Chapter 4. Models – Foundations for Organizational Foresight

7. Gartner’s Market Quadrants (Market Growth Forecasting)

Stiennon (2012)

Stiennon (2012)

Gartner, a market research and advisory firm, publishes annual or biannual reports in roughly 70 vertical technology markets. Their Magic Quadrant model categorizes firms in these markets into four categories: Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries, and Niche Players. They rate the growth potential of each firm on two criteria: completeness of vision (growth potential) and current ability to execute. Unfortunately they don’t disclose their methodology, so firms that wish to check Gartner’s competitive intelligence against their own will need to develop their own independent methods for these, or similar, growth foresight categories. Richard Stiennon has written a nice guide, Up and to the Right, 2012, to help technology marketers and executives move their products and firms into Leaders Quadrant, from the perspective of industry analysts.

Magic Quadrant rating methods are presently skewed more to aid the institutional investor community than the vendor, buyer, strategy, alliance, or M&A communities, but all of these groups can get value from the quadrant ratings, which are often released as free teasers for Gartner’s costly research reports. Like any good model, the quadrants can be a quick way to update one’s mental picture. In concert with your own research, they are one way to learn the competitive landscape and near-term growth prospects for firms in a market, as inputs to organizational strategy. A similar model for growth in a competitive environment is Boston Consulting Group’s Growth-share matrix model, which also assigns firms to one of four quadrants based on growth rate and market share: Cash Cows, Stars, Question Marks, and Dogs. Woof-woof!

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