Guide to Analyst Relations Part 2

By Amanda King

In the part one of this series, we dug into the analyst relations landscape and the importance of boutique firms as a good place to start your foray into AR.

But of course there is certainly a different level of cache that the big guys bring to the table. Being listed in a renown report goes a LONG way. 

So who are the major players in the B2B tech space and how do they stack up?

Gartner:

Often considered the gold standard of analyst firms (with a price tag to match), Gartner is a research and advisory firm providing information technology related insights for IT and other business leaders. Research provided by Gartner targets CIOs, senior IT, marketing and supply chain leaders. 

While the most costly firm, Gartner is widely regarded as the most important analyst firm in the country; if you can afford them, it makes sense to consider a subscription.

Gartner curates two of the most widely recognized reports (Magic Quadrant and Hype Cycle) for visualization of its market analysis results. EVERYONE wants to be included in the Magic Quadrant (MQ) as the definitive indicator of industry leaders. While you don’t need to have a subscription to Gartner to be included in either of these reports, it certainly helps you stay top of mind with the analysts compiling them.

Further, when Gartner talks, people listen – their research is heavily cited in top tier publications, and the create a lot of research across a lot of different focus areas. Gartner also has extensive resources available to help their clients beyond including them in research (i.e. consulting on messaging, GTM strategy, etc.).

Forrester:

Forrester is an American market research company that provides advice on existing and potential impact of technology, to its clients and the public. Known for its Wave reports, the firm also offers a variety of services including syndicated research on technology as it relates to business. Forrester publishes frequently across many different topics and the Forrester Wave is a very influential report (but definitely second fiddle to the MQ)

They know they’re not quite Gartner caliber, which will make them want to work harder for your business; account reps at Forrester are more likely than those at Gartner to give you a break on pricing and are incredibly helpful and responsive. 

Often as part of your subscription, you can negotiate credits that can be used toward a variety of analyst activities like speaking opps, consulting, webinars, analyst attendance at a customer dinner, etc. 

IDC:

International Data Corporation (IDC) is a Chinese-owned provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. 

Because IDC is a bit smaller than Gartner and Forrester, their coverage is not as extensive and they tend to have fewer analysts covering more subjects. In addition to IT, they focus much more heavily on the telco and consumer tech markets than the other firms.

Their research is heavily cited in the media, though their annual reports have far less cache than Gartner’s and Forrester’s. 

451 Research:

451 Research, which acquired the Yankee Group in 2013, is an information technology research and advisory. With a core focus on technology innovation and market disruption, the firm provides insight for leaders of the digital economy. 

451 doesn’t have the keystone reports that other firms do, but they write a lot and have some of the friendliest analysts. They are typically ALL OVER industry events, so are good to target for conference 1:1s.

Because 451 is on the smaller side, they don’t have the same level of topic coverage as the Gartners and Forresters of the world, but their sales reps are hungry for your business and always willing to negotiate on pricing for subscriptions as well as reprint rights.


If you’re serious about an analyst program, you’re likely already working with at least one of these firms. And if you’re not, you probably should be. That said, unless you have extensive resources to devote, it doesn’t make sense to subscribe to all four, but rather pick the firm(s) that makes the most sense for your business, your unique needs and your industry. Contact us if you’d like to chat more about your analyst program and keep an eye out for our next post.