Book review: Up and to the Right - Strategy and tactics of analyst influence by Richard Stiennon

Have you ever wondered why decision makers are so keen on recurring to the Gartner Magic Quadrant to make product-purchasing decisions? This book by Richad Stiennon talks on how this quadrants are made. Although it is not purely related to information security, information security market participants can certainly benefit from its learning points and understand the location in the quadrant of some security products.

Organised in 21 chapters and 2 appendixes, "Up and to the Right" is an easy to read and very instructive book. This is a brief compilation of the main points of the book per chapter.

Chapter 1

Having worked as a Gartner analyst from 2000 to 2004, Richard attests that the Gartner Magic Quadrant "pay to be there" rumour is just a myth.

Chapter 2

He presents the Gartner Magic Quadrant and introduces the reader to the four different types of players i.e. niche players, visionaries, challengers and leaders, according to their ability to execute (vertical axis) and the completeness of vision (horizontal axis).

Chapter 3

This is the first chapter on which the author starts to refer to the concept of influencing markets, analysts and, eventually, prospective buyers. There we can read about many different channels such as Google, Wikipedia, Newspapers, Linkedin, Books or even Youtube and Facebook.

Chapter 4

The final conclusion to chapter 3 is what Richard calls the Influence Pyramid, consisting of five groups of stakeholders i.e. starting from the base, these are the addressable market, technologists on Internet, journalists, bloggers, CIOs and analysts.

Chapter 5
In a nutshell, the key point is to set a goal and prepare an strategy to succeed in your market's Magic Quadrant.

Chapter 6
In this chapter the author really adds meats to the bone proposing specific measures for each of the layers in the influence pyramid.

Chapter 7
This chapter provides some tips on finding the real influencers in your market.

Chapter 8
Very much Gartner internal, the author refers to a Gartner information-gathering product named Strategic Advisory Service (SAS) or the SAS-day: A product consisting of a day-long's visit of an analyst to your place, that would easily cost you some thousands of dollars.

Chapter 9

This chapter describes a different product called "the analyst inquiry", focusing in the provision of understanding how a product can appear in a Magic Quadrant.

Chapter 10

A product-alike option, however almost cost-free, is what this chapter describes: Briefing the analyst.

Chapter 11
A different version of what chapter 10 proposes is called the "drop-by briefing" if you are going to visit the analyst's city.

Chapter 12 and 13 refer to the Gartner Summit and the Gartner Symposium, two events organised by Gartner, and how to make the best use of them.

Chapter 14 and 15 focus on the role of the CEO and the sales team respectively in order to succeed in this Magic Quadrant chase.

Chapter 16 and 17 go through the important role of Wikipedia and social networks such as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Google+ and blogs.

Chapter 18 mentions, under the headline of "guerrilla tactics", many additional marketing measures such as direct mail, ads in airports and radio advertising

Chapter 19 focuses on how to respond the Magic Quadrant questionnaire once we are that lucky to receive it.

Chapter 20 lists some of the actions that we'd better not do in this context and a key fact: "80% of Gartner's customer base are late adaptors".

Chapter 21 provides a final conclusion and appendix I and II provide additional resources and a FAQ respectively.

Complementing the book, I contacted the author and he shared with me the link to the free online video course on the book. Thanks Richard for that!

All in all, a nice small experience-based wisdom pill that we can also apply to IT and information security products! Enjoy!

Happy right reading!