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New Research on Enterprise Buying Habits for Technology Coming Soon

by Hank Barnes  |  April 16, 2019  |  Submit a Comment

This post is a tease.  Let me get that out of the way first.  But, boy-o-boy, am I excited.

At the beginning of this year, we kicked off our biggest survey of individuals involved in the buying process for enterprise technologies.  When were done, we’ll have perspectives from around 1500 respondents in mid-size, large, and global enterprises on patterns, nuances, and challenges they face when buying technology.   The large sample size means we can look at the data in all kinds of creative ways and still have a count, the n value, that makes the data worth considering.


The first public unveiling will be at our two Gartner Tech Growth and Innovation conferences this June – in San Diego and London.  My presentation, to kick off the “Customer-Centric Marketing for Success” track will provide a broad introduction to the research and its implications.  Then you find other aspects of it mixed into many other sessions.

Some more details on what we explored:

  1. In late 2017, we worked to understand just how many software buying efforts enterprises were doing within a 2 year time period.  That revealed that over 40% of buying efforts were for projects that were not budgeted.   This year, we’ve expanded to include many other technology categories.   The early data reveals some interesting patterns that we believe will be useful to tech providers looking to capture more opportunities.
  2. In 2016 (and earlier studies), we focused  on how buyers spent their time, what information they valued, and what frustrated them during the buying process.   This year, we’ve continued that research, but have really honed in on one specific buying effort–the one that they spent the most money on.  The early data seems to be confirming some things that we would expect, with a few surprising elements, and a clear indication that these buying (and project) teams AND tech providers have more work to do.
  3. Finally, earlier this year, we conducted research with technology product marketers, to understand where they are placing their bets and what’s working.  In this study, we look at it from the customer perspective–what gets their attention (and keeps it) and what helps them progress their buying decision.   Surprise, surprise–what the marketers are doing doesn’t always seem line up with what customers want.

Looking at it collectively, the key message is that tech providers have made progress in adapting to changing buying behavior, but there is much more work to do.  This study will fuel many different research notes for clients across many of our practices for CEOs, General Managers, Product Management teams, and particularly Product Marketing teams that target enterprise customers.    The goal–help you make the right choice to create a customer experience that optimizes buying and, more importantly, accelerates customers ability to capture value from their investments.

I hope you’ll join us at the conference (registration links above) and then keep an eye out for the research from me and the rest of the Gartner team.


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Category: go-to-market  

Tags: b2b-buying  enterprise  go-to-market  product-marketing  techniology  

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
6+ years at Gartner
30+ years IT Industry

Hank Barnes explores the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. Using that customer-centric lens, he advises those responsible for marketing technology products and services, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and startup CEOs on next practices to drive success for their customers and their business. Read Full Bio

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