Gartner Symposium: Experts Share Their Take on the Past, Present, and Future of Digital Marketing

May 8, 2019 Brianna Beckman

We’re just back from sunny San Diego, where we sponsored the Gartner Marketing Symposium. Our heads are still spinning from all the great information the experts shared in dozens of sessions over a three-day period.

This event attracted 1,500 attendees and had more than 40 exhibitors (including Vibes), 40+ Gartner experts, and 100+ research-driven sessions. Everywhere you turned, people were talking about customer relationships, marketing data and analytics, and technology solutions that drive sales.

What We Learned

Brent Adamson, Distinguished VP, Advisory for Gartner, kicked off the Symposium with his keynote, Rethinking Customer Relationships. He discussed the ways to foster a bond with customers, which looks quite a bit different from strategies of the past. He said that things like reliability, personalization, and impact KPIs (instead of performance KPIs) were the key to engaging customers long-term.

But it’s not as simple as just doing what you think will hit the mark: it’s also necessary to understand the kinds of interactions customers want from your brand as well as why it’s important to engage them on their terms. This was a great way to start the conference!

Another notable session was The Future of Multichannel Marketing Is ... You, by Noah Elkin, Sr Director Analyst for Gartner. He discussed the importance of creating an effective multichannel marketing strategy, and what tools you need to leverage customer data.

In 20/20: Up Close and Personal: Winning Strategies, Tactics and Tools for Personalization, Jennifer Polk, VP Analyst at Gartner, and Bob Rupczynski, Corporate Vice President of Global Media for McDonald's, discussed how to scale personalization that yields results with customers (without being creepy) and how to use customer insights to build your personalization strategy.

On the last day, Benjamin Bloom, Sr Director Analyst at Gartner, talked to attendees about how to differentiate your loyalty program through personalization and insights in Why Your Loyalty Program Won't Work and What to Do About It.

In between sessions, attendees could participate in sunrise yoga, morning runs, icebreaker breakfasts, and fun networking opportunities.

What Vibes Was Up To

In addition to try to catch a few sessions, we were manning our booth on the Xpo floor, where a caricaturist artist sketched portraits of attendees for the opening reception.

On Wednesday we announced our latest product update: Everywhere Commerce, which allows marketers to gather behavioral data from mobile campaigns, capturing customer interest and converting it into purchases, both online and off. We’re very excited about it!

We also held a VIP Networking lunch where we teamed up with Kwik Trip to talk about the mobile engagement strategy and tactics we’ve developed alongside the brand in Vibes + Kwik Trip Talks Multichannel Mobile Engagement. Our goal was to help digital marketers, who are constantly trying to develop new ways to deliver custom experiences that allow them to better engage with customers, by showing how Kwik Trip has done just that.        

With 650 convenience store locations, Kwik Trip has discovered that to be competitive in the marketplace they have to cut through the noise with innovative mobile engagement programs that drive excitement. We shared three groundbreaking mobile strategies that have increased customer engagement and sales as well as key learnings that have changed the company’s outlook on mobile strategy and execution. We also talked about the multichannel approach to Kwik Trip’s mobile journey and answered questions from participants.

As always, we walk away from the Gartner Marketing Symposium with a better understanding of the marketing space, and are buzzing with ideas about how we can continue to take our mobile marketing products to the next level for our customers. We can’t wait until next year!

About the Author

Brianna Beckman

Brianna Beckman is a Marketing Programs Specialist at Vibes, located in San Francisco. With a background in Cognitive Science, she's interested in the interaction between humans and technology and how technology can impact the world for the better. Today's advancements in mobile technology play a huge role in humans day-to-day behavior.

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