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

Things I’d Like To See Go Away – Desperate Unsubscribe Pages

by Hank Barnes  |  August 7, 2018

Warning: I’m venting.   My mother is getting older and I’ve been helping her out quite a bit lately.   One of the things I wanted to do is make it easier for her to manage her e-mail, to find messages that are important. Easier said than done. Her e-mail box was loaded with messages from politicians, […]

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Story Centered Marketing – A New Approach to Marketing Strategy?

by Hank Barnes  |  July 31, 2018

It’s not hard to recognize that I’m a big fan of storytelling.  It’s the focus of many of my posts and it dominates my client interactions.  But, a recent conversation gave me a fresh perspective and idea that I think it worthy of some consideration–particularly for tech vendors with a decent size marketing budget. A […]

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Things I’d Like to See Go Away – CX Washing

by Hank Barnes  |  July 24, 2018

It has been a little while since my last post in this series, but a diginomica “discussion extract” article from a discussion between Jon Reed and Esteban Kolsky triggered another idea. Let’s turn our sights toward customer experience.    As the idea has moved to the forefront of company initiatives (and imperatives), naturally, the vendor […]

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The multiplier effect (remaking marketing priorities)

by Hank Barnes  |  July 17, 2018

As digital marketing techniques and options continue to mature and expand, vendors may be missing something.    We get so focused on generating leads, and orient much of our spend here, that we forget how customers move toward buying decisions.  Its summertime, so I figured a reminder might be useful. B2B Buyers don’t spend most […]

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Content Versus Conversation

by Hank Barnes  |  July 10, 2018

I regularly hear clients tell me, “If we get a chance to have a conversation, we usually win.”  But they find it challenging to get to that point.  As I’ve explored this more and more, the contrast between their written content (Web sites, presentations, etc.) and their conversational communications is stark. Yes, it takes more […]

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The Context to Care and Compare

by Hank Barnes  |  July 3, 2018

I’ve been beating the drum for better messaging through positioning and storytelling for years.  It’s a repeated theme in this blog.    But many of the problems I have with messaging continue to appear over and over again.    Recently, in speaking with one client, they mentioned a new book on positioning, “Getting to Aha!: […]

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Evolving With Your Customers

by Hank Barnes  |  June 26, 2018

Recently, many of my posts have related to helping your customers buy and, by extension, selling the way your customers want to buy.   In response to one of those, Eric Holmen, the SVP of Worldwide Sales for Urban Airship, reached out to me.  He wanted to share some of the things that they have been […]

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Things I’d Like to See Go Away – Fake Personalization

by Hank Barnes  |  June 19, 2018

I’m sure we’ve all been on the receiving end of a message that starts like this: “Hi Hank, It’s great to talk to you again.   After reading your LinkedIn Profile, I realized that you might be in the market for Web design services” But the reality is the sender has never spoken to me and […]

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Metrics Provide Clues, Not Answers

by Hank Barnes  |  June 12, 2018

There are a few phrases that bug me.  One of those is “if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t matter.”  Being an intuitive thinker, I firmly believe there are lots of things that you can’t measure (or at least can’t measure easily) that matter greatly.  And, I imagine that many of you, like me can […]

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Things I’d Like to See Go Away – Trust Destroying Claims

by Hank Barnes  |  June 5, 2018

Trust is essential for effective relationships and our research has long shown that trust is a critical factor in technology purchase decisions.  And yet, every day I see examples of Web site messaging, e-mail marketing, and business discussions where claims that are made (typically in the hopes of building credibility) that erode trust.  Often, these […]

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