Gartner Blog Network

Hank Barnes
Research Vice President
2+ 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

Is the Opposite of Your Strategy Sensible (an homage to a great article)

by Hank Barnes  |  May 26, 2015

A few weeks ago, what may have been one of my favorite articles on strategy and competition appeared online in the Harvard Business Review.  It was called “The First Question to Ask of Any Strategy”  by Roger L. Martin.  The question is “Is the opposite strategy stupid?”  If the answer is yes, then your  strategy […]

Read more »

Think “Whole Product” when defining Digital Business Moments

by Hank Barnes  |  May 19, 2015

When Geoffrey Moore wrote Crossing the Chasm, it was an instant classic.  Not a week goes by where I don’t hear clients talking about we need to “cross the chasm” or we are “in the chasm.”  The insights from it form the basis for the positioning work that we do with clients at Gartner.   […]

Read more »

Be Thoughtful in Telling Customers Something They Do Not Know

by Hank Barnes  |  May 12, 2015

With the changes in the buying process and ability for potential customers to do a substantial amount of research on their own (as our research–and that of others–shows), a common mantra for those opportunities where you get to engage is to “tell them something they don’t know.” I understand the sentiment, but I always cringe a […]

Read more »

“It Depends” is Usually the Right Answer (It’s Situational)

by Hank Barnes  |  May 5, 2015

As an analyst and advisor, clients come to me (and other analysts and influencers–whether with Gartner or other organizations) looking for insight and advice.   In many cases, they are looking for an answer.  But often, the answer is “It Depends.”  And that, while possibly being viewed as wishy-washy, is usually a good answer. But […]

Read more »

Transparent Qualification Makes Buying (and Selling) Easier

by Hank Barnes  |  April 28, 2015

These past few weeks I’ve been speaking with many clients about their messaging and positioning (well, actually these last two+ years, ) and a particular thought has been emerging.   The idea of transparent qualification.   I’ll explain the term in a moment, but let me start with some context. A fundamental element of positioning, […]

Read more »

Mi-Mi-Mi are Sour Notes for Technology Messaging

by Hank Barnes  |  April 21, 2015

Technology messaging is not easy.   It is a constant challenge that I feel safe to say that every provider could work to improve.  Perfection is not possible.   A key decision is to determine when it is “good enough.”  There is no magic formula for that decision, but a few tests can help tell […]

Read more »

In Weakness, There is Strength-Particularly with Influencers

by Hank Barnes  |  April 14, 2015

Our research into the technology buying cycle continues to highlight how important buyers view influencers at all stage of their buying process.   Whether an influencer comes from academia, the analyst community, associations, government, or the blogosphere, if customers trust them, then they highly value their advise and insight (Gartner clients-check out research that published […]

Read more »

Be Wary of Digital Machinists in Your Customer Experience Programs

by Hank Barnes  |  April 7, 2015

A few months back, I blogged about a key focus area for Gartner’s Digital Business research around the idea of Digital Humanism.  The core tenet is that people (and the golden rule) need to be a key focus of digital business efforts. From the Gartner perspective, there is another side to Digital Business, that of the […]

Read more »

How Land and Expand Strategies Breakdown

by Hank Barnes  |  March 31, 2015

In my post last week, I mentioned Gartner research that uncovered that the most common reason for a no decision in buying was when anticipated project or solution costs exceed the budget.   For providers, this means two things. First, the idea of growing the scope because of increased value and bringing other groups into […]

Read more »

Worst Case Scenario for Technology Buyers – No Decision

by Hank Barnes  |  March 24, 2015

Think about the last time you put a lot of energy into something and then did nothing.    How did that feel?  For me, it feels like I totally wasted precious time for no good reason.    There are some occasions where the effort leads you to believe that a change is not worth making, […]

Read more »