Top 5 Smarter With Gartner Marketing Articles in 2020

December 21, 2020
Contributor: Rama Ramaswami

This year’s top marketing articles focused on crisis management, rapid digital transformation, and adapting to major changes in consumer sentiment and behavior.

Whether you’re interested in brand management, customer experience, marketing technology or social media marketing, you’ll find plenty to read among our Smarter With Gartner marketing articles from 2020. Not surprisingly, though, the underlying theme was the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

COVID-19 profoundly disrupted most of the strategic plans marketers had made prior to the pandemic. It also changed — perhaps forever — their approach to crisis management. Thousands of readers showed sustained interest in our articles on agile strategic planning, innovating on tight budgets, pivoting quickly from real-life to virtual experiences and adapting to radical changes in customer behavior.

Here’s a list of the most-read marketing titles this year.

Gartner Top Marketing Predictions for 2021

Prepare for the future during unprecedented uncertainty

No. 1: Adapt Your Marketing Strategy for COVID-19

Written right after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March, this article urged marketers to act fast without waiting for a clear market direction. Many of the actions we recommended early on — rapid scenario planning, ramping up online product and service delivery, responding to changes in consumer sentiment — may still be considered best practices for responding swiftly to a crisis. Read now.

No. 2: Top 5 Trends Drive Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing, 2020

Gartner Hype Cycles offer a view of how a technology or application will evolve over time. This year, customer data ethics appeared on the Digital Marketing Hype Cycle for the first time, spurred by widespread consumer concerns about data privacy. Read more about this issue, along with updates on artificial intelligence for marketing, real-time marketing, location intelligence and personalization engines.

No. 3: Immediate Actions for CMOs Amid COVID-19-Related Budget Cuts

Like our top performer, this article conveyed a sense of urgency that made it a must-read for marketers bracing for steep budget cuts as the pandemic grew worse. Gartner VP Analyst Ewan McIntyre warned that the crisis would “only exacerbate the budget strain we saw developing in 2019.” Cost optimization took center stage and continues to preoccupy marketers as the anticipated spending cuts take their toll. Read more.

No. 4: Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2020-2021: Technology and Digital Channels Withstand Budget Cuts

Even while tight spending limits squeezed most marketing functions, marketing leaders clung to their 2020 budgets for technology and digital channels as consumers flocked online during the pandemic. Expecting this trend to continue, marketers plan to spend significantly more on digital advertising in 2021. Read more on that and other findings of this year’s Gartner CMO Spend Survey.

No. 5: Blueprint for a CMO’s First 100 Days

This article, an update of the original from 2018, remains a reader favorite. Its quick-start approach to succeeding in a high-pressure role strikes a chord with CMOs faced with handling disruption while driving positive outcomes. Read it here.

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