RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • A small cohort of CMOs are pioneering a profound shift in marketing.
  • Re-wiring their organizations to move with their customers and deliver hyper-relevant experiences.
  • Driving forward a Living Business mindset to adapt at speed and scale for sustained growth.


Disrupting the disruptors

As marketing undergoes a profound and enduring shift, 90 percent of today's CEOs and chief marketing officers believe the CMO role will change fundamentally over the next three years. Our global survey of almost a thousand CMOs has identified a small cohort of marketers leading the charge.

75%

of CMOs admit past formulas are no match against the new disruptors, able to deliver more relevant customer experiences.

17%

of pioneering marketeers are now leading the way.

In the face of disruption, our research reveals how these chief marketing officers have been hugely successful at delivering hyper-relevant customer experiences—in turn, providing significantly greater value to shareholders.

Watch our video for an introduction to the new brand of CMO:

Pioneers that outperform

Our analysis finds that investing in a portfolio of companies with leading CMOs would, on average, have outperformed a portfolio of other companies (with the same allocation across industries) by up to 11 percent per year.

1 YR – 11%

outperformed by 11 percentage points, 2017-2018

3 YR – 6%

outperformed by 6 percentage points on average per year, 2015-2018

5 YR – 3%

outperformed by 3 percentage points on average per year, 2013-2018

The customer is always right here

What’s their secret? CMOs are breaking with business as usual and inspiring lasting change through new actions and behaviors. They’re making the customer central to their thinking and vision not just in the services they provide but also in how they adapt. They're building a customer-obsessed organization, rewired from the inside-out with new technologies, new customer expectations and a new accelerated pace for change. They've created what we call a Living Business: one that continuously adapts at speed and scale to achieve total customer relevance and sustained growth.

Don't spend money, be money

It’s not all about the budget

What are these CMOs doing differently? They're not just spending more; instead they are finding new unique ways to unlock value.

Pioneering CMOs are not spending substantially more on customer experience or innovation
"Pioneering CMOs make the customer central to their thinking and vision. They create a Living Business that continuously adapts with speed and scale to achieve total customer relevance and sustained growth."

– JOHN ZEALLEY, Global Lead – Customer Insight & Growth, Accenture

Marketing is not a department. It’s a mission

Two in three CEOs don’t believe that their current marketing leads have the leadership skills or business acumen required for the role. However, don’t be discouraged, this represents a tremendous opportunity for chief marketing officers right now. Never has there been a better time to make your mark than to follow the pioneering 17 percent of marketeers leading the way. CMOs can make an exponential impact, starting with these areas:

  • Pursuing disruptive growth. Challenge the status quo, pursue radical new avenues for future growth that overturn outdated legacy processes and redefine customer experience.
  • Getting granular about growth. By leveraging analytics, drive new insights that inform your growth strategies.
  • Re-orientating and re-invigorating your organization around the customer. Deliver hyper-relevant customer experiences at every touchpoint, building agility into the organization to evolve to the changing needs of the customer.
  • Become the architect of a new operating model. Rewire your organization with a new, more connected operating model—build collaboration among both internal groups and external partners and develop the right skills and behaviours to drive sustained growth.

There’s never been a better time to be a marketeer

Chief marketing officers are starting to embrace the Living Business mindset. They adapt ahead of the curve. They move, at speed, to satisfy customer demand, and craft hyper-relevant experiences that resonate with their customers.

The time for marketeers to take action is now. Are you ready to join the pioneering CMOs?

About the Authors

John Zealley

Global Lead – Customer Insight & Growth, Accenture​​​


Nevine El-Warraky

Co-CEO – Brand Learning, Managing Director – Accenture


Michele McGrath

Co-CEO – Brand Learning, Managing Director – Accenture


Nicholas Diamond

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy


Joshua Bellin

Senior Principal – Accenture Research​

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