Gartner Blog Network

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
4+ years at Gartner
29 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

Contrasts are Critical

by Hank Barnes  |  November 14, 2017

As followers of this blog know, I spend a lot of time working with tech providers on storytelling (well, they may think we are working on messaging, but I always lead to storytelling).    In those discussions, I see the same pattern repeat itself over and over and over again (and yes, this will be […]

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The Power of (Product) Moments

by Hank Barnes  |  November 7, 2017

Customer Experience is largely about maximizing moments.   Throughout every aspect of customer experience, there are specific points in time that are truly Moments of Truth–instances that make, or break, the customer experience.  Identifying and recognizing moment of truth opportunities is more important than perfecting every aspect, every interaction of a customer experience. At the CEB […]

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Personalities Trump Personas in B2B

by Hank Barnes  |  October 31, 2017

Personas continue to get a lot of attention by B2B marketers.  And while it is hard to argue with working to get a deeper understanding of the individuals involved in buying decisions, the persona approach, at least in B2B, may not be effective–particularly if used on its own. Here’s the problem (in my opinion).  If […]

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The High Cost of Buying Complexity

by Hank Barnes  |  October 24, 2017

Last week, I attended the CEB Sales and Marketing Summit.  This was my first chance to see my new colleagues in action, with clients.   The event was excellent, with a great spirit of collaboration that develops based on the model of leadership councils.   I will  be sharing some of my thoughts from the event in […]

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Setting Strategies – Where to Focus

by Hank Barnes  |  October 17, 2017

As tech providers define and refine their strategies, there are a wide variety of factors to consider.   These include (among others) market factors, competition, customers, and their own capabilities.    There are no black and white answers.   Pretty much every decision is impacted by a wide variety of controllable and uncontrollable items. That […]

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The Elements of Disruption

by Hank Barnes  |  October 10, 2017

Last week, I did a presentation at the Gartner Symposium and IT Expo on “Lessons Learned from the Digital Giants.”   Much of the content for the presentation came from research that a team of analysts at Gartner have developed around disruption.  Out of that work emerged a key idea that really hit home for me, […]

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Scenarios – The Missing Link in Simplifying B2B Buying and Selling?

by Hank Barnes  |  October 3, 2017

There is no doubt about it.  The world of B2B technology is getting more complex.   And that is making both buying and selling in this environment more challenging.  My colleagues from CEB (now Gartner), Nick Toman and Brent Adamson, talk about this all the time and have written books on the subject.  Others, like […]

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Letting Your Customers Tell Your Story

by Hank Barnes  |  September 26, 2017

Last year, I shared an example from HPE, where they had turned to their advocates to develop content reflecting best practices in ITSM.   I loved the concept as it reflected actual practitioners discussing best practices rather than a vendor.  When vendors tout best practices, many view them with skepticism, feeling these might be best […]

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Art of Possible vs. Proven Paths to Success

by Hank Barnes  |  September 19, 2017

Following my recent blog on hype cycles, I’m worried about the continued hype around “The Art of the Possible.”   The term seems to be growing in popularity over the last 10 years, with many vendors focusing on this as part of their sales discussions with customer.  Gartner is in the game too. For example, […]

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The Many Uses of Product Reviews

by Hank Barnes  |  September 12, 2017

As I’ve discussed before, technology buyers are increasingly relying on user reviews as a key part of their buying process.  There are now a wide array of review sites like G2Crowd and IT Central Station, or Gartner owned sites like Gartner Peer Insights, Software Advice, Capterra, and GetApp.  There are probably more sites and this […]

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