In brief

In brief

  • CMOs with future-ready organizations deliver excellent customer and employee experiences while performing better in efficiency and profitability.
  • Marketing delivery excellence is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s imperative to deliver the right experiences every time, at every interaction.
  • 9% of marketers reported that their organizations are currently future-ready while 38% expect to be future-ready by 2023.

The ultimate marketing machine is more important than ever

Marketing today plays a significant role in delivering operational growth. A look at Accenture’s Fast-Track to Future-Ready Performance report, which surveyed 1,100 C-suite and senior executives, shows that marketing ranks as a top focus area for operating model transformation – with all customer lifecycle touchpoints from marketing, sales and service top of mind.

A chart showing how marketing leaders compare to other leaders when identifying the most important functions for operating model transformation.

They understand it’s more important than ever to deliver the right customer experiences at the right time with every interaction. To achieve this, marketers need to align their technology, talent, data and processes so that they can easily identify customers across multiple platforms and channels, as well as align their messaging, creative collateral, execution and brand consistency at speed.

The more efficient the “marketing machine,” the greater the results.

Future-ready marketing principles for B2C and B2B

Our global, cross-industry research demonstrates the link between business operations maturity and performance. The research identifies four levels of operational maturity: stable, efficient, predictive and future-ready.

On average, organizations we found to be future-ready:

A graphic showing that future-ready organizations are 1.7 times more efficient and 2.8 times more profitable. 

In today’s digital-first world, marketers with future-ready operations successfully:

  • Automate commoditized marketing tasks, creating headroom for their staff to spend time on more strategic endeavors.
  • Build engagement models, empowering them to test and discover what strategies work.
  • Create personalized experiences and one-to-one engagements.
  • Continually develop new capabilities and rapidly deploy them where they’re most needed.

The result?

Better preparation to serve customers and drive sustainable, marketing-led growth.

Marketers’ optimism and reality

Our Fast-track to Future-Ready Operations survey revealed that many marketers are optimistic that their organizations are well-positioned to advance along the spectrum and reap the rewards. Their optimism notwithstanding, are marketers truly future-ready?

For most, the answer is "not quite."

Most marketing executives (63%) characterized themselves as in the "predictive" stage. Just 9% reported that their organizations are currently future-ready while 38% expect to be future-ready by 2023.

Knowledge is power

01. Know the ultimate goal

Conceptualize what a future-ready state looks like. For instance, what advances in operations would new technologies enable? Learn more.

02. Know the key steps

Create data-driven agility, elevate human talent through technological innovation and collaborate across business and technology functions. Learn more.

03. Know how to leapfrog maturity levels.

Build and scale relationships with ecosystem partners while also investing in strategy. Learn more.

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Prioritize the marketing machine

Future-ready marketing operations are also future-proof. Innovating in this function is critical to achieving operations maturity and helping CMOs excel in today’s competitive landscape.

The journey to becoming a future-ready organization, however, will look different for everyone.

As CMOs succeed in advancing their operations, customers are primed to embrace the end products. They crave future-ready experiences, seeking personalized experiences delivered through multiple channels. They interact and spend more with brands that make a personal connection.

By achieving a future-ready state, marketing leaders will gain a competitive edge and move with greater agility. They will be better prepared to serve customers and meet their ever-growing expectations. In doing so, marketers will create the operational growth today’s climate demands.

Nigel Gilbert

Managing Director, Lead – Marketing Operations


Fast-track to future-ready performance
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Accenture surveyed more than 1,100 C-suite and VP-level executives, including CMOs and their direct reports.


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Accenture surveyed more than 100 marketing leaders worldwide to understand how they view their journey to operations maturity.

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