Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is a leading research and advisory company based in Stamford, Connecticut. The company provides insights into technology and business trends, IT decision-making processes, and recommendations to businesses and government organizations worldwide. Gideon Gartner founded the company in 1979 as a market research firm focused on the personal computer industry.
Over the years, Gartner has expanded its focus to include a broad range of technology-related topics, including enterprise software, hardware, networking, and telecommunications. It operates in three segments: Research, Consulting, and Conferences. The company is also a member of the S&P 500 Index and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol IT. As of August 7, 2022, it had a market cap of $23.368 billion.
Gartner competes with several independent providers of information products and services. It also faces indirect competition from data information providers and consultancy firms, electronic and print media companies, and free online resources. Given the company’s broad focus on technology, its main competitors are other research and advisory firms that provide insights into specific technology markets or sub-sectors.
This Gartner competitors analysis looks at some of the company’s key competitors. I’ll analyze their business models, strengths and weaknesses, and how they stack up against Gartner regarding financials, market share, size, and growth.
Bottom Line Up Front
The competitive landscape for research and advisory services is rapidly changing. Consolidation among vendors has led to a smaller number of larger firms, such as Gartner, Forrester, and IDC. However, a growing number of niche players, such as TrustRadius and G2.com, challenge the incumbents by offering more focused research or lower prices. Forrester Research is Gartner’s largest and most direct competitor.
List of Gartner’s Competitors
Gartner’s Business Strategy and Revenue Model
Gartner delivers its global insights through research, consulting, and conferences. The company’s research segment entails a mix of subscription-based and paid-for research products. Clients can access this research through the Gartner website, where they can also purchase additional research reports.
The company’s consulting segment is a more hands-on extension of its research offerings. Gartner provides clients with in-depth advice and recommendations for specific technology decisions in this capacity. This segment also includes the company’s Executive Programs, which offer customized research and insights for senior-level executives.
Lastly, Gartner’s conferences business organizes and hosts events where technology professionals can network and learn from industry leaders. These events are typically subscription-based, with attendees paying a fee to access the conference’s content and activities. It’s also where Gartner sells research products and services to clients.
Gartner’s revenue model is based on a mix of subscription, paid-for, and event-based sales. Most of Gartner’s revenue comes from the research segment. For instance, the company made $4.101 billion in research revenue in 2021, representing 86% of its total revenue. The consulting and conference segments generated $418 million and $214 million, accounting for the remaining 14% of total revenue.
Gartner’s 2021 revenue increased by 15% year-over-year, driven primarily by growth in all three segments. It had $793,560 in net income representing a 197% YoY increase. The company’s basic and diluted earnings per share (EPS) were $9.33 and $9.21, respectively.
Gartner’s Competitors Analysis
Gartner boasts premium research content, a leading brand name, a global footprint, and a vast network of research experts. Other companies looking to compete must offer a differentiated product, be well-funded, and have a go-to-market strategy that can effectively challenge Gartner’s dominance. However, with the right mix of resources and capabilities, it is possible to carve out a profitable niche in the market research industry.
Below is a detailed analysis of Gartner’s top competitors.
1. Forrester Research
Forrester Research is a publicly traded company that provides research and consulting services to business and technology leaders. Founded in 1983, the company has its headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and employs more than 1,781 people globally. Like Gartner, Forrester offers insights, advice, and recommendations to help clients make technology decisions.
Forrester’s competition with Gartner is that of two situated but differentiated brands. Both companies offer similar products and services, but each has its strengths. Forrester’s differentiation lies in its focus on digital business transformation. The company is known for its insights into how businesses can use technology to create a competitive advantage and drive growth.
Like Gartner, it operates three primary business segments: research, consulting, and events. In research, Forrester focuses on providing insights through syndicated reports, surveys, blogs, and webinars. Consulting services are geared towards helping organizations make technology decisions, optimize their investments, and improve performance. Its events business hosts executive-level conferences related to technology, digital business, and leadership.
