Many companies understand that Gartner is the most influential analyst firm in most tech markets. Mistakenly, they often think that simply using Gartner as a client will give them all the market access benefits that analysts can create. Only a balanced, programmatic analyst relations programme can take full advantage of analyst advocacy.
- Being a Gartner client doesn’t always lead to mentions in the reports, and certainly doesn’t create real advocacy. Being a client gives you added opportunities to interact with analysts, but it doesn’t remove the need for powerful conversations and strong proof to turn analysts into advocates.
- Being covered is only one step. There are many analysts speaking to your clients who might not be aware of you, especially in international markets. The ones writing the reports are often not the ones actually taking the incoming inquiries from research clients.
- There is always room for improvement when it comes to your positioning. You always need to expand and deepen your relationships at major analyst firms because analysts will leave, and new analysts are hired, so ensuring that you keep your presence requires an ongoing effort.
- There are many other analysts firms and boutique firms that, collectively, are hugely influential in their respective coverage areas. Addressing them is more important than addressing Gartner in most markets because Gartner’s large share of analyst influence is still a minority of the total.
- Unless you are in the upper right corner of the ‘signature’ research reports like the Wave and Magic Quadrant, there is often a lot to improve. Even if you are in the upper right, you have to work hard to stay there. For example, few firms have an explicit program in place to work on the cautions the analysts have mentioned in the reports.
- Ludovic Leforestier adds this sixth point: “most folks buying a sub fail to leverage research to gain insights. I always advise buying a sub if you’re going to learn from it, never to pay to play.” I agree with that, and it reminds of Greg Wind’s excellent post.
To give a better understanding of which analyst firms are more influential in your sector, CCgroup has sponsored the Analyst Firm Awards, conducted by the Analyst Observatory at the University of Edinburgh. To see their detailed report register here.