Moving The Dot: The Magic Quadrant and Tech Vendors (Part Five)

Repositioning your ‘dot’ on a Gartner Magic Quadrant does not happen just because you have a great product or service. It takes information, a plan, Analyst Relations execution and avoiding mistakes.

Expanding Your Goals – Moving the dot should not be the only goal of every analyst interaction. AR teams and spokespeople should insure that you accomplish your goal of moving the dot while working on other aspects of your analyst relationship such as competitive intelligence gathering, relationship building, training a novice analyst, strategy review, etc. Rarely will a vendor be interested in accomplishing one goal when interacting with the Gartner analyst in charge of a MQ. Some goals specifically concerning the MQ include:

  • Moving your dot, either up or to the right or both
  • Moving your competitors’ dots either down or to the left or both
  • Increasing the distance between you and competitors
  • Preventing your competitors from leapfrogging you
  • Increasing the distance between you and a line separating the blocks
  • Influencing the analyst’s underlying criteria and assumptions to reinforce your position and put your competitors at a disadvantage
  • Influencing the definition of what is the market being covered
  • Creating a new MQ


Kea Company Technique:

  • Do your homework
  • Talk to the analyst
  • Determine whether or not the results will be worth the effort
  • Set up near term and long term goals for each MQ
  • Set up an Action Plan for each Magic Quadrant
  • Educate management to get buy-in and prevent complacency
  • Execute
  • Do not become complacent

* Kea Company clients can obtain the outline for “Influence Recurring Research Reports — Research Action Plan”. Advisory clients can also set up one or more inquiries to go through the content, review draft plans, brief executives on the MQ and moving the dot, coach spokespeople on dealing with Gartner analysts, role play the analyst in preparation for inquiries and briefings and act as a sounding board.

Bottom Line: While moving the dot does require a significant amount of effort, it is an achievable goal with the right approach. However, AR managers need to evaluate whether the potential movement is worth the resources and then manage executive expectations in order to obtain a realistic level of support.

Question: Do you use a standard plan for laying out a campaign to change your position on a Magic Quadrant?

This post is one in a series about tech vendors and their relationship with the Gartner Magic Quadrant. In addition to this series, there is a Kea Company Guide to the Magic Quadrant that helps research consumers – whether enterprise IT managers or vendors – make appropriate use of this most famous and misused research deliverable.

With this series I want to build on the excellent work that Dave and Carter did at SageCircle. The MQ is relevant today and many tech vendors struggle to get their strategy right. This alone is enough to warrant further exploration of the topic.

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn. It is part of a series of 7 articles on the Gartner Magic Quadrant. Other parts can be found here.

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Derk Erbé