Analysts will not endorse any vendor directly. Your goal with AR is to help shape their POV about the market, especially if this is a new category and ultimately get well positioned on MQs and Wave reports. Shaping their POV means showing analysts how customers are getting value from this new type of solution and what critical capabilities that are required to be successful. Do this by building a personal relationship with the analysts, sharing insights, connecting them with your customers, and keeping them updated about your roadmap and product innovation.
Respondent.io is great tool for this - you can target specific job titles in any number of industries and weed out interviewees based on a survey. We typically ask things like company size, job function, whether or not they're already using our software, etc. We just redid all of our personas and Respondent.io was amazing.
I also sent out a survey via PeopleFish which is another great (and typically cheap-er) way to get intel outside of your customer base.
Based on your question detail, it sounds like you are targeting some specific persona details. If you have the time and capacity to take the approach you described, then it's a good way to do it.
The other is to use a third party. I've used a few in the past, SurveyMonkey and Respondent.io. They were both pretty easy to use and got us the insight we needed without the hassle of prospecting.
If you're going after a whole new market, consider using services like G2G where you can provide the desired profile including industry, companies, titles, and areas of expertise. Then you'll get scheduled interviews where you can ask very specific questions. Set aside some budget for these interviews and be selective because they are costly.
Treat it as a category creation opportunity! Analyst firms have their place, but they can also hamstring your creativity when it comes to positioning your offering and differentiating from competitors. You don't currently have that anchor to carry. Enjoy your extra flexibility! I’ve even seen some companies effectively create their own market landscape framework to create commanding buyer’s guides and compelling ad creative.
For the definition of reviews, I will consider analyst product evaluations also as reviews. It is also important to know that not all public reviews have the same weight.
From my own experience, well articulated, attributed - negative feedback can have the right impact on product roadmap decisions. It allows the PM-PMM team to even reach out for further investigations and understand the key gaps for the customer. It also gives the team a chance to respond to the feedback by providing acceptable work arounds or provide product roadmap guidence.