Gartner Blog Network

Hank Barnes
Research Vice President
3+ years at Gartner
28 years IT Industry

Hank Barnes provides research and advisory services on go-to-market strategies for technology providers. He focuses on issues related to positioning, storytelling, the technology customer life cycle, and customer experience. Read Full Bio

Gartner Tech Growth and Innovation Conference, Round 2

by Hank Barnes  |  December 6, 2016

Last year, I had the honor to chair the first ever, Gartner Tech  Growth and Innovation Conference.   Well, we are back for another year and early bird registration is now open.   This year’s conference will be held in at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach (CA) from June 19-21.  Its a beautiful venue and […]

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Buyer/Vendor Disconnects – Reasons for Immediate Rejection

by Hank Barnes  |  November 29, 2016

Many of my most recent posts have reflected some of the findings from our regular survey into the buying process, and key influences, for enterprise technology.   This year, we also surveyed tech providers to see what they thought worked and mattered most to the enterprises they target.  We’ll be sharing more and more details […]

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The Enterprise Persona Matters Most in B2B Tech Markets

by Hank Barnes  |  November 22, 2016

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with personas.   While I truly believe in adapting your communication to specific audiences, and the the exercise of developing personas forces you to deepen your understanding of the people you market and sell to, I also feel that there are some risks.   In B2B markets, […]

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Differentiation and Neutralization – The Constant Struggle

by Hank Barnes  |  November 15, 2016

Last week, Geoffrey Moore published a post on LinkedIn called Innovation Silicon Valley Style is the Exception, Not the Rule.  As always with Geoff, it is excellent and well worth the read.  One of the things he highlights is the difference between disruptive innovation and sustaining innovation, playing up that the path has an impact on […]

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The Impact of Customer Communities Can Not Be Ignored

by Hank Barnes  |  November 8, 2016

Followers of this blog know that I spend a lot of time thinking, researching, and writing about customer advocacy (and customer centric approaches in general) and communities.   Your customers and prospects want to talk to each other–often without you filtering or controlling the conversation.   But it is your responsibility, actually your opportunity, to […]

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Do People Really Care About Measurable ROI?

by Hank Barnes  |  November 1, 2016

Like my post on targeting, I worried about this title.   Of course ROI is important.  We want to get value from our investments. But in many cases, tangible, measurable ROI only seems to matter at a few specific times: When making an initial investment When deciding programs to cut in support of cost savings […]

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When a Guarantee Is Meaningless, Trust Diminishes

by Hank Barnes  |  October 25, 2016

I love guarantees as a marketing approach.   They can be very effective in building trust and reducing risk for customers.   And, often, the guarantee is really something that just gets them “over the hump” to make the buying decision.   Not every customer will exercise a guarantee, even when it available to them. […]

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Can You Target Too Much?

by Hank Barnes  |  October 18, 2016

I was very hesitant about the title of this blog.    I’m a big believer in having a very focused target market.  But, at the same time, I do believe that the quest for measurement may be causing marketers to target too much (particularly around advertising and other demand generation investments. Here is what I […]

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Master the Discovery Demo to Balance Prospect Demands with Your Needs

by Hank Barnes  |  October 11, 2016

Demonstrations continue to be at the top of the list of things that influence technology buyers.   And, as technology skills continue to expand across the workforce, buyers often want demos sooner rather than later.    For providers targeting SMB buyers using online channels, this is an accepted part of the strategy–they offer free trials, […]

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The Differentiation Two-Step

by Hank Barnes  |  October 4, 2016

When providers try to communicate differentiation (no matter how many times we advise against this), it is almost always a laundry list of items.   “Here are the five or ten things that make us special.”   That approach rarely works. But, I’ve come to realize that there is a time for detail and a […]

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