Marketing Conferences

Marketing leaders: Connect for resilience and growth

Today, marketing and business growth depend on the ability to create, strengthen and renew connections. As customers’ needs and behaviors continue to change and customers expect more from brands than ever, employees have emerged as the most engaged, vocal and active stakeholder group. Business partners and corporate leaders are rapidly accelerating their digital business plans to support new opportunities for growth. Brands need to reconnect with all of them. Marketing leaders will serve as chief connection officers in these emerging ecosystems.

Marketing faces reduced budgets and the possibility of waning influence in digital business. While successful brands bend with the winds of change, these brands remain rooted in their pursuit of addressing the evolving needs of stakeholders.

Join us and learn how to lead the way in driving new experiences and routes to market that make business ready for tomorrow, no matter what it holds.

Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo™
31 August – 2 September 2021 | Americas | Virtual

Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo

Get objective, expert insight on digital marketing, content marketing and B2B marketing to advance your strategy.
What's  covered

Discover what matters most now and how to prepare for what’s ahead

  • Track A. Redefine Marketing’s Role as Business Builder
  • Track B. Power Transformation With Insight, Data and Analytics
  • Track C. Deliver on the Promise of Customer Experience
  • Track D. Adapt Multichannel Strategy to Evolving Expectations
  • Track E. Grow Revenue Through a Connected Commercial Strategy
  • Track F. Realize the Value of Your Technology Ecosystem
  • Track G. Activate Your Brand Purpose and Narrative for Growth
Who should attend

Explore how we help you adapt, rebound and grow

Chief marketing officers and marketing leaders
Execute your mission-critical priorities while using a strategic cost optimization plan.

Digital marketing leaders 
Drive revenue through conversion by coordinating your multichannel strategy.

Marketing operations leaders
Discover best practices to allocate budget while improving organization innovation. 

Marketing analytics and marketing tech leaders  
Use technology and data and analytics to make effective marketing decisions.

Customer experience and loyalty leaders   
Deliver value to your customers and build loyalty through CX strategy.

Gartner provided access to high-quality, data-driven content, ideas and constructs that will help guide and inform future initiatives we’re pursuing and challenges we face.

2019 attendee

Senior Director, Brand Strategy, Thomson Reuters

At a Gartner marketing conference, you’ll find objective insights, strategic advice and practical tools to help you achieve your most critical priorities

Our team of Gartner experts conducts thousands of interactions every year with marketing leaders like you. They use this knowledge to help you address your biggest challenges in areas such as digital transformation, driving marketing innovation, customer experience (CX) and executing a connected multichannel strategy to achieve growth. Take a deep dive into the technologies and best practices that will help you build a future-proof data and analytics strategy.

Join us to explore:

  • Outperforming the competition like a winning brand after crises
  • Optimizing marketing budgets to maximize performance
  • Creating impactful messaging on contentious topics that consumers care about
  • Maximizing awareness and performance with the right channel mix
  • Improving speed and flexibility with emerging tech
  • Evolving brand strategy and value proposition for broader resonance
  • Delivering a customer experience that improves growth and loyalty
  • Maintaining customer centricity in ever-changing environments
  • Driving conversions with digital tools and techniques
  • Redefining marketing’s role in leading digital transformation

Explore the latest marketing insights more relevant to you

Use our insights, advice and tools to build you brand, hone your leadership skills and drive growth in unprecedented times.

Build marketing strategies and pursue innovation

Changing economic times demand major shifts in marketing strategy and practice. Determine where to focus — from digital marketing to content marketing — to deliver success.

Inform decision making with insight and data

Marketing analytics leaders are challenged with leveraging customer data to develop and deliver critical decisions. Get the data you need to focus your marketing analytics strategy and deliver success.

Create exceptional customer experiences

Customer experience (CX) and loyalty leaders strive to consistently deliver the best customer experience. Become truly customer-centric with these powerful insights and tools.

