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Chief marketing officers (CMOs) must pursue opportunities to restructure their marketing organizations to deliver seamless, relevant customer experiences.
As CMOs steer through the rough waters of the complex and challenging global marketplace, one thing is certain: not enough feel prepared. CMOs who want their companies to achieve high performance are taking things to the next level. They are transforming operating models, tuning business practices, assessing agencies and other partners, and upskilling their talent. Accenture’s CMO Insights Survey offers a compelling look at just what senior marketing leaders are thinking—and doing—to drive the seamless customer experience.
Take a Ride—What are CMOs Thinking?Get an in-depth look at the results of the 2012 CMO Insights Survey. Explore top study trends and get ready insights for taking action—from the five keys to better performance to real marketing game changers.
View the Research WebsiteView the Turbulence for CMO Infographic
The 2012 CMO Insights Survey is the third in a series of studies sponsored by Accenture and aimed at understanding the opinions, challenges and points of view of the world’s senior marketing executives. Results are based on online surveys across 10 countries with 405 senior executives who are key marketing decision makers in their companies.
CMOs face a raft of competing business priorities, changing consumer behaviors and higher customer expectations. But how prepared are they to succeed in such a tough environment?
According to the CMO Insights Survey, nearly four in 10 CMOs acknowledge that they do not have the right people, tools and resources to meet their marketing objectives—a 5 percent drop in preparedness from the previous year’s survey.
What’s more, today’s environment is complicated by other factors, which CMOs must continually plan for, react to and address strategically:
Relentless demands. Since Accenture began surveying CMOs in global companies three years ago, none of the top business priorities has declined in importance.
Higher stakes. Customer issues maintain their dominance. For the third year in a row, requirements to acquire and retain customers and increase sales are the most important. As in previous years, these customer challenges continue to increase in difficulty—by 5 to 6 percentage points every year.
Smaller share of wallet. Although large majorities of CMOs saw higher revenues (69 percent) and budgets (83 percent), four out of 10 senior marketers also saw flat or declining market share in 2012.
Higher customer expectations. Consumers’ expectations for relevant experiences are having the longest-term impact on marketing strategy (65 percent). Like last year, consumers still expect value, trust, quality and better customer service, along with relevance.
The CMO Insights Survey reveals a number of important trends impacting how CMOs are working today—and what changes they need to pursue:
The black hole of return on investment (ROI). CMOs find it difficult to quantify marketing return on investment. Nearly one in five score themselves as below average in multichannel attribution, correlating advertising to sales, and measuring media buying effectiveness.
The digital disconnect. CMOs capitalize on five capabilities to improve performance—innovation, customer analytics, digital orientation, customer engagement and marketing operations. Digital orientation scores the weakest—just when it needs to be the strongest.
The biggest barriers: inefficiency and lack of funding. Inefficient business practices together with lack of funding and other resources negatively affect all five marketing capabilities.
The channel explosion: importance up, effectiveness down. As channels multiply, CMOs say they are unsure how to maximize ROI across channels. While the importance of the top five marketing channels has risen by 10 points over 2011, their effective usage has plateaued, indicating the need to find a better way to use these channels.
The partner proliferation. With the explosion of channels, CMOs have turned to a large mix of agencies and alliance partners and created a highly fragmented environment. Many CMOs default to ineffective internal processes to create the cross-agency view.
The satisfaction shortage. CMOs are generally more satisfied with marketing areas managed by external resources than with their own people
The bigger, better digital budget. While marketing budgets are expected to show some growth next year, digital marketing allocations are expected to jump significantly—suggesting that CMOs understand how critical digital is to moving forward.
Download the Entire Survey for more Results and Insight
View the Turbulence for the CMO Infographic
Given the increase in customer expectations and channel preferences, it is not surprising that seven in 10 CMOs expect the marketing function to change fundamentally in the next five years. To achieve substantial and meaningful change, CMOs should do the following:
Reinvent the marketing operating modelOver the next five years, the marketing function needs to undergo fundamental change to stay on top of changing consumer behavior and channel proliferation. CMOs are looking to improve innovation and internal capabilities to keep pace in the digital era.
Build new skills internallyMarketers will need to hire, reskill and redeploy people to improve efficiency, agility and responsiveness. Marketers need talent that can create consistent, multichannel experiences that meet customers’ needs, expectations and demands for relevance. Innovative employees are high on the CMO agenda. An emerging priority for marketing executives is to hire and grow talent that is digitally experienced and can integrate well with the IT department.
Align with the right set of partnersAgencies and alliance partners must help CMOs make sense of complexity in the marketplace by improving their levels of execution and delivery and by providing a broader set of capabilities and deeper integration across the agency ecosystem.
Drive digital orientation throughout the enterpriseTo improve marketing performance, prepare for the future and reduce complexity, digital orientation must expand beyond marketing’s purview. The entire organization needs to understand how digital is transforming the customer experience.
In all, the survey illustrates that CMOs’ ability to restructure the organization and work horizontally to deliver seamless and relevant customer experiences across all touchpoints all day, every day, will be essential to survival in the global marketplace.
April 22, 2013
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