Blog post

Raising The Visibility of Gartner’s Tech Buying Behavior Research

By Hank Barnes | July 27, 2021 | 2 Comments

tech buying behavioral insights

Late last year, I was meeting with one of our clients to discuss storytelling.  In that call, the client said something to the effect of, “If you had research that highlights how companies approach buying, what information they are looking for, and where they need help, that would be invaluable.”

The answer to that “what if” was “We already have that” (although this is a never ending story that constantly evolves), it just was either (a) hard to find or (b) never really searched for because it was not something they expected to see from Gartner or (c) a bit of both.

Since then, some changes have happened.  First, my role changed to Chief of Research, Buying Behavior.   The leader of our organization buys into a premise that I had from the day I joined Gartner–the best way to improve customer-facing efforts is not to study what other companies like you do it is to understand what your customers are doing.   We’ve made this a vocal point and one of the value tent poles in our offering.  Yes, we’ve been doing it for a while, but we increased the emphasis.

Second, we have made it easier to discover.  We created our own Key Initiative (KI) focused on organizing and shaping the research in this area, Tech Buying Behavioral Insights.  The KI is lead by my colleague Derry Finkeldey.  Derry is doing all the hard work to make this happen and has a great mind to be a key partner with me in this effort.  For clients with “role based products” you can find the KI primer here and subscribe to the key initiative here.  This is one, easier to find place for all this information.


You’ll discover a lot of content there already, but we are far from over.  This year, we have studies in process that explore the influence of users on technology decisions, attitudes toward emerging technologies, and the dynamics of the biggest technology purchase for organizations.   These will offer a mix of fresh and refreshed insights for clients (and fodder for blog posts as any follower already knows) that will help shape product, marketing, sales, and strategy decisions.

I’m excited to see this added visibility.   I’ll put our investment and existing “insight base” for this up against anyone–even while acknowledging there is much more to do.

This is the next chapter in an important story.  Tune in and stay tuned.

Leave a Comment


  • Hank, while many of your clients know that Gartner has compelling findings from your research about B2B Tech buyer needs and wants for info and guidance, the typical vendor go-to-market approach is still driven by an inside-out mindset. They really want to transform, but change is painfully slow.

    Why do IT vendors continue to ask Gartner for new insights? The vendor culture transition from being product-centered to becoming more customer-centered is often complex. Both the marketing and sales organization must unlearn the old ways, as part of the go-to-market strategy rebirth.

    Letting go of the familiar approach is easier said than done. It’s a huge task, for sure. Developing narratives around ‘speeds and feeds’ is still commonplace. In contrast, focusing on the anticipated ‘business outcomes’ is not intuitive or familiar.

    My point: I believe this evolving playbook transition requires more actionable chapters. In particular, proven methods that enable vendors to overcome internal resistance to the much-needed change in their go-to-market execution.

    • Hank Barnes says:

      Agree this is not easy–much like change is not easy for customers. My colleagues continue to work on actionable chain, while the buying research lays out the big picture story to build the case for change and lay out a high level roadmap. The devil is in the details and, like for buyers, sometimes it takes some critical events and pressures to move things along.