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

Betting on Better Requires Patience

by Hank Barnes  |  February 6, 2018

I speak with many tech and service providers that love to talk about how they are better than the alternatives.  No surprise there.  It is important to believe that you have a better product, better people, and/or better service(s). But, if your strategy is betting on being better, you will need to be patient.   […]

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End with How

by Hank Barnes  |  January 30, 2018

Simon Sinek created a movement with his “Start with Why” approach.    He, correctly in my opinion, promoted starting with a purpose–the why you exist; the why you matter–rather than the what (what you do) or how (how you do it). But why is not enough. As I work with tech providers, I constantly push […]

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Positioning Is Not Messaging

by Hank Barnes  |  January 23, 2018

A few weeks back, I shared one of the most common issues with positioning efforts–attacking vs. just declaring the primary competitive alternative.  Today, I want to talk about a bigger theme. At Gartner, we often discuss client’s mission critical priorities (MCPs).  For tech providers, positioning and messaging is one of the most common MCPs.    […]

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The One Thing to Always Do When Mentioned in Analyst Research

by Hank Barnes  |  January 16, 2018

A primary goal of most, if not all, analyst relations programs is to get products, services, and/or companies mentioned, or featured, in analyst reports.  Whether it is a use case example to reinforce a point or in a report like Gartner Magic Quadrants (and similar  style reports from other firms) that evaluates companies and technologies, […]

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Digging Deeper Into Technology Buying in 2018

by Hank Barnes  |  January 9, 2018

As regular readers know, my research focus centers around how enterprises approach technology buying decisions (and renewal/expansion) and storytelling (which is closely related and has a significant impact on buying decisions).  For the past 5 years, we’ve continued to dig deeper into buying approaches.  In 2018, we’ll dig even deeper. Our team has just received […]

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Questions to Answer

by Hank Barnes  |  December 19, 2017

It’s my last post of the year, so I decided to revisit one of my most common topics–with a slightly different perspective. When we work with tech providers, they are constantly looking for help and advice on messaging and storytelling.   There are so many things to consider that it can be overwhelming.  What content formats […]

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Urgency and the Buying Process

by Hank Barnes  |  December 12, 2017

In order for B2B customers to make buying decisions, there has to be a reason to change.  But beyond that, to go through the buying effort, which is non-trivial, there needs to be urgency.     Many providers struggle to deal with this.   Our tech go-to-market team frequently takes inquiries from clients asking to help them […]

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Most Common Positioning Mistake – Attacking the Competitive Alternative

by Hank Barnes  |  December 5, 2017

Positioning is one of the core things that our team at Gartner works with clients on.  I personally have well over 1500 positioning reviews over the past 5 years (its probably more like 2000 or more.  If you factor in the other analysts that all follow the same approach the number grows significantly) and see […]

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The B2B Technology Buying Conundrum

by Hank Barnes  |  November 28, 2017

Shouldn’t enterprise technology buying be easier by now?   With a simplistic view, the answer to this is a resounding yes.  Of course it should be.  There are plenty of reasons: Technology is not new for enterprises, in fact, pretty much everyone in the organization is exposed to it and has at a minimum a basic […]

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Strategy Reviews Need to be Extrospective and Introspective

by Hank Barnes  |  November 21, 2017

A quick one for this Thanksgiving holiday week.     I’m pretty amazed when I work with clients on strategy, particularly when they are reviewing the direction of the company. Time after time I see materials prepared for strategy retreats or the output of them and they are all missing a key section–a discussion of their […]

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