Sam Lawrence has been a client of both Gartner and Forrester since January and has provided an interesting report card of the two analyst firms.
Lawrence, CMO at Jive Software, a collaboration and community software maker, had the following key takeaways in a blog post:
- Analysts may treat you better as a client before you get their services;
- You should match the firm's expertise with what you're interested in;
- The experience is mixed.
Lawrence divided his unscientific grading system into two categories. First, he handed out grades for the way he was treated before becoming a client. And then followed up with what happened after he signed on.
Here are Lawrence's grades for the period before Jive became a Gartner and Forrester client:
- Gartner got a B- for being proactive, but being too heavy on the sales pitch.
- Forrester got a B+ because numerous analysts contacted Jive and were interested in learning. Also the sales pitch was light--Lawrence had to ask to be a client.
Once Lawrence became a client of both Gartner and Forrester things got interesting.
- Gartner got a D. Jive employees didn't request many Gartner reports and "our account manager has disappeared." Gartner analysts were invited to Jive's customer advisory board meeting, but Lawrence was told they could come "but it would cost me tens of thousands of dollars."
- Forrester got a B-. For starters, Jive employees found Forrester reports more topical. The account manager is proactive and two analysts showed up for the customer advisory board meeting (even though they weren't terribly curious). Analysts from Forrester also get the online community thing.
Overall, Gartner has a total grade of C- with Forrester getting a B. Lawrence's post should be emulated--it's not too often customers talk about why they are subscribing to Gartner and Forrester and what they are getting out of those firms.