IHS Sells Credibility To Manufacturer Sponsorships

Author: Brian Karas, Published on Oct 18, 2016

A valuable manufacturer opportunity or a conflict of interest?

Trade magazines have long offered promotional whitepapers and webinars to manufacturers.

Now IHS (formerly IMS), who is frequently cited for industry data, is promoting its own rival marketing services.

In this report, we review the sponsorship opportunities IHS is pitching to manufacturers, IHS' response and analysis of IHS' claims there is no conflict of interest created by this practice.

The Pitch

IHS's video surveillance group has been privately promoting their webinar sponsorship opportunities to manufacturers. In an excerpt from their pitch deck, which an IHS prospect sent to us, it is clear these webinars are intended to position the sponsoring company positively, and drive leads/revenue as a result of the sponsorship:

Example EMC

IHS touts EMC as a success story for this approach, as this slide shows:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

EMC paid IHS and IHS validated them, joining in on their sales pitch webinar as well, embedded below:

As EMC highlights, not only did IHS accept payment for the webinar, they simultaneously released new 'research' favorable to EMC.

The Price

Sponsorship cost is laid out in a document outlining the webinar program. It costs $11,000 for a report that has 2-3 sponsors sharing the report, or $22,000 for an exclusive report. For another $10,000 IHS will produce a "companion report" to go along with the webinar.

Topics Looking For A Sponsor

IHS' website lists topics they want sponsorships for. These are reports or studies that IHS will undertake if they find suitable sponsors. Topics include "Moving to 4K Video Surveillance: What You Need to Know" and "Video Surveillance Industry: Is it Commoditizing?"

Opportunity for Manufacturers

While IHS pricing is a premium to the trade magazines (who typically list ~$10,000 per webinar), IHS certainly has far greater credibility than the trade magazines, especially since they can leverage market size and projection figures to validate the manufacturer. As such, for a manufacturer looking for such validation, hiring IHS for marketing might be a good resource for manufacturers.

IHS' Statement

We asked IHS for clarification on how these marketing programs are sold and yet not influence coverage of sponsoring companies.

IHS provided a statement saying "The aim of these webinars is to be educational, not sales focused – our webinar team spends a lot of time with the client to ensure the focus is on education." Yet they clearly promote "lead generation" and "branding" as benefits of the webinar, goals usually not associated with an education-driven program.

When asked how they avoid a conflict of interest in selling sponsorships to the same companies they provide analysis on, IHS provided the following response:

We provide market statistics and trend analysis in the reports; we do not assess product/service quality. The market share estimates we publish are available to all clients of our video surveillance intelligence service. They are not unique awards.

We go to great lengths to ensure the market shares are as accurate as possible (including getting audited accounts from private companies). If companies received preferential treatment, we would lose the trusted relationships with our client-base. We have a vested interest in not allowing this to happen.

However, the challenge for market share numbers is rarely are those numbers actually audited and significant judgment / trust is needed to estimate current numbers as well as the even more subjective projections of future growth.

Challenge Maintaining Neutrality But Good Manufacturer Opportunity

IHS says that giving companies preferential treatment would affect their trusted relationships with clients, however selling promotional webinars to companies you claim to provide neutral analysis of is exactly the kind of action that can erode the trust of clients. Working closely with sponsoring companies can easily lead to a biased perception of those companies.

However, this could be a valuable revenue stream for IHS and opportunity for manufacturers who want to leverage IHS' brand.

Comments (7): PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Marketing

3VR Sales And Marketing Execs Out, Company Shifting on Nov 22, 2016
Two executives are out at 3VR, both after relatively short tenures at the company. 3VR's CEO says this is part of a shift to cover new markets....
Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing 2016 on Nov 21, 2016
Hikvision has been the top gaining manufacturer in IPVM's annual integrator survey the past 2 years (see 2015 results and 2014 results). Can they...
Sony and Bosch Combine Forces on Nov 15, 2016
Two of the biggest brands in the video surveillance industry are joining forces. Following a wave of industry consolidation and the race to the...
Samsung Brand 'Phasing' Out For Hanhwa Techwin on Nov 14, 2016
The phasing out of the Samsung brand for video surveillance products continues. First, it was the corporate name changing from Samsung Techwin to...
Milestone Launches $50,000 Developer Contest on Oct 26, 2016
Milestone wants independent developers to enhance XProtect. In a hackathon-style contest Milestone is soliciting developers to submit ideas for a...
"WTF?!?!? Who is Brian Karas?!?" Exclaims Knightscope on Oct 21, 2016
Knightscope co-founder Stacy Stephens emailed us: He may not have intended to send it to us and he probably can figure out who Brian Karas is,...
No Marketing Gimmick, Sharp Security Robot Targets Professional Market on Oct 17, 2016
Security robots are getting a lot of attention. Unfortunately, this is often for wrong reasons, most spectacularly highlighted by the Knightscope...
The 'Last Chance to Save' On Hikvision Is Here on Sep 29, 2016
It is over. After at least 8 across the board price cuts in the past 10 months, including an unprecedented back to back 20% off, Hikvision has...
How To Become an 'Expert' In An Hour on Sep 02, 2016
If you want to be perceived as an expert in your market, speak at every event possible... the math is simple: when someone stands in front of an...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Knightscope - $122,509 Revenue, $2.5 Million Loss Seeks $20 Million Investment on Dec 09, 2016
The robot that ran over a child, Knightscope, wants money and they need it. Investors can invest as little as $1,000 to participate and...
The Russian SMP Security Robot on Dec 08, 2016
A Russian manufacturer, SMP, has a commercially available outdoor security robot, at a lower price and with much less marketing than their main...
How Hikvision Beats Its OEMs on Dec 08, 2016
Hikvision GM declared that they are not aggressive with their competitors. But some of their own OEM partners disagree. Inside, we reveal a key...
Dahua Discontinuing H.264 Only Products on Dec 08, 2016
Dahua has taken a stand for H.265 and is discontinuing its H.264 only products. We examine the shakeup inside this...
IP Networking Course January 2017 on Dec 08, 2016
This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals plus it includes live training, personal help and...
Hikvision vs Dahua Mobile Apps Tested on Dec 07, 2016
With smartphone use and low-cost video recorders surging, many user's main interface to their surveillance system is their phone. With mobile video...
Paxton Drops US Reps, Plans Major Expansion on Dec 07, 2016
Paxton is gearing up to make a big run at  US access control success. The first step they have made is to cut all US Rep Firms, in anticipation of...
Axis Partner Elder Care Video Analytics (Smartervision) on Dec 07, 2016
Can video analytics be used to improve the care of the elderly? Axis and a video analytics startup, Smartervision, are working together to do so....
Sony IP Camera Backdoor Uncovered on Dec 06, 2016
A backdoor has been uncovered in ~80 Sony IP camera models, attackers can remotely enable telnet on the camera, and then potentially login as root,...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact