Conference Updates

May 25, 2022

Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo Americas: Day 3 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, taking place virtually through tomorrow. Below is a collection of the key announcements and insights coming out of the conference, and here's what you missed on Day 1 and Day 2.

On the third and final day of the conference, we are revealing the latest list of Gartner Genius Brands, how to demystify martech deals, what consumers want out of AI in marketing, and how to capitalize on personalization. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

In the Company of Genius

Presented by Chris Beland, VP Analyst, Gartner

Gartner’s Digital IQ studies thousands of data points across each brand’s digital footprint to identify the best-of-the-best in each industry, otherwise known as the Genius brands. In his session, Chris Beland, VP Analyst at Gartner, shared the unique competitive and operational characteristics of these brands, so CMOs can apply them to their own.  

Key Takeaways

  • “Brand experience is the culmination of every interaction an individual has with a brand over time. The great ones are present, relevant and add value to the customer journey.”

  • “A strong brand experience in today’s terms is not possible without smart digital strategies and tactics.” 

  • “Genius Brands are identified through the Gartner Digital IQ index, which benchmarks the digital marketing performance of brands against their respective industries.”

  • “Genius brands stand out from average brands across three core differentiators: 1) a robust approach to content marketing, 2) seeking agility through scale, and 3) embracing customer centricity.” 

  • “Gartner tracked 1,337 brands across 15 Digital IQs, and only 45 were categorized as Genius. Only 3% of brands rose to the Genius level.”  

  • Learn more in the Gartner press release "Gartner Announces the 2021-2022 Genius Brands in the Gartner Digital IQ Index." 

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Demystify Your Martech Deals

Presented by Tia Smart, Associate Principal Analyst, Gartner

Marketers must prove the value of their martech investments while staying up to date on emerging technologies that may accelerate their customer’s digital behaviors. In her session, Tia Smart, Associate Principal Analyst, Gartner, helped the audience understand cost drivers behind martech deals.

Key Takeaways

  • “Worldwide martech revenue is expected to grow to nearly $21 billion in 2022 and exceed $32 billion by 2025, according to Gartner forecasts.”

  • “Martech investments are tricky. In some cases, it might take up to 18 months before selecting a vendor. Marketers also find difficulty communicating their value once implemented.”

  • “On average, marketers are only using 58% of their martech stack, leaving the remaining 42% underutilized and millions worth of efficiencies on the table.”

  • “Marketers can regain control of the buying process and ensure strong ROI by 1) aligning martech tools and strategy to relevant stakeholders 2) reviewing common fees that make up the total cost of ownership and 3) negotiating in their favor in every deal.”

  • “There is room to negotiate in every martech deal through tactics, such as price uplift caps, payment schedule adjustments and service credits or rollovers.” 

Who's Afraid of AI? Gauging Consumer Readiness for AI Assistance

Presented by Michael McCune, Sr Director Analyst, Gartner

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already here, but its use is unevenly distributed across organizations. In his session, Michael McCune, Sr Director Analyst at Gartner, shared how trust relates to access and use of personal information, how users differ in their perceptions of AI, and how to integrate consumer readiness in your AI experimentation.

Key Takeaways

  • “The vast majority of marketers are already using AI.”

  • “Marketers tend to think about AI outcomes in terms of their enterprise, rather than their customers, but should shift toward the latter.”

  • “Consumers care what happens to them in marketers’ use of AI. Marketers need to be in sync with these consumer sentiments to avoid outcomes such as exclusion, restriction and punishment.” 

  • “Regardless of business sector or age, a significant portion of your organization’s customers don't want to play your AI game. Baby Boomers, in particular, are much less likely to agree that personal identifiable information can be used in AI deployments.”

  • “Marketers who communicate their intentions on the use of AI can mitigate consumer pessimism.”

Building a Genius Personalization Function: Team, Tech and Touchpoints

Presented by Jason McNellis, Sr Director Analyst, Gartner

The fast pace of digital transformation over the last two years is making marketers question whether their personalization tactics have kept them in the race. In his session, Jason McNellis, Sr Director Analyst at Gartner, leaned on Gartner data to outline how organizations can refocus their personalization strategies and outperform their peers. 

Key Takeaways

  • “Consumers don’t want to receive irrelevant or annoying communications. In fact  nearly half of consumers block brands that do.”  

  • “Personalization efforts from Genius Brands are 14 times more memorable than an average brand’s personalization.” 

  • “The three components of personalization that lead to desired consumer behavior are: 

  • Strategy and tactics: Drive personalization by focusing not only on basic customer data collection but also on what they are trying to achieve. 

  • Team and skills: Two important skills within personalization are 1) testing and 2) customer lifetime value. 

  • Technology: Genius brands invest in technology that harmonizes data and content, providing a consistent customer experience across all channels.”

That's a wrap on the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo 2022! See you next year!

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

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