In brief

In brief

  • Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Accenture Interactive debuts the ‘CMO Collaborator’ role to redefine C-suite and tech and agency partners.
  • Customer experience (CX) is the growth engine of the future, and senior marketers are best positioned to own CX and build a culture that sustains it.
  • By focusing on collaboration, CMOs can break down silos and curate an accurate view of the customer that informs all CX touchpoints and drives growth.
  • Collaboration leaders are already outpacing traditional marketers in delivering exceptional CX and keeping up with shifting customer needs.

Your brand IS your customer experience

The CMO is the leader for both the desired perception of the organization (the brand) and the customer’s actual perception of the organization (the experience). Bringing together internal teams and outside partners to collaborate will allow the entire organization to align on the brand vision and curate experiences to achieve that vision while delighting customers.

There is a tremendous opportunity for senior marketing leaders to step into the redefined role of marketing and collaboration; the CMO Collaborator—leading their organization(s) into a future of unparalleled collaboration to deliver world-class customer experiences.

"The opportunity to create emotive and powerful experiences for customers is out there but only if the CMO Collaborator can inspire customer-centric thinking that resonates with a positive brand experience across all lines of business. How? By creating organizational alignment, a customer-obsessed culture, and a technology suite that enables and encourages innovation and real-time change."

– Rethink the Role of the CMO – a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Accenture Interactive, Oct. 2018

Bake CX into your culture

Every decision a company makes today will have an impact on experience. Every department from marketing to finance touches experience in some way. Organizations that build the most exceptional experiences have built a culture that understands and operates with that notion in mind. Therefore, CMO Collaborators can no longer rely on their tried and tested practices. The CMO Collaborator is in the driver’s seat as the new experience leader who works to pull in different departments and empower the entire organization to rally around the customer.


of organizations agree traditional experiences no longer satisfy customers.


of collaboration leaders agree their entire company is aligned around shared customer experiences.

Know thy customer; empower your team

Creating an empathetic relationship with customers by collecting comprehensive insights is another area where we see collaboration leaders excelling over traditional marketers because CMOs and their teams have the closest proximity to customer data and insights.

With so many touchpoints, it’s critical to have a culture that fulfills its brand promise to its customers. Ninety percent of experience decision makers agree that the CMO should be the internal advocate for their customers. The connection between promise and delivery is precisely why brand strategy is inextricably linked to sales and experience performance. Instead of acting like a gatekeeper, CMOs should be curators—sharing a comprehensive view of the customer across the entire organization that all teams and departments can get behind, in order to build the best experience for those customers.


of collaboration leaders are focused on insight-powered, empathetic customer relationships.


of experience decision makers agree that the CMO should be the internal advocate for their customers.

Tech decisions are CMO decisions

Technology is now seen as ‘a’ if not ‘the’ key component of the CMO Collaborator’s mandate to deliver customer experiences. Organizations are investing in digital technologies to create value for their customers. Unlimited access to digital tools and capital creates a no-rules environment where competition can come from anywhere, even outside of traditional industry confines.

Traditional marketers who are sticking to their tried and tested practices risk losing to that competition with under half investing or expanding their investment in emerging technology. Collaboration leaders are prioritizing these types of investments and those who recognize the importance of technology investments and are not shying away from action.


of organizations have already invested in technology like AI to outpace the competition.


of collaboration leaders are investing or expanding their emerging technology investment.

Key recommendations

The CMO Collaborator is well suited to own CX by proximity to the customer, the ability to instill empathy, and established expertise in creating culturally defining connections.

Here are key recommendations to align all facets of the brand with the experiences it creates.

Emphasize customer obsession over campaign creation

Lead the collaboration that unites brand and experience

Align your tech strategy with your customer outcomes

Be an innovation incubator

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About the research

Forrester interviewed ten senior level marketing decision makers and conducted an online survey of 250 senior level marketing decision makers from a range of industries in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia to evaluate the current and future role of the CMO in building and delivering customer experiences and the need for organization-wide collaboration to meet customer needs. The study was commissioned by Accenture Interactive and began in July 2018 and completed in August 2018.

Glen Hartman

Head of Accenture Interactive – North America​

Jeannine Falcone

Head of Accenture Interactive Marketing Services – North America


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