In conversation with an AR manager we received an interesting question: “What is the shelf life of published research?”
Answer: Somewhere between fresh fish (goes bad in days) to a Twinkie (a quasi-food snack that is rumored to last for infinity).
Formal analyst publications, e.g., a research note, can have a long gestation period due to going through peer review, management review and editorial (mostly good things) and get stuck in email waiting for minor changes while the analyst is out of the office (a bad thing). As a consequence, some formal analyst research can be out-of-date the day it is published.
That is why clients, whether end user or vendor, need to critically review the research for “freshness” and leverage inquiry privilege to talk to the analyst to see whether the content needs verbal updating.
- Review the date of the research, anything over three months should be a near automatic topic for inquiry
- Determine whether the research covers a volatile, fast moving topic
- Schedule an inquiry using regular procedures stating that the goal is to determine whether the research in question is still relevant
- Quiz the analyst on what they would change about the content if they were writing it today
Bottom Line: Using client to have research applied to a client’s situation and determine the freshness of the content is a critical research consumer best practice.
Question: How often do you use client inquiry? What