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About Those Awards

With yet another round of recent awards being announced awarded to the usual and largest vendors, I was reminded that just as summer started, we chose to try to conduct a snapshot survey on the value of such awards. Now, I have been a Marketing VP of a vendor in this highly competitive industry and trust me, I had a rather different view of these awards back then – though there were fewer around. It isn’t so much the nature of awards in areas like software – where they are offered by magazines motivated by advertising revenues and the obvious conflict of interest there, but the growing number of outfits now following suite and being shall we say blatantly honest about the proposition. I.e. Pay us $3,000 and we will make you one of the Top 10 firms in xxxx category and give you a wooden plaque to show off to boot.

For me, enough is enough. As we have said in the past, CTRMCenter/ComTech will never make awards of this nature. The only award we see as having value is the Energy Risk award which at least includes a vote by subscribers and has a track record of many years to its name. That being said, not everyone shares our view.

The survey was not conducted with significant rigor being a snapshot but just to give us a bit of a view of what people who felt motivated thought. The respondents were mainly consultants and end users as we weeded out the obvious vendor responses. The results are quite clear.

AdvertisingEKA Turbo Charge Trading Systems in Weeks
AdvertisingION Commodities

Just who are you fooling? Is probably the question most people (72%) had in mind when stating that they were unimpressed by these awards. Despite that, 20% did confess to being impressed and one respondent was very impressed by the awards. Over half of those responding thought the awards nothing more ‘than paid advertising’ with another 24% seeing them in a negative light or as ‘irrelevant marketing noise.’ Around 12% thought the receipt of an award was a reason to consider the vendor and one respondent thought such an award ‘hard won’.  Although hardly a robust statistical analysis it seems that those motivated to respond are pretty tuned in to what these awards really are.

So, while our snapshot survey probably isn’t going to change anything much, vendor marketing staff might start being a bit more critical about what awards they announce and how those awards are doled out. Paying to be in the Top 10 of xxxx category is bordering on fraud in my opinion especially if the vendor isn’t clear that it paid for the award. For those offering bone fide awards like Energy Risk, it seems to us that they too should take a dim view of the practice of selling awards as it cheapens their value in the market.

Our thanks to Enuit, who kindly sponsored the snapshot survey, not by paying, but by helping to promote it.