Financially, Forrester Research is much smaller than Gartner. The company had $494.3 million in revenue in 2021, up from $449.0 million in 2020. Its net income was $24.8 million in 2021, compared to $10.0 million in 2020. While both companies are profitable, Gartner’s scale and reach give it a significant advantage over Forrester. Moreover, Forrester’s market cap of $806.76 million is just a fraction of Gartner’s $23.368 billion valuation as of August 7, 2021.
If we consider Forrester a direct competitor to Gartner, it would be fair to say that Gartner is the clear leader in terms of size, financials, and brand recognition. Investors and analysts betting on the future of the research and consulting industry would likely favor Gartner over Forrester.
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2. IDC (International Data Corporation)
IDC is a global market intelligence and advisory firm that helps IT, telecommunications, and consumer tech businesses make informed decisions. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s largest technology media, events, and research company.
IDC’s primary focus is providing market intelligence through syndicated research reports, data services, and custom consulting. It has regional and local experts that look into industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. Through its custom consulting services, IDC helps companies with market entry strategies, customer insights, competitive intelligence, and fact-based decision-making.
With more than 1,300 analysts worldwide, IDC is one of the largest research firms in the world. Its scale gives it an advantage over smaller competitors like Forrester Research. Moreover, as a subsidiary of International Data Group gives IDC access to a vast network of resources and data. The most significant difference between IDC and Gartner is that IDC is focused on market intelligence while Gartner offers a more comprehensive suite of research and advisory services.
If the focus is on market intelligence, IDC is the clear leader. However, if we consider IDC and Gartner as more general research and advisory firms, Gartner’s size, financials, and brand recognition give it a significant edge over IDC. As a privately held company, IDC does not disclose its financials. However, given the company’s scale and parent company’s resources, we can place it somewhere below Forrester.
3. Nielsen Holdings
Nielsen holdings is a global information and measurement company that operates in over 100 countries. The company was founded in 1923 and has its headquarters in New York, NY. Nielsen’s primary business is providing marketing information and insights to clients in the consumer packaged goods, media, and retail industries.
Nielsen shapes the world’s media and marketing landscape by providing trusted data and insights about what people watch, listen to, buy, and do. The company’s comprehensive marketing information and measurement tools help clients understand consumer behavior, identify market opportunities, and track marketing effectiveness.
Nielsen’s focus on media and marketing information gives it a distinct advantage over Gartner in those industries. However, Gartner’s research and advisory services are much more comprehensive. As a result, Gartner is the better choice for companies looking for a one-stop shop for research and consulting services.
It trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “NLSN” and has a market cap of $8.291 billion as of August 7, 2022. In 2021, the company had $3.5 million in revenues, up 4.1% from the previous year. Gartner has better financials, a more diversified client base, and comprehensive research and advisory services. Gartner is a clear choice for investors looking to bet on the future of the research and consulting industry.
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Formerly G2 Crowd, G2.com is a peer-to-peer software review platform that allows business professionals to find and compare the best software products for their needs. Founded in 2012, the company has its headquarters in Chicago, IL. Over the years, the company has raised $257.6 million in funding from prominent investors like Accel, IVP, Chicago Ventures, and Pritzker Group Venture Capital.
Its latest funding was in 2021 after raising $157 million in a Series B round. This funding valued the company at $1.1 billion. In 2020, the company rebranded to G2.com and expanded its offerings to include data-driven research reports, insights from industry experts, and an online marketplace for software products. The company isn’t profitable yet and is spending heavily on marketing and expansion.
G2.com is a direct competitor of Gartner’s Peer Insights platform. Both offer research reports, software comparisons, and expert insights. However, G2.com has a more expansive marketplace and is growing faster than Gartner. G2 makes money from software vendors who pay to list their products on the site and from the sale of research reports. The company’s freemium business model makes it a more attractive option for buyers looking to compare software products.
G2.com is a strong competitor, but Gartner’s brand recognition, financial resources, and comprehensive research and advisory services give it the edge. While we can’t say for sure how the two companies will compete in the future, Gartner is currently the better choice for business professionals looking for software comparisons and research reports.
