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May 24, 2022

Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo Americas: Day 2 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, taking place virtually through Wednesday. Below is a collection of the key announcements and insights coming out of the conference, and here's what you missed on Day 1.

On Day 2 from the conference, we are showcasing ways to assess brand health, how to engage audiences with emerging digital marketing channels, what CMOs need to know about innovation, and how marketers' playbooks need to consider the new young adult consumer, Gen Z. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

From Chaos to Clarity: A New Way to Assess Your Brand’s Health

Presented by Julie Reeves, Sr Director Analyst, Gartner

Declining brand trust, differentiation and budgets have put pressure on marketers to demonstrate the value and impact of their brands. In her session, Julie Reeves, Sr Director Analyst at Gartner, shared how to cut past the clutter of possible metrics to assess brand health and link brand strategy to business outcomes.

Key Takeaways

  • “Healthy brands have the power to transform organizations, cementing their market position, evoking deep feelings with their target audience and creating opportunity.”

  • “There is no one magic metric that will diagnosis brand health, but marketers who can answer the questions within these six dimensions of the Gartner Brand Health Framework will be able to better communicate the impact of the brand:

  • Strategy: Does our target audience find value and differentiation in our strategy? Is our target audience size consistent with business goals?

  • Reach: Is our target audience aware of us?

  • Communication: Are we communicating our brand positioning well to our target audience?

  • Engagement: Does our target audience find enough value in our brand positioning to engage with us?

  • Experience: Is our target audience experience delivering on our brand positioning?

  • Business outcomes: How are the actions of our target audience driving business results such as revenue and profit?”

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Engaging With Your Audience via Emerging Digital Marketing Channels

Presented by Matt Moorut, Director Analyst, Gartner

From TikTok to the metaverse, new marketing channels are emerging to help organizations better reach their audiences. In his session, Matt Moorut, Director Analyst at Gartner, helped marketers define when it’s right for their organizations to test these new channels and - perhaps more importantly - when it isn’t. 

Key Takeaways

  • “Like an ocean, emerging digital marketing channels are massive, unchartered territories that marketers need to learn how to navigate.”
  • “Marketers that attempt to build strategies for every digital channel are doomed to fail, becoming unfocused and using platforms that may not generate the right connections.”

  • “The top barriers marketers face around innovation are the inability to measure innovation impact and organizational resistance to risk.” 

  • “There are 3 steps to calculate the opportunity of emerging digital marketing channels: 1) determine your company’s appetite for innovation; 2) understand your audience; 3) agree on key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success.”

  • “Critically examine whether or not marketing efforts need to take place in the metaverse. While chatter is growing around it, only 6% of U.S. consumers can articulate what the metaverse actually is, according to Gartner research.” 

Big I, Little i: A CMO Guide to Marketing-Led Innovation

Presented by Chris Ross, VP Analyst, Gartner

CMOs are investing heavily in innovation, yet many struggle to scope, manage, communicate and deliver on innovation expectations. In his session, Chris Ross, VP Analyst at Gartner, defined what is meant by Big I and Little i innovation along with the cautions for each. 

Key Takeaways

  • “Just over 20% of marketing budgets are set aside for marketing innovation, which is a significant portion.”

  • “91% of CMOs struggle to measure the impact of innovation and 83% say it is not delivering to management expectations.”

  • “Big I innovation is the big, invention-type initiatives that are exploratory, problem-centric instead of product-centric, and requires a design thinking skill set.”

  • “Big I cautions include conflation, unmet expectations, meandering problems and poor communications.”

  • “Little i innovation is about optimization and improvement of existing processes or products. These ideas are collected from all stakeholders and origins and are more incremental.”

  • “Little i cautions include an overwhelming volume of ideas or a failure to communicate value.”

Emerging Market Alert: The New Young Adult Consumer

Presented by Kate Muhl, VP Analyst, Gartner

Gen Z has redefined the “young adult” life stage of 20-somethings, but too many marketing leaders are still using the playbooks built to reach Millennials. In her session, Kate Muhl, VP Analyst at Gartner, shared what’s evergreen and what has changed about being a young adult, and how marketers can update near- and long-term strategies to succeed with Gen Z.

Key Takeaways

  • “Gen Z young adults are the most diverse generation of young adults the world has ever seen in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality.” 

  • “Gen Z young adults seek security: Compared to older consumers in 2022, today’s young adults associate themselves with progressive ideals but also a sense of vulnerability.”

  • “Gen Z young adults prioritize mental health and well being, and smart brands are using their platforms to support and advance constructive mental health conversations.”

  • “Gen Z young adults want brands to do more but are not naive: They are more likely to say that businesses should take the lead on solving key issues in culture and society, but also acknowledge that brands capitalize on said social issues as a way to sell more.” 

  • “Today’s youth are more serious, less optimistic and more savvy, and brands need to acknowledge this in their marketing strategy if they want to succeed.”

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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