AVS shows Gartner fumbles new coverage areas

We’re just concluding all the first round of strategy workshops where clients are using the Analyst Value Survey to refocus their analyst relations efforts for 2016, writes Duncan Chapple. There are some important implications, and especially for companies working in emerging coverage areas where Gartner’s hold seems to be less strong. If you are not familiar with the AVS, check out my short video or for a longer drill-down our recorded webinar.

One of the survey’s strengths is the ability to assess changing analysts’ influence in new areas of coverage. The study tracks coverage areas in two ways. Firstly, each year the survey asks about roughly seventy key coverage areas, from quite traditional ones (like analytics and marketing) to niche areas (such as programmatic advertising and Geographic Information Systems). Secondly, we invite analysts’ users to write in new coverage areas that matter to them (this year, for example, automation is a hot topic): we use that data to update our core topics list for the following year.

One advantage of the vast number of responses to the AVS (around 750 people take it each year) is that we can then benchmark each analyst firm against any combination of the major coverage areas. For example, people using research on marketing are 11.9% more likely to be using Forrester but 1.2% less likely to be using Gartner. That’s very useful: we are particularly interested in understanding if Gartner and Forrester investments in the CMO role are gaining traction. Right now, it seems that professionals are more likely to be using Forrester (and other firms, such as Digital Clarity Group, Ovum and Sirius Decisions) for marketing insight than for most other topics.

Of course, the AVS has a further advantage: the ability to segment the responses between the demand side (enterprises and SMBs) and the supply side (ICT vendors and solution providers). That allows us to see which firms are the most likely to have an impact on buying behavior?

Finally, the longitudinal nature of the annual survey also means that we can see how these things are changing over time. In 2014, we saw that Gartner subscribers, as a rule of thumb, were less likely to turn to it for insight into new coverage areas than are subscribers of Forrester.  In 2015, that gap was more profound. That suggest that while Gartner investments in new coverage areas might be paying off commercially, users are more likely to look for that in other firms’ research.

These insights have powerful implications for both analyst relations priorities and the purchasing of market intelligence. To get your copy of the results and book a strategy workshop to review the effects on your business, visit AnalystValueSurvey.com.

Duncan Chapple