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The discipline of marketing is changing fast. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are running towards the opportunities they believe will define the “New Normal” of marketing.

However, many are uncertain about what they should be doing to take full advantage of marketing's potential in the years ahead. Findings from our 2016 survey of 847 marketing executives across 15 industries in 12 countries, along with research from Accenture Strategy and Consulting, provide a better understanding of what lies ahead. These CMO insights—augmented by our own client experience and research—shed valuable light on how marketing will transform. Equally important, they provided insights into five things CMOs can do today to prepare for future success.

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Journey to the new

For decades, CMOs have dreamed of the day B2Me marketing—characterized by deep, authentic and appropriately personal connections—would be viable. That day is upon us.

Digital technologies and analytics have grown more sophisticated: they now enable CMOs to reshape everything from consumer engagement to workforce management strategies.
The returns on marketing investments are under greater scrutiny: CMOs are accountable for revenue outcomes.
Competitors are springing up quickly from unlikely places; many favor digital channels of engagement over traditional channels.
"Nonstop" consumers behaviors are unpredictable, fluid and experimental; the data trails they leave behind are valuable—and overwhelming.
Disruption is now not just a threat, but a constant source of opportunity.
Key Findings
Marketing is already shifting from a stand-alone, sales-enabling function to a collaborative and strategic business area—one that plays a critical role in creating positive customer experiences and driving profitability and growth.

That transition will only accelerate between now and 2020. Some CMOs are struggling to adapt. Others, however, are seeing the coming B2Me shift as the perfect opportunity to step up and revitalize marketing, the brand and the business.

of CMOs believe that disruptive growth will drive their company's growth agenda in the future. Three out of four view marketing as a key driver of innovation.
of CEOs view their CMO as one of the five C-Suite leaders to drive the company's disruptive growth strategies.
Recommendations
To succeed in the new, CMOs must:
Strengthen the consumer experience +
Strengthen the Consumer Experience (CX) to achieve Consumer Intimacy (CI). Be innovative about building and sustaining relationships, loyalty and trust.
Be a living brand +
Create a "living" marketing organization in which everyone plays a role in brand revitalization and quickly adapts to drive better CX.
Orchestrate for radical collaboration +
Enable internal and external players to work together to meet consumer expectations, create local market intimacy and drive business results.
Throw out the talent rulebook +
Create an agile, best-in-class marketing team by balancing human and analytical skills to create experiences that are both data-driven and empathetic. Constantly rebalance in-house and outsourced resources, as well as ecosystem partners.
Achieve Return on the individual +
Calculate and pursue consumers' lifetime value (the "New Normal" ROI) by evaluating hard and soft (non-sales) metrics such as advocacy and contribution to brand health. Page views are out; indicators of consumer intimacy and cash flow are in.
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