Conference Updates

DENVER, Colo., May 23, 2023

Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo 2023: Day 2 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the 2023 Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, taking place this week in Denver, Colorado. Below is a collection of the key announcements and insights coming out of the conference. Here are takeaways from Day 1.

On Day 2, we are highlighting the priorities of successful brand leaders, how to unlock the value of first-party data, what integrating digital commerce operations looks like and the top digital marketing trends in retail for this year. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

The 3 Priorities of Successful Brand Leaders (& How to Achieve Them)

Presented by Julie Reeves, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

Brand leaders are faced with a never-ending to-do list, both in the near and short term. In her session, Julie Reeves, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, shared new data from the 2023 Gartner Brand Leader Survey to demonstrate what the most successful brand leaders are prioritizing.

Key Takeaways

  • “Brand leaders are facing internal and external challenges:
    • 61% report their senior-most enterprise leaders have unrealistic expectations for the impact of brand investments.
    • 82% expect the economic and business climate to significantly challenge their organization's abilities to meet their most important brand strategy goals.”
  • Gartner research finds that successful brand leaders prioritize 3 key areas:
    • Creating and communicating differentiated value: Brand leaders know the power of brand differentiation, yet many don’t make the time to clearly and consistently articulate brand positioning. A formalized positioning statement is the key to unlocking this priority.
    • Educating senior leadership: Despite being strong storytellers, brand leaders do not always prioritize communicating brand strengths and limits with senior leadership. Brand health measurement is the recommended way to do so. 
    • Limiting brand changes: Less is more in terms of the importance of limiting changes to the brand. Typically, brand governance is a sore spot for brand leaders, but empowering users to see the possibilities in the existing brand reduces their requested changes.

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Integrate Digital Commerce Operations To Advance The Marketing Machine

Presented by Ant Duffin, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

Fifty-one percent of CMOs are expected to strengthen their digital commerce operations in the next 18 months to meet the rapidly evolving needs of their customers, but many will struggle. In his session, Ant Duffin, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, introduced the concept of digital commerce operations, or DigiComOps, and how to integrate them as a part of broader business operations.

Key Takeaways

  • “Digital commerce sales are expected to double by 2030. Digital Commerce Operations, or DigiComOps, is an essential part of this growth.”
  • “DigiComOps is a subset of marketing, sales and RevOps, not a standalone entity.”
  • “CMOs can establish DigiComOps by focusing on 3 key attributes:
  • Holistic end-to-end execution: “Instead of executing digital commerce strategies in isolation, break down silos by establishing shared KPIs, cross-functional governance and workflows to orchestrate execution across all digital commerce routes to market.”
  • Functional ownership: “There’s a lack of clarity among marketing leaders about who owns digital commerce. It’s a team sport but the ownership and involvement of cross-functional players needs to be rightsized to ensure efficient execution.”
  • Operational capabilities: “It's important that marketing leaders prioritize and target people, process, and technology investments to strengthen necessary capabilities to enable DigiComOps.”

First-Party Data 101: Discover the First Party Data Strategy Fit for Your Organization

Presented by Joseph Enever, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

With so many changes affecting the collection and utilization of customer data, it can be difficult to know where to start and how to plan effectively for the future. In his session, Joe Enever, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, discussed how CMOs can navigate the challenges of leveraging first-party data in 2023.

Key Takeaways

  • “CMOs expect the challenge of leveraging first-party data to increase in 2023.”
  • “There are three major forces at play that make it difficult for marketers to collect first-party data: 1) data privacy regulations and technology changes, 2) consumer trust and perceptions, 3) data deprecation.” 
  • “Four strategies and examples that can help marketers demonstrate the value of first-party data within their organization include:
    • Customer Experience (CX) and Journey Orchestration: Scrutinize which insights from first-party data will inform decisions to improve CX and provide personalized recommendations along the journey.  
    • Advertising and Targeting: Use direct and indirect targeting to grow your first-party data.  Lookalike audiences, data partnerships and contextual targeting all benefit from insights created via first-party data. 
    • AI, Segmentation and Insights: First-party data is the fuel for the marketing machine as well as the analytics that power it. Recognize its importance in your ability to predict, segment and deliver insights that support decisions.
    • Measurement and Attribution: Comprehensive first-party data can be used to understand campaign performance measurement and attribution directly, and, in turn, model anonymous audience performance.”

2023 Digital Marketing Trends in Retail

Presented by Kassi Socha, Director Analyst, Gartner

There are important shifts in consumer behavior that are impacting digital marketing best practices among brands in the luxury, monobrand and multibrand retail industries. In her session, Kassi Socha, Director Analyst at Gartner, outlined the critical trends and innovations in the retail sector along with their impact on CMOs’ marketing strategies.

Key Takeaways

  • “Many consumers feel the mounting pressure to meet the rising costs of living, which impact their attitudes and behaviors.”
  • “Consumers are curbing their discretionary spending, are increasingly less loyal and brand agnostic, and are adopting hybrid shopping practices further.”
  • “To combat these consumer behaviors, retail marketing leaders must:
    • Evolve digital channel strategy to drive acquisition and growth: Leverage leading social media platforms to drive high video engagement. Define a strategy for emerging platforms, such as metaverse and NFTs.
    • Reset loyalty efforts to retain existing customers: Expand loyalty program benefits from transactional to experiential. Simplify messaging by shifting to a tiered program where purchases easily translate into rewards.
    • Reduce omnichannel friction to improve hybrid shopping experience: Enable customers to filter and digitally hold in-store inventory. Enhance the app experience as both an in-store and digital shopping tool.”

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight that drives smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission-critical priorities. To learn more, visit

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