Core AR Coverage vs Broad AR Coverage

22 Jul, 2021 By Jeremy

Analyst firms can be thought of as delivering two types of exposure for your company, dependent on their influence and scale – Core Coverage and Broad Coverage.

An effective Analyst Relations (AR) program needs to understand how and when to balance the two, which is the topic of today’s post.

The Costly Allure of Core Coverage

Larger analyst firms are well suited to helping refine your vision, strategy, and market positioning, and publish canonical competitive market reports which we refer to as Core Coverage.  No one questions the incredible market influence of a Gartner Magic Quadrant, a Forrester Wave, an IDC MarketScape, or an Everest PEAK Matrix.  This is what most people think of as Analyst Relations.

Gartner, Forrester, IDC, Everest – and for IT services, ISG as well – are the biggest analyst firms in the market, with over 85% of enterprise buyer awareness.  They employ some of the best-informed and most intelligent people in the technology industry, and any strong AR program needs to include these firms in its coverage focus.  But their dominance in buyer awareness often leads AR teams into making a strategic mistake.

The big three have pricing models which reflect their status as industry leaders.

We regularly see AR teams focus so tightly on Gartner that they fail to seek other analyst coverage which can have better ROI.  Placing in the Leader Quadrant of a Magic Quadrant is immensely valuable for your brand, and being covered in a Gartner white paper can be very impactful too.

However, Core Coverage is a very costly game that strongly favors large companies.  Too much Core Coverage spending can easily devour most of a smaller company’s AR budget without much to show for the effort.

We all know how what sort of ROI startups buying Superbowl ads have enjoyed over the years.

The Hidden Power of Broad Coverage

Just below the Core firms sits a significant group of first-rate research firms with more focused coverage and deep competency and credibility in their chosen research areas.  Firms like Constellation, HFS, Celent, Omdia, and Avasant and aren’t trying to boil the ocean with their coverage, which lets them add more depth and nuance into their research.

Mid-sized analyst firms offer different propositions, such as deep vertical knowledge, niche geographical coverage, and specialist horizontal technology expertise, which we refer to as Broad Coverage.  These firms are particularly useful for cost-effective demand generation campaigns centered on webcasts, white papers, case studies, market overviews, and other cobranded material.

Here’s the good news:  Broad Coverage firms are generally more entrepreneurial in their pricing by virtue of their lower market share, and they pay more attention to scale-up and growth brands.  They’re also more responsive and easier to work with than the big players.

Incorporating Broad Coverage into your AR strategy for vertical, geographic, or technical coverage – and particularly for custom research that can drive demand-gen campaigns – will really help you realize your ROI goals for the program.

Wrapping up

Core Coverage and Broad Coverage are interlocking pieces of the AR puzzle.  Core firms are phenomenal for market-wide competitive reports and provide incredible endorsement for your brand, but with a price tag to match.

Broad firms extend that headline coverage with targeted earned coverage and demand-gen support that will help you make the most impact from your precious AR budget.