Spend Matters 50/50: Why Good Things Come in Threes

Spend Matters 50/50

If you’ve pored over the trends behind the 50 Providers to Watch and 50 Providers to Know lists over the past three years — as we have in recent weeks — then you may be asking yourself some interesting questions. Here’s one that got us thinking:

A handful of providers have been on the 50 toWatch list three years in a row – what’s ‘holding them back,’ so to speak, from being “Know-n”?

Although it may be easy for a reader to glance at the trends and say to herself, “Hmmm, BuyerQuest, DirectWorks, HICX, Nipendo and Sievo have all held a spot on the 50 to Watch list the past three years and counting...what’s kept them from graduating to the 50 to Know list?”

As part of Spend Matters’ definition of the 2016 Watch list, sure, these five companies are clearly still “exciting,” but can they still be branded “newcomers?” After all, 2014 was a looong time ago — potentially decades in relative technology years (depending on which tech type and sector, of course).

Certainly, sometimes a firm’s marketing hinders its progress more than it helps, as in Nipendo’s case, even if its technology is superb. Other times, a firm’s geographic footprint and market-segment niche conspire against its hopes of greater global domination, like with Sievo.

Ultimately, however, it’s not that cut and dried. As our fearless leader has put it so eloquently before, diving into the lists behind the Spend Matters Almanac is like taking a flight on Southwest Airlines.

Like Southwest pilots, the Spend Matters analyst team prefers to fly and land the plane themselves, rather than rely on autopilot. They constantly make course corrections based on how they read the instruments and all the other variables around them — perhaps most important, the environment they think that we’re all heading into.

Get More Straight Dope About This Flight — er, the 50 to Watch / Know Lists

Part of our headline reads, “Why Good Things Come in Threes,” so let’s speak to the “good” part of all of this.

If a provider has been on either list for any of the three years the Almanac has existed, it must be doing something right — or at the very least, doing it provocatively. And that’s a good thing.

“The five companies that we mention above are a case in point about the importance of the 50/50,” said Jason Busch, founder and head of strategy for Spend Matters. “Granted, we still consider them firms to ‘watch’ at this stage. And while each has underinvested in marketing, they deserve a shot at the big leagues. If we can play a small part in helping them get on the radar of practitioners and consultants that can recommend them, I can sleep well knowing we’re doing our job as analysts.”

On Tuesday next week, join Jason and Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer, as they dig deeper, answer your questions and highlight the truly disruptive newcomers to this year's 50 Providers to Watch and 50 Providers to Know lists (originally announced at ISM2016). They will also shed light on why we emphasized certain segments over others in 2016. Vendor Intelligence: Spend Matters' Providers to Watch and Know in 2016 will take place Tuesday, May 31 at 11 a.m. CDT. You can register for this event here.

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