors, more investment, emerging niches, and evolving use cases. In fact, simply clarifying terminology and technology segments represents one of the more common advisory calls we hold among RSG's subscribers.
So the first question you need to ask yourself is, what marketplace are you engaged in? This is not always an easy answer because technologies can get mislabeled, vendors have multifaceted solutions, and it's not uncommon for your needs to be somewhat unique or maybe a hybrid of different types of technology.
Once you've narrowed it down to one or two technology segments then review the different categories of vendors in that particular stream. Vendors almost always divide up into tiers. Some have higher complexity, higher richness, higher cost, and others offer lower complexity, lower richness, lower cost. There's not always a direct relationship between cost and complexity and functionality, but in general, there's an association.
Comparing Vendors Head to Head
Try not to narrow yourself down to just one tier. Rather, understand the differences in each category and get a general sense for the players. You can also use RSGs vendor comparative tool to compare vendor weaknesses and strengths.
Now you should be ready to create a target list of possible vendors. Initially, you want to look broadly at potential suppliers, to give yourself the best odds of finding an optimal solution. You can use RSGs custom shortlist builder to generate the right vendor shortlist based on your unique requirements.
In RSG's evaluation research we dig into which vendors address certain scenarios better than others. While not always by vendor design, some products will fit better — or worse — for different use cases. No single product will fit every scenario; in fact, most tools excel at only one or two primary use cases. If you work for a large, or global, or complex enterprise, RSG's vendor evaluations are designed to address the specialized strategic considerations you face.
See for yourself by perusing a complimentary sample.
The next part of the RSVP selection series has us creating a target list. Stay tuned...
Other Posts in the RSVP Selection Series
Establish Business Foundations
Identify Needs and Opportunities:
Conduct Market Analysis:
- Researching the Marketplace (you are here)
- Creating a Target List (coming next week)
Communicate with Suppliers:
- Developing your RFP (coming later)
- Issuing an RFP Tender (coming later)
- Bidder Questions (coming later)
- Evaluating Vendor Proposals (coming later)
Try Before You Buy:
- Conducting Demos (coming later)
- Filter to Final Lists (coming later)
- Run of Competitive Proof of Concepts (coming later)
Make the Right Choice
- Pilot Solution (coming later)
- Negotiating Pricing and Contracts (coming later)
- Implementation (coming later)