Conference Updates

DENVER, Colo., May 24, 2023

Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo 2023: Day 3 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 and Day 2.

On Day 3, we are highlighting the role of generative AI in marketing, how CMOs can win with contextual targeting, and why filling your funnel matters. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Harness Your Creative Superpowers with Generative AI

Presented by Nicole Greene, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, has the potential to transform the marketing function: Gartner predicts that by 2025, 30% of outbound marketing messages from large organizations will be synthetically generated. In her session, Nicole Greene, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, outlined how marketing leaders can use AI to automate the creation of content, enhance creativity and boost their function’s productivity.

Key Takeaways

  • “64% of marketers have deployed, or are piloting, AI/ML to support autonomous campaign creation, execution, and optimization capabilities.”
  • “While there are many benefits to using generative AI in marketing, such as enhanced creativity and the ability to meet personalization demands, there are also barriers, such as limited trust in AI and mounting ethical and regulatory backlash.”
  • CMOs must prepare for the near-term implications of generative AI in:
  • The Next Year: “Adoption of generative AI will fuel dynamic, tailored experiences, and digital and hybrid applications will transform customer engagement with brands.”
  • The Next 3 Years: “Organizations that use AI across marketing will shift 75% of their staff’s operations from production to more strategic activities.”
  • The Next 5 Years: “Generative AI will democratize content creation and insights.”

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Out of Context: How to Win With Contextual Targeting

Presented by Andrew Frank, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

The demise of cookies and behavioral targeting is driving vendors and advertisers to take a fresh look at contextual approaches to targeting and measurement. In his session, Andrew Frank, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, discussed the steps advertisers can take to win with contextual targeting.

Key Takeaways

  • “The definition of contextual advertising is not universally acknowledged. One definition looks at ad placement based on the topic or keywords detected on a site, web page or app. The other considers ad placement based on any non-personal, non-persistent information available such as deep AI content or device profiles.” 
  • “The market for contextual targeting providers should be evaluated according to reach, precision and transparency. Most offer two of three approaches.”
  • The three contextual targeting approaches to take are:
    • Walled Gardens: “Walled gardens are an essential component of almost any contextual ad campaign, but their effectiveness can be enhanced with insights from more transparent channels.”
    • Open Standards: “Standards provide valuable data for targeting and analysis but often fall short of performance and privacy goals.”
    • Proprietary: “Experimenting with contextual providers can be a valuable exercise alongside other innovation strategies and may fit well with some campaigns. However, it won’t replace walled garden strategies soon.”
  • “CMOs should incorporate context into campaign creative strategy as much as targeting. They should also combine it with first-party data to tailor personal messages to users or segments in context.”

How You Fill Your Funnel Matters

Presented by Amber Gallihar Boyes, Director Analyst, Gartner

Today’s audience expectations and economic climate make it more important than ever to think strategically about which top-funnel brand activities drive the biggest payoff. In her session, Amber Gallihar Boyes, Director Analyst at Gartner, explored the role of social and earned media, and how they drive long-term brand impact.

Key Takeaways

  • “Marketing leaders often struggle to find the right balance of top-of-funnel activities. In many cases, they are leaning on the ones that underserve their brand.”
  • “Paid media inflation means marketers are spending more than ever to drive diminishing returns via traditional advertising.”
  • “75% of brand leaders agree the C-Suite has higher expectations for the impact of their brand investments than before the pandemic.”
  • “CMOs should focus on the top-funnel brand activation activities that drive the most impact:
  • Opportunities in earned media: Strategic earned media can serve as both a brand and business driver at the top of the funnel. It plays an important role in meeting audiences’ appetite for second opinions.
  • Tapping into social media’s power to drive media coverage and offline conversations make it a key top funnel priority.
  • Filling your funnel for today: Examine budget distribution across top-funnel activations and understand where your brand is falling short. Work to demonstrate the impact these upper funnel activities have on your brand’s long-term health.”

The Cultural Wake of Inflation: Why and How Price Increases Erode More Than Spending

Presented by Kate Muhl, VP Analyst, Gartner

During inflationary times, most marketers focus on the impact on consumer spending. But inflation is a disruptive cultural force too. In her session, Kate Muhl, VP Analyst at Gartner, explored how inflation warps consumer aspirations, alters their expectations for brands and changes their thinking about whether and how society works. 

Key Takeaways

  • “Though inflation as an economic force eventually subsides, its cultural impacts are felt long after.” 
  • “Failing to understand and act on the full range of inflation’s impacts puts brand strategy and investments at risk.” 
  • Inflation erodes consumers’ ability and confidence to spend: 90% percent of consumers said inflation had had at least some impact on their household.”
  • Inflation warps consumers’ sense of how the world works: Most consumers report putting off at least one milestone event, such as buying a home, due to cost-of-living pressures. As their own spending power shrinks, consumers increasingly question the ethical and aspirational value of wealth.”
  • “Inflation should be a trigger for marketing leaders to track consumer sentiment around brand and societal trust in order to build differentiated and authentic brand value narratives.”

That's a wrap for 2023 Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo in Denver! See you next year. 

About Gartner

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