Gartner Blog Network

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

Hank Barnes provides research and advisory services on go-to-market strategies for technology providers. His research efforts focus on understanding the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. He then applies that research to explore the implications on vendor strategies, supporting the efforts of product marketing, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and CEOs. Read Full Bio

Jumping to Conclusions (Look Beyond the Headline/Soundbite)

by Hank Barnes  |  March 12, 2019

We all (I think it is safe to say all here) suffer from sensory overload.   We are bombarded with information, data, and insights.   We fear we miss something important, so we often scan our feeds (Twitter, LinkedIn, RSS, and more) regularly. Then we find something compelling–a great fact or a great headline.   And we jump […]

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The Most Frustrating Things for B2B Buyers

by Hank Barnes  |  March 5, 2019

As followers of this blog know, we believe that B2B Buying is really, really hard.   In theory, it shouldn’t be.  There is more competition.  Access to information is easier.   And products continue to get better. But buying is hard due to challenges of consensus and confusion.   When Gartner explores buying with people involved in the […]

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The First Three Steps in B2B Buying

by Hank Barnes  |  February 26, 2019

Gartner research on B2B Buying Behavior shows that Buying teams consistently take three steps early in their buying process as they move from inspiration to exploration (or even early evaluation or engagement): Discussions with colleagues trigger new efforts. They discover or look for insights from people they perceive to be independent experts They research specific […]

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The DEVOlution of Enterprise Technology Buying

by Hank Barnes  |  February 19, 2019

A few weeks back, Jon Reed, the master of the strikethrough of diginomica, referenced a Devo song “Through Being Cool” when sharing my post “Keeping Attention – Substance over Style” in his weekly Enterprise Hits and Misses Column.  I could not have been more proud.   But it also ruined occupied my weekend as various Devo songs […]

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What is a Shortlist Anymore?

by Hank Barnes  |  February 12, 2019

As Gartner continues to explore the world of B2B buying, we’ve noticed a phenomenom that is perplexing, compelling, and informative. For years, people have talked about shortlists. “We’ve built our shortlist of vendors to consider.” “We’re on the shortlist.”   In short (apologies), the shortlist was a signal that buyers were closing in on a decision. […]

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Keeping Attention – Substance Over Style

by Hank Barnes  |  February 5, 2019

In most marketing organizations, there is a push to be cool.   We work with agencies and internal teams to create compelling ads and content that capture attention.   We want to do things with style. And style does matter, particularly when looking to get attention. But style alone won’t keep attention.  That takes substance.  Particularly for […]

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The Missing Link for Effective Personalization

by Hank Barnes  |  January 29, 2019

I struggled with how to title this post as it may (as you read on) not be about what you think in terms of personalization.  I’m using this as a catch-all that I’m hopeful you’ll understand as you read on. Lately, I’ve been invigorated by discussions and research on vendors that are working hard to […]

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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 every 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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