Gartner Blog Network

Hank Barnes
Research Director
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

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, […]

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Is Self-Service Creating Acceptance of Average?

by Hank Barnes  |  March 17, 2015

I’ve been on vacation this week with some think time (and a lot of cough time–vacationing with your worst cold in years is note ideal) and one of the ideas in my head right now is wondering about the downside of the self-service world we live in today, particularly from a technology/application standpoint. Before technology […]

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Frame Your Competition Early In Buying Process For More Success Later

by Hank Barnes  |  March 10, 2015

One of the most important aspects of positioning, and differentiation, is identifying the competitive alternative.  I’ve blogged about this in the past, but wanted to share a different perspective today.  The importance of framing the competitive discussion early in the buying process.     Framing the competition is something you should do throughout the marketing […]

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Most Consistent Benefit of Advocacy Marketing – Work Life Gets Easier

by Hank Barnes  |  March 3, 2015

As any of you who follow my blog know, I’m a big advocate of Advocacy Marketing.  Advocating Advocacy, hmm? That aside, I’ve spent the past few weeks interviewing people at organizations that submitted stories in response to my request for examples of Advocacy Marketing’s impact.   I’ve got a few more interviews to go (and I […]

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Abandon Me Too Marketing

by Hank Barnes  |  February 24, 2015

One of the common questions I get at Gartner is “What are other companies (particularly the successful ones)  like me doing?”  And often, the “like me” comparison they are looking for is pretty broad -software company, services company, etc.    This is often associated with trying to decide what marketing activities to invest in.  When I […]

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The “Cons” of Personal Performance

by Hank Barnes  |  February 17, 2015

A bit of a different style post for me this week, driven by a couple of things.  First, my daughter complained that I have not used her in an analogy in any of my posts lately (here you go, Alix).  Second, since it is performance review season, I was reflecting on just how much I love […]

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Delivering the Perfect Demo

by Hank Barnes  |  February 10, 2015

In our most recent survey of technology buyers, live or technical demonstrations were consistently rated at the top of the list of provider marketing and sales efforts.  This was true of IT buyers and business buyers across a variety of solution areas.  As I’ve been exploring lately, a likely factor is a desire for information […]

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Is It Time to End the Traditional Approach to Reference Management in Technology Marketing?

by Hank Barnes  |  February 3, 2015

As I mentioned in my last post, sales arranged reference calls or site visits were ranked by the technology buyers we surveyed at the bottom of most influential sales interactions.  This was very surprising to me given the long history of “I need references” as part of buying processes.  Additionally, case studies continue to rank […]

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The Sales Shift from Gatekeeper to Expediter

by Hank Barnes  |  January 27, 2015

Yes, I apologize if I am adding yet another post to the mass of content about how sales needs to shift.  But I hope you add this one to your “useful” pile and not your “I hope I never hear that again” pile. After thinking about my post last week about respecting the buying process and […]

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Tech Buyers Want Vendors to Respect Their Buying Process

by Hank Barnes  |  January 20, 2015

“Based on the 100+ marketing emails and 15+ cold calls I get a day, they seem to already have my contact details.” “Vendors need to be aware of our buying cycle and process not their quarter end pressures.  Also corporates are increasingly mature and will conduct research, this [requesting content] is not a buying sign.” […]

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