2017 is definitely a a tectonic year for influencer relations: after expanding to other functions with the CEB purchase, Gartner Inc. (NYSE:IT) announced it bought L2, a brand benchmarking agency cum research company.
This further reinforces its capabilities in marketing and digital, a segment coveted by rival Forrester (NASDAQ:FORR).
As IT expenditure moves to business lines and to the marketing fiction of customer experience, this is a path also trodden by consultancies: the big four (Deloitte, EY, PwC, KPMG), IT players such as IBM and Accenture and the TWICH (Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Infosys, TCS, Cognizant, HCL) as well as regional players such as BearingPoint have all been buying digital agencies. This potentially brings Gartner’s mainstream RAS (Research Advisory Services) in competition with those service companies as well as specialists such as Sapient Nitro (Gartner consulting sometimes already competes with some of those players.
Another interesting question is whether pursuing notoriously fickly marketing types is profitable as suggested by Forrester’s lacklustre growth over the last few years.
What do you think?
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