Gartner Quarterly Analyst Relations Call

03 July 2007

On Wednesday, June 20th Gartner held their quarterly analyst relations call on the topic of “Get the Most Out of Your Relationship with Gartner.”  Similar content was presented at the AR Forum at Spring Symposium and could easily be titled “don’t waste our time and we won’t waste yours.” 
Analyst Gareth Herschel presented Gartner’s best practices for analyst
interactions, focused primarily on vendor briefings.  While several of
Gartner’s recommendations are rendered near-impossible by the very
structure of the firm, there were quite a few important take-aways from
the call.

Gartner emphasized that a compelling and useful vendor briefing should:

  • Inform the analyst of an available solution that addresses market needs and current client problems.
  • Indicate to the analyst when they should be talking about your product and when they should not.
  • Focus on strategic intent; explain how this solution, product,
    partnership or vision furthers your company’s business and technology
    strategies.
  • Present REAL differentiators; if you are the best in the market, back
    it up with numbers, otherwise the only true differentiators are things
    your company can claim that no one else can.

In support of these goals, and to make analysts’ lives easier, Gartner reminds vendors to ensure that they:

  • Give a frame of reference for where the spokesperson/solution fits in the company in the form of a short overview.
  • Provide timeframes, updated product roadmaps and go-to-market strategy.
  • Create decks that have no more than 20 SPH (slides per hour) although appendixes with detailed information are welcome.
  • Ask which other analysts would be interested; internal information sharing is somewhat informal.
  • Plan briefings far in advance; quarterly update briefings and product announcements.

This
last recommendation brings us to the challenges presented by Gartner
itself in achieving the vendor briefing perfection that this call
sought to guide AR specialists towards; namely, dealing with the Vendor
Briefings (VB) organization.  Participants on the call posed questions
about how to schedule briefings far in advance when analysts’ calendars
are not available, analyst participants aren’t guaranteed and the NDA
policy is somewhat wishy-washy.  Similar concerns were loudly aired at
the AR Forum in May and were met with the assurance that the Vendor
Briefings team is “completely client service focused” and the process
is just fine as is. 

Despite this perspective, we recommend the following best practices when scheduling vendor briefings with Gartner:

  • Conduct inquiries with the analysts that are at the top of your
    briefing target list.  This not only better prepares your spokespeople
    by informing them of what the analyst is currently researching, what
    they see as the most important market trends and what competitors are
    on their radar screen, it is also acts as stepping stone to the
    briefing.  Then when your name, company and topic come up in an invite
    from VB, it’s not out of left field and they are more likely to make
    time for you.
  • Consider doing multiple briefings to cover all analysts in the space. 
    Getting 15 analysts on the phone at one time just isn’t always possible
    or practical.  Brief your core people first and foremost and then be
    flexible with additional briefings, it may take a few weeks to get to
    everyone.
  • Press your product people for real dates for launches and roadmaps you
    can count on.  There’s nothing like being asked to schedule a briefing
    with in-demand analysts a week before a launch you had no idea was
    coming up OR doing a big splashy briefing and then not being able to
    follow-up it up with demos or customer references.
  • Take on the housekeeping details yourself.  This includes conducting
    dry runs of the presentation, guiding slide deck edits, sending decks
    to analysts and VB directly, asking analysts about upcoming research,
    preparing smart questions to ask during the briefing, asking about
    other analysts you should be talking to, recapping follow-up items
    during the briefing and following up on them directly with the analysts or as requested.
  • Be clear about your NDA or embargo needs; unless you say otherwise,
    Gartner analysts WILL assume that this information can be shared
    publicly.

3 Responses to “Gartner Quarterly Analyst Relations Call”

  1. ARonaut

    Great summary!

  2. ARcade

    On Wednesday 20th June (the same day as Gartner’s Quarterly Analyst Call ) Mark Jackson, UK MD H&K

  3. Duncan

    This is very handy; thanks for posting it.

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