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 buying cycle, and customer experience. Read Full Bio

Hype Cycle Reminders For Tech Providers

by Hank Barnes  |  August 23, 2016

It is hype cycle season here at Gartner, with updated and new hype cycles having been recently published or on their way.   Whenever new hype cycles are published, there tends to be a lot of focus on where things are on the graph and what, if anything is missing.   A key thing to […]

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How Hard Do You Make The Enterprise Buying Decision?

by Hank Barnes  |  August 16, 2016

It seems so obvious and like such a great opportunity.   A Tech Provider uncovers at issues they see in a number of accounts and decides to create a product or service to address those issues, enabling a more efficient and/or effective way of working.  But then they struggle to gain traction, despite the obvious (at least to them) […]

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Establish Your Market Context with a Strong ViewPoint

by Hank Barnes  |  August 9, 2016

When you write and talk about a topic a lot, you often find like minded people.   Through the work I’ve done around positioning, messaging, and storytelling, I’ve had several interactions with Ken Rutsky.   Through those exchanges, it is clear that we have similar views on many things (and enough uniqueness in our opinions […]

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Understanding Your Customer’s Perspective – Think “Whole Context”

by Hank Barnes  |  August 2, 2016

It is important to remember that each of our world views is skewed by our own perspective.   In marketing and sales, this can lead to a distorted sense of the reality of our customers. That distorted reality leads  to all sorts of issues: Misaligned expectations:  We forecast a deal when the customer is not even […]

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Forget Scripts, Adopt Situational Messaging

by Hank Barnes  |  July 26, 2016

A standard component of most sales training programs, call blitzes, and campaigns is “the script.”   The goal is to get everyone on the same page and communicating the same things.   And, while it makes sense conceptually, I believe it won’t work for most buying situations for one simple reason.   Every customer is […]

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Brainstorming on Branding

by Hank Barnes  |  July 19, 2016

I don’t profess to be a branding expert.   Branding is one of those words that means a lot of different things to different people. But branding goes hand in hand with messaging, particularly as it relates to brand promise.    So I thought I shared some thoughts on branding from my perspective. What does […]

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Simple Tests to Assess and Improve Your Messaging

by Hank Barnes  |  July 12, 2016

As our research shows, messaging continues to be a challenge for many tech providers.    The reasons for this are varied, but some of the biggest issues are the breadth of competition (lots of similar products and services), the push for content (quantity over quality), and inertia (largely driven by the desire to tell all […]

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A Critical Shift is Happening in Technology Markets

by Hank Barnes  |  July 5, 2016

It’s almost a given.  The primary focus of the majority of companies in technology markets is innovation.   Technology innovation.  And its been that way for years, right? The vast majority of the messages and focus is new products or product improvements.   And that is often how many of us view the power of […]

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Learning While Doing

by Hank Barnes  |  June 28, 2016

My daughter is in the beginning of her 4th year of med school.   And she has been harassing me about not mentioning her in any blog posts recently.  So this one is inspired by her. As Alix has gone through med school, the program at UNC Chapel Hill has been interesting to observe.  There […]

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The Enterprise Context Can Not Be Forgotten

by Hank Barnes  |  June 21, 2016

I continue to see articles talking about how B2B selling is personal, with articles talking about “everything is B2P.”.  I’ve blogged about this before, but I think the discussions of B2B being about selling to individuals are missing a key point.  The enterprise context can not be forgotten. Yes, you do need to appeal to individuals and […]

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