Gartner’s Robin Kranich is speaking to Lighthouse and similar folk about the firm’s product strategy. As former analysts, we have seen how our own firms sometimes struggle to follow the marketing advice that analysts give to vendors.
The general line of the conversation is this:
- How Gartner is organizing product and content organizations — The implications for vendors of Gartner’s approach to product management
- Increasing transparency to clients
- Gartner’s plans to bring together the end-user-focused Industry Advisory Services with the vendor-focussed Dataquest offering.
Gartner’s product strategy has had a difficult evolution over the last few years. In 1999, the firm started diversifying its product set to position Gartner away from being a research company and towards being a source of strategy brainpower in a variety of forms, including Research, Consulting, Measurement, Events, and Executive Membership Programs.
Back then, Gartner said that its future growth will be founded on that strategy of developing premium priced, targetted products. By 2002, under Jim Dougherty, that progress had been reflected in projects like EXP, GartnerG2 and Gartner Invest – and in plans for web portal products that were customized for different job roles: tech architects; telecoms managers and investment professionals.
That strategy had faultered by 2004, when GartnerG2 decellerated qualitatively, when Dataquest scaled down substantially (coming down to one person in Europe, according to a former Dataquest analyst) and the META purchase was made.
In 2005, Gartner CEO Gene Hall now speaks about the firm’s “laser focus” on research; and Gene can do that without raising too many eyebrows.
So, does this mean Gartner will be returning to something like its 1998 product strategy?
In general tendency, the answer seems to be ‘yes’. Our money is on more emphasis on research rigour [as we have seen at Forrester] and in particular we expect to see Gartner starting to invest more in the Dataquest brand.
P.S. Thanks to ARmadgeddon for an observation on Gartner: “they fail to leverage the consulting-analysts link and that in consequence they’re raising prices for almost everything –but without trying to figure out what vendors really need.”