ITSMA saw some significant changes in its Tenth Annual Brand Tracking Study for Professional Services and Solutions. The study results show that IBM still tops the list for mentions when buyers name consulting and technology services firms; however, for the first time, HP has dethroned Accenture in second place for top-of-mind awareness. Indian-heritage companies, including Cognizant, HCL, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and Wipro, are making progress with building their brands, although they still lag the US- and European-based providers.
The study also shows that outsourcing is an area of opportunity for services and solutions providers. While the majority of buyers that are currently not outsourcing have no intention of doing so in the near future, one-third of those that currently outsource expect to outsource even more. This points to the importance and value of targeted marketing programs, such as account-based marketing, that are successful in growing business with current clients.
Knowing a client’s business needs, delivering on those needs, and saving a client money are most important to buyers. Given the continuing conservative investment environment, it came as no surprise that “is able to save you money” landed among the top requirements. Buyers of professional services and solutions will choose the company that knows them best and can get the job done with the least amount of risk. They want a trusted business partner who understands their business needs and will deliver on those.
ITSMA IDENTIFIES A FEW LEADERS AND A LOT OF FOLLOWERS
ITSMA determines brand leadership by assigning each company a Brand Equity Index (BEI) score, which is calculated by weighting and summing individual firms’ ratings for unaided awareness, aided awareness, top-of-mind recall, familiarity, and favorability.
Based on its BEI, IBM emerges with the highest brand equity for the examined professional services firms. Other top achievers include HP and Accenture. The next tier of BEI ranked companies includes Capgemini, Deloitte, and KPMG.
In all, there are a few market leaders and a large pack of followers; the market remains fragmented with plenty of opportunity. “Other” companies, or those named only once, commanded 40% of the unaided awareness.
BRANDING IS AN IMPORTANT DIFFERENTIATOR
ITSMA’s Senior Vice President of Research, Julie Schwartz, observes: “Strong brands are still the cornerstone of successful Consulting and Technology Services firms. Marketers use branding to differentiate their companies from competitors, which is especially important in an environment where they are “losing control” of the message due to the rise of social media. Given the challenges, it is surprising how few companies take a comprehensive approach to understanding their brand position and reputation.”
ITSMA interviewed 510 senior IT and business decision makers based in the US, UK, France, Germany, Brazil, and Australia. Study respondents all held director, vice president, or C-level positions and represented organizations with revenue or operating budgets ranging from $100 million to over $20 billion in seven major industries:
• Financial services
• Life Sciences
• Public sector
Respondents qualified for inclusion based on their involvement in purchasing professional services and solutions, defined as “technology and/or related business services (such as consulting, systems integration or implementation, or outsourcing) applied to address customer business objectives and valued at $100,000 or more.” The report examined 13 professional services and solutions firms, including Accenture, Capgemini, Cognizant, CSC, Deloitte, HCL, HP, IBM Global Services, Infosys, KPMG, Mahindra Satyam, TCS, and Wipro.
For more information on the study, please see http://www.itsma.com/research/professional-services-and-solutions-2010-study/
ITSMA specializes in helping companies market and sell services and solutions more effectively. We work with the world's leading technology, communications, and professional services providers to generate increased demand, strengthen customer relationships, and improve brand differentiation. ITSMA annual program clients include business leaders such as AT&T, Cisco, Cognizant, CSC, Deloitte, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Tata Consultancy Services, among others. Our comprehensive research, consulting, and training on topics including ITSMA Account-Based Marketing℠, Brand Positioning, and Solutions Development provide the insight and experience companies need to improve business results. ITSMA is based near Boston, and has offices in London and Tokyo. Learn more at http://www.itsma.com/.