Based on the Accenture Interactive 2014 CMO Insights Survey, CMOs are selling themselves short. The question isn't whether CMOs can effectively take advantage of digital channels—they are proving they can—but whether they can be more visible change agents for digital transformation across the organization.
As every business becomes a digital business, C-suite executives will need to collaborate to drive successful digital transformation. No CMO wants to be left on the sidelines.
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The marketing world is changing fast and digital is leading the charge
Of the top three changes cited, analytics, digital and mobile are the key drivers. High-growth companies say their investments in these areas are paying off, improving customer experience.
But are CMOs missing the full digital opportunity? Only one in five CMOs believe their company will be known as a digital business in five years. While in emerging markets, CMOs have jumped ahead, recognizing the importance of transforming the business to operate in a digital ecosystem.
78% of marketers believe that marketing will undergo fundamental change over the next 5 years
Digital budgets will account for more than 76% of marketing budgets in next 5 years
69% of emerging market CMOs believe it is Important to transform into a digital business, compared to 49% of mature-market CMOs
Most marketers are using digital channels more effectively
Year-on-year improvements in channel effectiveness show digital channels lead the way, with search engine optimization, online display advertising, mobile and social media all ranking highly.
But a generational divide is opening up with respect to mobile. Digital natives, those under 35, give significantly more weight to mobile than their more seasoned colleagues.
10% increase from last year in willingness to make more and better use of digital channels
Email marketing cost effective: Importance rose from 58% to 66% and effectiveness from 46% to 58%
7/10 marketers under 50 believe that mobile is an important channel for reaching customers and prospects, compared to 5/10 over 51
Every business is a digital business
In this digital world, technology is changing the game and consumers are making the rules. Digital channels are proving pivotal to how an entire organization competes, innovates and enhances the customer experience.
Analytics and digital channels became significantly more important to high growth companies between 2012 and 2014. At the same time, CMOs in these companies state that it became easier to succeed in both these areas, reaping the rewards of more intense investment and resourcing. Significant gaps open up when identifying key marketing strategy success criteria between high-growth and low-growth companies.
High-growth companies use data and analytics to improve marketing impact: 86% vs 65%
High-growth companies recognize strategic importance of digital channels: 84% vs 67%
High-growth companies provide a consistent customer experience across all channels: 80% vs 59%
Omni-channel customer experience challenges
While CMOs own the brand promise, fewer than half say they own the customer experience. For high-growth companies, customer experience is the #1 recipient of marketing investment and nearly 30 points higher than low-growth companies
There is much work still to be done, however, starting with a mindset shift to embrace the full omni-channel customer experience from the outside-in. Performance in delivering an effective customer experience lags importance across the business spectrum.
77% of marketers say it is essential or very important to deliver an effective customer experience for their company, but only 62% think they're doing a good job
The importance of CMOs mastering the omni-channel customer experience fell by 14% to 57%
Only 49% of CMOs say they have ownership of the customer experience
Technology, talent and leadership impact digital success
The volume and variety of today's technology can overwhelm. CMOs know about a plethora of digital technologies to leverage; the challenge, however, is to rally around the right ones for their business. New technologies need to be piloted and adapted from experience using a test, learn and "fail fast" approach.
To help navigate the digital landscape, marketers draw on external partners. While CMOs say these partners are doing a better job in 2014, there Is a shift towards upskilling internal resources. The trade-off is lower satisfaction levels for the time being.
So, who's driving digital transformation? In spite of their effectiveness with digital channels, CMOs are barely visible on the broader digital playing field. This has given rise to a variety of new roles, such as chief digital officers, emerging to fill the gap and join the leadership team transforming the business.
1 in 4 CMOs cite a lack of critical technology or tools as their chief barrier to digital integration
Marketers satisfaction with performance of analytics capabilities fell 10 points to 49% last year
35% of C-suite say CEO is responsible for digital innovation; 23% say CTO; 22% say CIO; only 1% say CMO