Tips for Increasing Analyst Awareness: An Interview With Gartner Research VP Laura McLellan

“Most technology providers maintain informal relationships with Gartner analysts. Yet adding a little structure to the relationship can yield much higher value.”

Laura McLennan

Preface: In 2009 we cited this article as one of the most useful articles by analysts with tips on Analyst Relations. Over the decade since then, the article’s fallen offline. In 2020, when we started the research for our book, we asked the author’s permission to cite it. To help readers see the analyst’s comments in context, we reprint it below. ” Laura McLellan is now VP Marketing Strategist at Gartner.”

Perhaps you’ve just become a Gartner client or you’re a long-term client who is branching into new areas that expand your domain. Who are the analysts you should be talking to? Just as importantly: When and how should you be talking to them?

Gartner Research VP Laura McLellan analyzes the marketing strategies of IT hardware, software and services providers. As one who takes calls from AR professionals every week, she advises: “Knowing which analysts you should be talking to is extremely important, but it can be tough to figure this out.” Her advice:

“Start with your Gartner account manager. Share the highlights of your company’s business plan—and your AR communications plan—with your account executive.

  • “Which markets are you competing in today? Which markets are you entering or exploring for the future? What is your plan for communicating with key industry analysts (including those other than Gartner)?
  • “Which emerging technologies and disruptive business models affect you? How is your target buyer changing? How are your competitors responding to market shifts? The more your account manager knows about you, the better he or she can help identify the analysts you should be talking to.”

“Define your market as broadly as possible. It’s especially useful if your account manager knows the adjacent markets in which you participate.”

  • “For example, if you market server technology, where do you stand in security? What types of professional services augment your hardware or software offerings?  How do you position your solution to buyers in key vertical markets? 
  • “How do you impact the application software industry? How are you responding to the movement toward software as a service? Are there specific applications (for example, banking or transaction management) that lend themselves well to your technology? A broader focus will get you on the radar screens of more analysts.”

Once you’ve identified the right analysts, how do you maintain the type of relationships that will create and expand analyst awareness?

  • “Sync up with Gartner Research and Events schedules. If you want to be considered for reports such as Cool Vendors, specific Magic Quadrants, MarketScopes or an upcoming industry report, sync up with the Gartner editorial and event calendar (available on
  • “Check out research agendas. Most analyst groups publish what they will be writing about in the ensuing year. The Dataquest analyst teams share details of their upcoming research two quarters in advance (also available on Map relevant dates in Gartner agendas to your AR communications plan.
  • “Understand analyst schedules. Visibility into the right analysts’ schedules is something every AR professional should be on top of, Every analyst participates in research reports and various events that are relevant to the AR professional’s role—and most will share their schedule if you simply ask. If you’re going to stay on the analyst’s radar, you need to know what they are doing, and when they are doing it.

“Most AR people don’t realize the lead times analysts require for both their research and presentations at both Symposium and Summit events. For example, presentations for events are due up to two months in advance of the event itself. If it’s appropriate for you to have some impact on an analyst’s presentation—for example, a Summit event that focuses on business intelligence, mobile computing or IT asset management—make sure you talk to the analysts about their internal due dates.

“Most technology providers maintain informal relationships with Gartner analysts. Yet adding a little structure to the relationship can yield much higher value.”

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