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May 23, 2022

Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo Americas: Day 1 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, taking place virtually today through Wednesday. 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, the latest findings from our annual CMO Spend and Strategy Survey, how to grow third-party digital commerce and how marketers can assess the impact of generative and emotion AI. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Gartner Opening Keynote: Marketing’s Big Shift: Unleash Your Superpowers to Accelerate Value

Presented by Kristina LaRocca-Cerrone, Sr Director, Advisory; Michael McCune, Sr Director, Advisory; Dean Vitté, Director, Advisory, Gartner

Marketing and Communications teams have seen increasingly complex customer journeys and changing talent dynamics, plus organization-wide reorientation around digital-first customer strategy. As leaders are finding it harder to show their value, experts presenting the Gartner Opening Keynote at the 2022 Marketing Symposium/Xpo shared the two superpowers CMOs must embrace to become the marketers of tomorrow. 

Key Takeaways

  • “Most marketers have crossed the digital business threshold to the point where it is no longer a differentiator. They need to shift their energy and resources elsewhere.”

  • “CMOs are surrounded by dangerous siren calls of short-term thinking: 71% agree that short term execution pressures keep the marketing function from focusing on long term strategic goals.”

  • “There are two key skills CMOs need to embrace and evolve to accelerate the value they bring to the business:  

  • Scaled judgement: marketing’s ability to use data-driven insights to help the enterprise identify and act on market signals.

  • Empathetic influence: marketing’s ability to motivate others to take action on the solutions that drive positive change.”

  • “Those who effectively evolve these skills into marketing superpowers are 11% more likely to report organizational revenue growth.” 

    Learn more in the Gartner press release "Gartner Says CMOs Who Embrace Scaled Judgement and Empathetic Influence Are More Likely to Report Revenue Growth."

Signature Series: The State of Marketing Spending and Strategy — Insights From Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey

Presented by Ewan McIntyre, Chief of Research and Vice President Analyst, Gartner

Three in four CMOs reported increased budgets compared to last year. In his session, Ewan McIntyre, Chief of Research and Vice President Analyst at Gartner, shared the key findings coming out of the annual Gartner CMO Spend Survey.

Key Takeaways

  • “Marketing budgets have climbed to 9.5% of total company revenue in 2022, an increase from 6.4% in 2021.”
  • “Seventy percent of respondents reported their budgets had increased this year, however they’re still down from the average budget between 2018 and 2020 of 10.9%.”
  • “Average marketing spending has increased across almost all of the industries surveyed with the exception of consumer goods.”
  • “CMOs are not particularly concerned about inflation. The majority thought that increasing costs would have a positive impact on their business.” 
  • “CMOs have made the shift from digital-first to hybrid multichannel strategies: The survey shows they are dedicating the largest portion of their budget (56%) to online channels and a more equitable split (44%) to offline channels.”
  • “Marketing is experiencing a historic surge in talent demand in 2022, with the majority of CMOs reporting that their teams lack the capabilities required to deliver their strategy.

Learn more in the Gartner press release “Gartner Survey Reveals Marketing Budgets Have Increased to 9.5% of Overall Company Revenue in 2022.”

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Three Steps to Grow Third-Party Digital Commerce

Presented by Ant Duffin, Sr Director Analyst, Gartner

According to Gartner, 49% of marketing leaders reported that third-party retailers and distributors will be part of their digital commerce strategy. In his session, Ant Duffin, Sr Director Analyst at Gartner, explored how marketers can develop third-party digital commerce strategies to drive best practice and growth.

Key Takeaways

  • “There are three challenges that marketers face when implementing third-party digital commerce strategies: resources are spread too thinly, digital sales channel capabilities vary and execution quality is inconsistent.”
  • Assess: To address these challenges, marketers must assess the total picture (i.e. growth opportunities and partner capabilities).
  • Prioritize: Marketers must also determine key growth channels, partner areas and battlegrounds.
  • Execute: Marketers should establish execution excellence through the digital shelf and selective commerce marketing.
  • “When executing, marketers must also utilize four digital shelf value levers to address third-party digital commerce challenges: product content, visibility, price and promotion, and availability.”

The Frontiers of Influence: Assessing the Impact of Emotion and Generative AI with Real Examples

Presented by Andrew Frank, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

Gartner predicts that artificial intelligence (AI) identification of emotions will soon influence more than half of online ads and that a significant share of outbound marketing messages from large organizations will be synthetically generated. In his session, Andrew Frank, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, explored how marketers are using emotion and generative AI technologies to expand their influence in new ways.

Key Takeaways

  • “AI algorithms are equipping enterprises and marketers with new tools to automate and learn elements of how to influence at scale and achieve MarComm influence objectives.”
  • “The ‘yin and yang’ of influence engineering includes generative AI and emotion AI:
  • Emotion AI is how machines learn to interpret reactions and predict consumer behavior.
  • Emotion AI is transforming market research and has its roots in neuromarketing. It recognizes emotions from neural and biometric inputs such as focus, arousal and valence to predict actions.
  • Generative AI is how machines learn to create realistic artifacts such as audio or visual content and designs for new products.”
  • There are four ways marketers can use generative AI: 1) scale up content creation, 2) generate synthetic data for testing and training purposes, 3) generate code to automate decision making and 4) create new embodiments of brands such as virtual influencers and avatars.”

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams. Our expert guidance and tools enable faster, smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission critical priorities. To learn more, visit gartner.com.

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