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

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

The Road to Gartner’s Enterprise Technology Adoption Profiles (and the road ahead)

by Hank Barnes  |  October 30, 2018

For the past five years, Gartner has been developing and refining a new approach for categorizing businesses based upon their attitudes toward technology adoption.   When we first started sharing the analysis publicly a couple of years ago, we called it  Gartner’s “new” Enterprise Personality Profiles, aka EPP.    The initial research was published with an […]

Read more »

Lead to, Not with, Differentiation and Capabilities

by Hank Barnes  |  October 23, 2018

As those that read this blog know, I’m constantly talking about improving messaging through storytelling.   But you also know I’ve been talking about it for almost 6 years and see no end it sight.   It’s an area that seems like there will always be room for improvement.  As I think about all the ways that […]

Read more »

Things I’d Like To See Go Away – Distrust by Default

by Hank Barnes  |  October 16, 2018

It’s an interesting time in the world to be talking about trust.  Many of our institutions and values feel like they have been compromised.  There are lots of reasons not to trust.  But starting from a position of distrust makes things a lot harder. Rather than get political, I want to talk about trust between […]

Read more »

All Revenue Is Good Revenue Attitudes Force Compromises

by Hank Barnes  |  October 9, 2018

Revenue is important.  Growth is important.  But is all revenue good revenue?   Rarely.  But many like to say that.  They want to grow.  They want to close business. What would you do?   There is a big deal on the table–the biggest in company history.  But it requires extensive customization and replatforming.   It will take resources […]

Read more »

The Illusion of Control

by Hank Barnes  |  October 2, 2018

It’s great to be in control.   It creates more confidence and comfort.   But in B2B situations, control is rarely achievable.   There are too many people involved in buying and implementation.  There are too many sources of information.   The idea of the buying journey, and efforts to create journey maps, imply an expectation of control. But […]

Read more »

Buyer Readiness Does Not Mean Buyer Knowledge

by Hank Barnes  |  September 25, 2018

We’ve talked about buyer readiness at Gartner for a long time.  Our feeling is that there are 4 stages of readiness (buying, shopping, aware, unaware) that you may encounter when engaging with a prospective customer (either marketing or sales).   A recent personal experience is serving as a good reminder that even advanced stages of readiness […]

Read more »