Founded in 2012, TrustRadius is a peer-to-peer software review platform that allows business professionals to find and compare the best software products for their needs. The company has its headquarters in Austin, TX, and was founded by Vinay Bhagat and Megan Headley. In 2019, the company raised $12.5 million in a Series C funding round led by Next Coast ventures. As per Crunchbase, TrustRadius’ total funding as of 2022 was $25.1 million.
TrustRadius competes with Gartner in the research and advisory services space. However, the company focuses exclusively on software reviews, while Gartner offers a broader range of research and advisory services. TrustRadius makes money from selling anonymized intent data to technology vendors. It also provides a subscription-based platform that allows vendors to respond to reviews and get insights into their customer’s needs.
The company’s freemium model allows anyone to read reviews and compare products for free. However, users need to sign up for a paid account to access exclusive features such as contact information for reviewers, the ability to leave private comments on reviews, and custom product recommendations.
Gartner is a larger company than TrustRadius and has a more comprehensive research offering. However, TrustRadius has a more targeted focus on software reviews and offers a free tier that makes it more accessible to individuals looking for product information. Given the company’s strong growth trajectory, TrustRadius is a company to watch in the research and advisory services.
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Gartner SWOT Analysis
Below is a detailed SWOT analysis of the research and consulting giant Gartner:
- A diversified business model with multiple revenue streams
- Strong brand recognition and reputation in the industry
- Comprehensive research and advisory services
- Extensive client base, including 90% of Fortune 500 companies
- Experienced management team with deep domain expertise
- High dependence on large enterprises as clients
- Lack of significant presence in high-growth markets such as the Asia Pacific and Latin America
- Limited focus on small and medium businesses
- High operation costs tend to eat into Gartner’s profits
- Launch new research and advisory services targeting specific industries
- Expand in high-growth markets such as the Asia Pacific and Latin America
- Partner with or acquire companies in complementary businesses
- Penetrate the small and medium business market
- Intense competition from other research and advisory firms such as Forrester, IDC, and Nielsen
- Disruption from new technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data
- An economic slowdown in major markets such as the United States and Europe could impact client spending on research and advisory services
- The success of conference and events businesses are subject to changes in external factors that go beyond Gartner’s control.
- If global trade tensions significantly reduce cross-border trade, it could hurt Gartner’s general business operations
Frequently Asked Questions – Gartner Competitors Analysis
Question: Who are Gartner’s biggest competitors?
Answer: Gartner competes with large and small firms in the research and advisory services industry. Its biggest competitor is Forrester Research, a research and advisory firm focusing on technology and marketing. Other top players in the industry include IDC, a global provider of market intelligence; Nielsen Holdings, a data and measurement company; G2.com, a business software review platform; and TrustRadius, a software review platform.
Question: What is Gartner’s competitive advantage?
Answer: Gartner’s competitive advantage lies in its comprehensive research and advisory offering, strong brand recognition, and vast client base. The company also has a diversified business model with multiple revenue streams, which helps to insulate it from economic downturns in specific markets or industries.
Question: What is the difference between Forrester and Gartner?
Answer: The difference between Forrester and Gartner lies in how the two companies approach to research and advisory services. Gartner takes a more holistic view of the technology landscape, while Forrester focuses on specific areas such as marketing and product development. Gartner’s forecasts are also generally more optimistic than Forrester’s.
Gartner is the world’s leading research and advisory company. It has a diversified business model with multiple revenue streams and strong brand recognition in the industry. Gartner’s comprehensive research and advisory services have helped it build an extensive client base, including large corporations, tech companies, investment firms, and government agencies.
Despite its strong position in the market, Gartner faces intense competition from other research and advisory firms. Its biggest competitors are Forrester Research, IDC, Nielsen Holdings, G2.COM, and TrustRadius. While each of these companies has its strengths and weaknesses, they pose a significant threat to Gartner’s market share and profitability.
Gartner needs to continue to invest in its research and advisory offerings and its sales and marketing efforts to stay ahead of the competition. The company also needs to keep a close eye on the activities of its competitors, particularly Forrester Research and IDC, which are both aggressive and well-funded players in the market.