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Gartner Says Catalytic Marketing Allows CMOs to Drive Profitable Growth Amid Macroeconomic Pressures


During the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo 2023, May 22–24 in Denver, experts will examine how to influence customers’ commercially productive behaviours.

According to Gartner, Inc., catalytic marketing experiences give the most boost to economically beneficial behaviours like paying more or referring other customers to the company.

Catalytic marketing encounters are ones that alter clients’ perceptions of their own requirements and give them the assurance to take a new path.

Gartner experts discussed how catalytic marketing may help relieve the stress CMOs are facing to produce profitable, digital growth despite disruption during the opening keynote of the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, which is taking place here through Wednesday.

“In a pressurized environment, CMOs are eager to optimize their investments and justify their existence”, “Yet they overcompensate in their customer-focused activities, continuously investing in more channels, technology, customer data and personalization.

“The singular focus on customers results in a series of escalating and unprofitable investments in experiences that customers find invasive and tune out. To spark productive, lasting changes in organizations and audiences requires catalytic marketing.”

Carlos Guerrero, VP, Advisory, Gartner

It’s Not About More in Catalytic Marketing.

Because they don’t require more technology, interaction across channels, integrated data, or a fully optimised engine for journey orchestration — all of which are sensitive to CMOs’ limited budgets and resources — catalytic experiences allow marketers do less to get more.

Instead, they need a singular, impactful chance that makes customers pause and reflect, shifts their understanding of a well-known concept, or teaches them something altogether new about the company.

According to Gartner research, the chance of economically profitable behaviours is doubled after just one catalytic digital experience. Even more important than having a lot of memorable brand interactions and evaluating each one as high-value is this.

One cosmetics company, for instance, offered consumers an AI-powered evaluation of their particular skincare requirements, emulating an in-person beauty counsellor. Based on an honest evaluation of the characteristics of their skin in comparison to that of persons their age, customers could consider and investigate goals for skin improvement.

“The cosmetic brand went beyond being just another product recommender by supporting customers’ own self-assessment of their skin prior to being routed to any product recommendation”, “Ultimately, the catalytic experience it provided deliberately elicited a moment of self-reflection that gave customers the confidence to commit to a new skin care regimen, providing lasting change in their target audience.”

Lizzy Foo Kune, VP Analyst, Gartner

The Catalytic CMO’s Three C’s: Clarity, Connections, and Courage

A unique management mindset that enables CMOs to design and implement these experiences at scale is required to support catalytic marketing.

Leaders in catalytic marketing exhibit and encourage unusual levels of

  • Clarity (of strategy) – They voluntarily state a constrained number of fundamental goals and brand characteristics, and they practise restraint in pursuing a constrained number of strategically significant activities.
  • Connections (between capabilities): They give priority to capabilities and management strategies that allow for the coordinated, adaptive use of resources, including integrated channel management and cross-channel customer experiences.
  • They defend decisions to limit mandates, reject urgent but minor demands, and choose to reduce or delegate ownership of non-core tasks or investments. Courage (of convictions).

“Progressive CMOs are breaking free from the cycle of more by embracing catalytic marketing and, in the process, shifting from growing marketing’s scope to growing marketing’s success as an efficient growth engine for the enterprise,”

Additional information will be available in the complimentary Gartner webinar, “Marketing’s New Directive: Do the Right Amount of Less, and Achieve Profitable Growth.”

Carlos Guerrero, VP, Advisory, Gartner

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