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Conference Updates

December 1, 2020

Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo Americas: Day 1 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, taking place this week virtually in the Americas. Below is a collection of the key announcements and insights coming out of the conference.

On Day 1 from the conference, we are highlighting the opening keynote, updates to the Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2020-2021, and sessions on brand trust and martech utilization. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Gartner Keynote: Marketing’s Path to Recovery and Renewal

Presented by Rick DeLisi, Vice President, and Cassandra Norlund, Director, Gartner

Massive disruption in 2020 has presented marketing leaders with both immense challenges and tremendous opportunities.  In this opening keynote presentation, Rick DeLisi, vice president at Gartner, and Cassandra Norlund, director at Gartner, discussed how brands have successfully pivoted during this tumultuous year. 

Key Takeaways

  • “More than a third of marketing leaders stated that their customers expect their brands to solve issues relating to the environment, gender equality, racism, and public health.”
  • “Gartner’s Cost Optimization survey shows that 9 out of 10 marketing leaders have experienced a budget cut in 2020.”
  • “The brands that will succeed in 2021 will build an intimate understanding of the needs and values of their customers, and adapt at speed based on the prevailing situation.” 
  • “In order to succeed in 2021 and beyond, marketing leaders need to make a decisive move to agile, adaptive planning, so that strategy can respond and react to future shocks and ongoing business changes.”
  • “Marketing leaders must identify the handful of data points that allows them to course correct strategy, optimize operational plans and tactical execution.”
  • “Marketing leaders should consider marketing’s costs as bundles of resources. It’s about shifting from reactionary and one-time budgetary efforts, to a more ongoing approach that can be revisited and recalibrated.” 
  • Learn more in the Gartner press release “Gartner Says Marketing Leaders Must Prioritize Four Core Competencies to Survive and Thrive in 2021.”

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Signature Series: CMO Spend Survey 2020 to 2021

Presented by Ewan McIntyre, VP Analyst, Gartner

In this session, Ewan McIntyre, VP Analyst at Gartner, delved into findings from the Gartner Annual CMO Spend Survey 2020-2021 to reveal how the unique economic events in 2020 impacted marketing budgets and priorities, and how CMOs expect to grow in the year ahead.

Key Takeaways

  • “Over the last few years we’ve reported a significant trend towards in-housing marketing capabilities, and this year’s survey reported that almost a third of marketing’s work has been shifted from external agencies to in-house teams.”

  • “While cost cutting is often an essential first step when confronted with a budget shock, it should be the first step into a wider cost optimization strategy.”

  • “2020 will not see the end of budgetary pressures for CMOs as CFOs still see marketing as a soft target for budget cuts.”

  • “Growth strategies for 2021 are focused on increasing sales of existing products to existing customers followed by introducing new products to existing customers.”

  • “If 2020 has taught us nothing else, it’s that you need to expect the unexpected and adapt to a new way of strategic planning and budget prioritization that is much more agile and adaptive.”

The Critical Components to Deliver an Effective Marketing Technology Stack

Presented by Colin Reid, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

Marketing technology (martech) leaders have more responsibility for planning, building and maintaining martech ecosystems, but declining budgets increase scrutiny of martech ROI.  In this presentation, Colin Reid, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, explained the core components of an effective martech stack and the steps martech leaders can take to deliver both innovation and efficiency.

Key Takeaways

  • “Fifty-two percent of martech leaders plan to cut B2B marketing automation in the coming year. Of these companies that plan to cut B2B marketing automation, it is three times more likely that IT runs martech.”
  • “What is clear is that different technologies work well for different organizations, as we see martech leaders planning to either cut or purchase tools like multitouch attribution, employee advocacy tools and personalization platforms equally across the board.” 
  • “There are three fundamental building blocks of a healthy and successful martech ecosystem - capability, data and utilization.” 
  • “Utilization is driven by focus. If the organization and divisional leaders clearly understand what martech can do for them they will drive both adoption and utilization.”
  • “To deliver martech success, we must define utilization, quantify our capabilities, and review and highlight available customer data.”

Improving Brand Trust in Untrusting Times

Presented by Carlos Guerrero, Senior Advisor, Gartner

Brand trust is experiencing a broad and rapid decline, causing CMOs to reassess their understanding of what constitutes brand trust, what drives it and their strategy to increase it. In this session, Carlos Guerrero, Senior Advisor at Gartner, shared best practices for establishing and maintaining brand trust with customers in untrusting times.

Key Takeaways

  • “Brand trust is a customer’s belief or perception that a company will consistently follow through on its stated intentions and provide support over time.”

  • “From a customer acquisition and retention standpoint, a high level of brand trust is associated with an 18% increase in loyalty and a 40% increase in preference.”

  • “It is more difficult to establish brand trust today, than it was five years ago —74% of customers have higher expectations from brands—and not just high expectations around product performance or durability, but higher expectations in terms of how brands treat their customers, their employees and the environment.”

  • “When we look at the different strategies deployed by brands to build trust with customers we generally see three main stances – caring, authenticy, and dependability.”

  • “Marketers can demonstrate dependability by highlighting moments where value has been successfully delivered, extending the brand promise to provide new unexpected value or removing barriers to trust.”

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