Marketing Conferences

Marketing leaders: Adapt your strategy, overcome disruption

As companies reset following global disruption, they look to marketing leaders to craft how customers perceive their brand across every touchpoint — all within a tighter budget.

At the Gartner marketing conferences, you’ll find objective insights, strategic advice and practical tools to help you excel in this expanding leadership role, build a winning strategy and deploy the right technology to drive results. Dive into your most critical priorities alongside our experts:

  • Secure brand performance in uncertain times. 
  • Create and reshape your digital-first marketing strategy. 
  • Prioritize go-(back)-to-market initiatives within budget constraints. 
  • Engage B2B buyers in a challenging environment. 

Join us to hear from independent experts on what matters most now and how to prepare for the new normal.

Gartner Marketing Symposium Xpo™
August 31 - September 2, 2021 | Americas | Virtual

Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo

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

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

  • Track A: Lead and Innovate in Marketing
  • Track B: Inform Decision Making With Insight and Data and Analytics  
  • Track C: Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences 
  • Track D: Drive Results Through Multichannel Marketing 
  • Track E: Generate Revenue Through Sales Channels 
  • Track F: Explore Emerging Trends and Technology 
  • Track G: Achieve Your Goals as a CMO
Who attended

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

Adapt, rebound and grow to achieve your priorities

To increase market permanence in a quickly changing environment, marketing leaders are being pushed to think outside the box and transform their organizations. CMOs and marketing executives must be at the forefront of trends, technologies and strategies to deliver best-in-class marketing campaigns. 

At Gartner, we are focused on bringing you the highest quality marketing conferences with timely, relevant and actionable insights. As we prepare to deliver a safe conference experience in 2020, we are compiling our most relevant resources in one place to help you answer your top questions today. Explore marketing-related research, articles, webinars, Q&As with Gartner marketing experts and much more below to help you maximize your impact, strengthen your brand’s market positioning and achieve your objectives.

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.

Take a look inside Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo 2020

Experience a preview of what you can expect at a marketing conference through a snippet of a Gartner keynote, “Rethinking Customer Relationships.” To view the full conference offerings, explore the conference sites for Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, Americas.

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.