RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Consumer goods Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) want to accelerate operating model and organization changes to help their companies grow.
  • Our survey shows they have invested in platforms, advanced technologies and data integration but have yet to realize the full value.
  • Only 1/3 of CMOs say they have one integrated view of the consumer or that their teams have the needed skills to harness data and technologies.
  • Leading CMOs are focusing on 3 areas: Building a better consumer experience, innovating and experimenting, and upskilling and designing the ecosystem.


Consumer goods companies (CPGs) have been challenged to respond to consumer and marketplace changes from COVID-19. Many consumers, for the first time, bought online during the pandemic. And, consumers expect to continue their digital purchasing, according to Accenture’s latest consumer research. However, many consumer goods companies are constrained by their current digital, technology and data capabilities, as well as their operating models. Only 33% of CMOs strongly agree their company’s processes and operations are flexible enough to allow them to apply data-driven insights in real time.

These constraints—present prior to the pandemic—were exposed and amplified, reinforcing that a step change is needed. CPGs now have a new opportunity to reinvent the consumer experience, making it more personalized and frictionless.

Today's marketing landscape

156%

is consumers’ anticipated increase in their future digital purchasing.

35%

of consumer goods CMOs say they have a single integrated view of the consumer.

33%

say they have employees with the right skills currently to get the full value from advanced technologies, platforms and data accessibility/sharing across the organization.

Investments in technologies haven’t delivered full value

CPGs have invested in technology and data integration to improve customer engagement across the entire organization. But, they say more value exists.

54%

of CMOs say there is additional value to capture from advanced technology and platform investments.

65%

of CMOs say there is more value to capture from customer data integration investments.

3 ways CMOs are rewiring their operating models and organizations

Consumer goods CMOs are taking action to address today’s consumer and marketplace realities.

They’re rewiring their operating models and organizations in three main areas:

1. Building a better consumer experience

One data-driven, secure view of consumers across all channels—from search engines, to in-store, to social—is needed.

It provides the basis for a personalized, seamless, contextual consumer experience because it shifts the focus on consumers from reactive to proactive.

The good news: consumer goods companies strongly agree they have developed robust processes to ensure data traceability, trustworthiness, transparency and security. They have laid the groundwork for the secure sharing of data in a collaborative platform model. The next step, though, is to ensure that customer data and insights are easily accessible and able to be shared across the broader organization.

2. Innovating and experimenting

Equipped with the right data insights based on one view of the consumer, consumer goods companies can better innovate and experiment.

By harnessing technology and giving their teams the license to take risks to create bold new experiences, consumer goods CMOs open the door for innovation. From new delivery models to pop-up shops, hyper-personalized products to sustainable reclamation of packaging, CMOs can use applied intelligence insights to introduce consumers to new ways their brands deliver personalized value.

3. Upskilling and designing the ecosystem

CMOs need to identify talent needs not only for their teams, but also with their C-suite colleagues to look across the entire consumer journey.

To address skill needs to utilize platforms and advanced technologies, and to ensure consumer data is accessible and shared across the organization, only 35% of CMOs say their employees currently have the needed skills.

CMOs need to build upon their existing ecosystem design to foster growth capabilities—not just sharing talent, but really partnering for the innovation that leads to new growth.

30%

of CMOs are upskilling and reskilling their teams.

22%

of CMOs are relying on outsourcing and ecosystem partners for new skills.

11%

of CMOs are hiring new talent with needed skills.



Create your new marketing operating model

The eCommerce wave spurred by COVID-19 reinforces how critical digital, advanced technology and analytics capabilities are. CMOs need to get the basics in place before they can improve the consumer experience at scale and in real-time. These steps can help CMOs on their journey:

1. Become a data-driven CMO
Many companies are still forming strategies based on discrete consumer sentiment versus using integrated data to reinvent the consumer experience. Instead, all strategy and action should flow from one, consistent, continually updated view of the consumer. This view should stem not just from internal data, but also tap into external and ecosystem insights and be shared across the entire organization.

2. Partner with the CTO/CIO
Technology is the lynchpin for speed, scale, relevance—and data. From the cloud to robotic process automation and predictive analytics, technology unlocks value that would otherwise be trapped in old ways of doing things.

3. Map and acquire future skills now
Leading companies create future workforce skills maps, which gives them more adaptability and agility. These maps allow them to tap into talent, regardless of functional role, to form the most innovative teams. They also allow them to identify critical skills gaps to be addressed.

Meet the team

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