Gartner Blog Network

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
5+ years at Gartner
30 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

In Praise of the Obvious

by Hank Barnes  |  January 22, 2019

One of my favorite early marketing books was from Jack Trout, “In Search of the Obvious.” It, and the importance of the concept was brought back to me by a series of articles/blog posts I read at the beginning of this year: Dave Brock wrote two posts: “The New Value Proposition: Sense Making” and “Getting […]

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Marketing to Must Have Requirements

by Hank Barnes  |  January 15, 2019

I was reading some articles that I had tagged and saved over the holidays.   Several of them were case studies that went into some detail on successful implementations. What struck me, and maybe it is not new news, was how ever one of the customers talked about some key technical capabilities that made the difference […]

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Creating Your Own Luck

by Hank Barnes  |  January 8, 2019

As the new year kicks off, amidst lots of questions about where the overall financial market is heading, companies (and individuals) are thinking about how to be successful in 2019.    Sure it takes strategy, and focus, and resilience, and I could go on—but it also takes some luck. But luck isn’t always blind luck.  […]

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The Curse of Creeping Complexity

by Hank Barnes  |  December 18, 2018

As the end of the year draws near, it’s a good time to take a step back and look at things going on around your business.    As a business grows, there is often a need for more process and information.  This is often done in the name of scale. (Check out the work of […]

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Three Tests to Assess Your Customer Centricity-Beyond Lip Service

by Hank Barnes  |  December 11, 2018

Being customer-centric.  It’s a simple idea and one that you’d be hard pressed to find many companies that won’t make the claim that they either are, or desire to be, customer-centric. It’s also a term that can be interpreted in a lot of different ways.   For this blog, I’m going to define customer-centricity as “a […]

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The Power of Alternative Perspectives

by Hank Barnes  |  December 4, 2018

Sometimes all you need is a  fresh perspective.  I regularly hear  from clients that a big source of value in their interactions with Gartner is hearing a different point of view.  Often, these discussions reveal insights that were basically “hiding in plain sight.” In some ways, this is counter to traditional communication models.   I often cite the work of […]

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Subjecting Customers to Navel-Gazing

by Hank Barnes  |  November 27, 2018

I suspect we’ve all seen it (and probably done it).   A company creates an upgraded version of a product.   As part of the launch planning, content is created and sales training is done–critical components of a successful launch (not the only components, but critical nonetheless). The content and training often focus on what is new […]

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Elevating Customer and Influencer Marketing

by Hank Barnes  |  November 20, 2018

As we move into the short Thanksgiving work week, I find myself thinking about the priorities of marketing organizations within vendors.  Let’s face it, in most product oriented technology companies, the primary energy, focus, and power revolves around the products. Is this long standing approach still appropriate?  I wonder. We know that tech buying teams spend […]

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Leveraging Enterprise Technology Adoption (ETA) Profiles for Product Marketing

by Hank Barnes  |  November 13, 2018

Many of my recent posts have been introducing (or reintroducing) Enterprise Technology Adoption (ETA) profiles.   We believe ETA profiles can be very revealing for both enterprise technology buyers and vendors, but it requires some specific knowledge of a customer (and, ideally, the connection of the profile clusters to other data). Given that, what can product […]

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The Most Important Thing about B2B Personas-Common Ground

by Hank Barnes  |  November 6, 2018

The rush to personas continues in B2B.  But the value returned from that investment sure feels questionable. from a marketing perspective (user personas for product design and usability are incredibly valuable).   I did an informal poll of our go-to-market team and we struggled to come up with examples of personas having a big, positive impact […]

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