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Move the needle, not just Gartner’s dot.

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

Most people in the tech industry believe all that matters from an analyst perspective is the Gartner Magic Quadrant. Executives, sales, marketing, product people. Maybe, if you’re lucky they mention the Forrester Wave as a distant second. That would sure make it simple, wouldn’t it?

MQs and Waves are certainly important. There’s no mistaking their impact on the buying cycle. Just ask a sales guy when your position drops against a formidable competitor. Ouch.

But, when that’s all that’s seen and expected it is a huge dis to what you do. Bravo to those who have engaged the hearts and souls of their leaders to see all the possibilities of analyst relations.

Strong AR pros forget about AR. Nobody cares about most AR metrics or the mechanics (headaches) of managing the program. Strong AR people talk about moving the needle in the business. People wake up. They care about that.

For me, aligning to business objectives becomes way more than an exercise.

  • I fiercely portrayed AR’s ability to drive revenue, delight customers, build the brand, dominate the market

  • I convince leaders that analyst influence isn’t just in the report-- they impact buying decisions every single day, and when no one’s watching they share much more than what they publicly write.

  • I catapult analysts from opinionated pains in the a**es to great sources of insight

  • I use that insight to drive critical changes in product and strategy.

It’s really hard. I’ve seen this work beautifully and I’ve seen it fail miserably. I like it a lot more when it works.

The better you know the business challenges that your people care about, the better you know which analyst knows what, and the better you can aim the right analysts at helping with the right problem in the right way, the more strategic and impactful you become.

After all, the Magic Quadrant is just the tip of the iceberg. When AR is done right, the iceberg is huge.

There’s so much more to this. What has worked for you?

177 views3 comments


Great post Robin.

I usually leverage the IIAR> AR Compass for those discussions, I find that it's useful to focus minds and prioritise deliverables >

The conversation always starts on top line, but then it's also about insights (make less expensive mistakes), marketing (accelerate conversions) and reputational risk. C-Levels respond well to this and the conversation moves from anecdotal (Gartner impacting a deal) to developing a dialogue (how relationships can support them directly).

After successfully moving up the maturity curve, analysts should be seen as trusted advisors, then all the other outcomes becomes easy.

Most AR people never get there and are stuck in evaluations, playing a numbers game and losing on coverage to PR.


David Hybels
David Hybels
Sep 23, 2020

It's all about managing to expected business outcomes - strategic AR can have a big role in that. MQ is one piece of that. The activities (knowledge transfer/ influence/ insight) should lead to your company getting short-listed & selected for key evaluations like an MQ; which can manifest in revenue - the desired business outcome.


Marc Duke
Marc Duke
Sep 23, 2020

Nice piece. It comes down to the pain point that your organisation is facing or not. But the key is where the company wants to get to and if and how analysts v influencers can help

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