Propel digital strategy with powerful campaigns

Digital marketing leaders must leverage data-driven benchmarks to build effective digital strategies. Develop your multichannel approach — from search marketing to social media — for business impact.

Take a look inside Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo 2020

Interested in attending this year? View our Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo 2020 keynote, ‘Marketing’s Path To Recovery and Renewal’, to get an idea for the level of expertise you can expect. To view more details about our 2021 conference, explore the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo conference site.

The Value of Gartner Event Sponsorship

5 top findings from the Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2020-2021

Marketers snapped into survival mode after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. They launched crisis-related communications to customers, canceled campaign launches, reduced contractor headcount and halted long-term projects. Looking ahead to 2021, they are acting more strategically, with an eye to business recovery. Read on for the top findings from the Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2020-2021.

In their responses to the annual Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2020-2021 — which polled 432 respondents in North America, France, Germany and the U.K. between March and May 2020 — marketing leaders reveal buoyant optimism.

Despite ongoing spending restrictions, CMOs remain upbeat. A sizable 73% of respondents expect the business and economic climate to have a positive impact over the next two years. More than half (57%) of respondents across all industries believe that performance will return to normal in the next 18 to 24 months — perhaps an overly optimistic expectation.

“An important part of the plan for recovery is understanding the environment and building plans aligned to the new economic, social and business realities that emerge over the next 18 to 24 months,” says Ewan McIntyre, VP Analyst, Gartner. Volatility and uncertainty will persist in the year ahead, so CMOs must focus on flexible and adaptive plans that take into account this instability and can respond quickly to market uncertainties.

The majority of CMOs believe in a quick and sharp (V-shaped) recovery, but not all their peers in the C-suite share this optimism. Despite this, an astonishing 73% of CMOs expect the negative impact of COVID-19 to be short-lived, with a positive outlook for business performance in the next 18 to 24 months. This optimism, however, is not shared by all members of the C-suite.

A Gartner poll reveals that nearly 60% of CFOs are building scenario plans that include a second wave of the pandemic. In addition, CFOs report a strong connection between COVID-19 and challenges with the macroenvironment, revenue loss and demand.

“Marketers remain stoic in the face of adversity and are significantly out of step with other members of the C-suite,” says McIntyre. “With many CEOs and CFOs planning for a U-shaped or W-shaped recovery, CMOs must be more vigilant in their cost optimization.”

Most CMOs (79%) expect to rely on their current customers to forge a path to recovery. Close to half (45%) plan to sell new products to an existing market, focusing on new product development through partnerships, product augmentation or R&D investments. Just over one-third (34%) are relying on selling existing products to existing markets to support growth.

But even this conservative strategy may require CMOs to consider bold tactics to implement it. Not all customers — even loyal ones — are equal. It’s critical for marketers to adopt value segmentation to focus on the most profitable customers and to build a balanced portfolio strategy that balances safer bets, such as servicing existing customers with more transformative options.


Despite tough economic times, marketers remain enthusiastic about technology. In 2020, technology spend will account for the largest proportion of marketing budgets compared with media, agencies and in-house labor. CMOs remain bullish about technology heading into the next 12 months, with 68% expecting their investments to increase. And given their renewed focus on customer retention, it’s not surprising that marketing leaders are least likely to cut customer data platforms, mobile marketing platforms and digital commerce, even if there is a downturn.

The use of digital channels intensified during the early months of the pandemic as consumers flocked online, and CMOs continue to guard digital budgets with particular care. They spend 22% of the marketing budget on digital advertising — including display, video or ads on platforms like Amazon — and paid search. Another 59% goes to owned and earned digital channels such as social marketing, the website, search engine optimization and mobile marketing. CMOs feel confident about the outlook for paid media in the coming 12 months: On average, 74% expect to increase spending on digital advertising and 66% on paid search.

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Experience Gartner conferences.

Gartner provides world-class conferences across six core business areas to help you master your role, transform your business and tap into an unsurpassed peer network. Gartner conferences bring together forward-thinking leaders like you to explore emerging trends, accelerate your learning and guide near-term decisions.