Marketing Leaders Prioritize Adaptive Planning, Customer Needs, Data & Cost Efficiency At Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo

Published: December 3, 2020

As B2B marketers prepare for the new year, marketing leaders are now looking for creative ways to future proof their marketing strategies while overcoming the challenges from 2020. Gartner research indicated that Covid-19 and the shift to digital will have a long-term impact on brands and the B2B industry, and smart marketing leaders are attempting to get ahead for 2021.

Gartner recently held its Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo virtual event, bringing together marketing leaders from various industries that shared insights into understanding consumer needs, adopting adaptive planning strategies, optimizing their strategic costs and learning how to make data-driven decisions. The three-day event primarily reflected on the importance of these four core aspects of modern B2B and provided strategies and use cases to educate marketers for future strategic planning.

In one of the major event sessions, Carlos Geurrero, Senior Advisor of the Gartner Marketing Practice, explained that 57% of buyers distrust corporations, and 83% of buyers refuse to do business with brands they mistrust. Geurrero explained that the best way to rebuild buyer trust is to remove their pain points, highlight a brand’s current value and provide new value throughout the buying journey.

“In the midst of dire loss of trust, marketing leaders hope to differentiate themselves by improving brand trust,” said Guerrero. “This is challenging, however, as customers’ expectations of brands are higher than it’s ever been. In fact, 74% of customers have higher expectations from brands today. Those expectations are not limited to product performance or durability, but also in terms of how brands treat their customers, their employees and the environment.”

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Some of the additional key statistics that came out of the event include:

  • Nine out of 10 marketers experienced budget cuts in 2020;
  • 74% of buyers expect brands to have morals to stand by;
  • Only 54% of marketing decisions are influenced by marketing analytics, citing unactionable results and vague recommendations as the cause;
  • Only 18% of B2B brands have fully mastered their martech stacks;
  • 66% of marketers use centralized marketing structures for more efficiency and control; and
  • 73% of marketing leaders expect a positive impact on the business and economic climate over the next two years.

“The real challenge now is understanding what the impacts of 2020 mean to your customers, your team, your business and your markets,” said Rick DeLisi, VP Analyst at Gartner Marketing Practice, in a statement. “In order to be more adaptive and agile for the year ahead, marketers must home in on long-valued, core competencies with a fresh perspective and renewed focus.”

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