Skip to main content Skip to footer

Research Report

Marketing, the Maestro way

How a new approach is driving relevance and growth.

5-minute read

September 26, 2023

In brief

  • Marketers have long been the stewards of relevance. But amid global volatility, new technology and changing roles, achieving it is harder than ever.
  • Research shows that just 9% of companies are finding success by seeing marketing as a symphony, not a solo performance. This is Maestro marketing.
  • By connecting data, tech and people, a Maestro approach delivers greater relevance, better revenue growth and more control over the brand than ever.

Relevance is critical to any enterprise’s future—yet amid global volatility, evolving technologies and increasingly unpredictable consumers, achieving and maintaining it is harder than ever. How can marketers, long the stewards of relevance, keep up in this state of constant flux?

Our global survey of 1,150 cross-functional executives found that in many organizations (66%), marketers are still scrambling for full control of the brand conversation, while others (25%), are plagued by uncertainty and unable to adapt.

However, some companies—just 9% of those we surveyed—are finding success with a different approach. They recognize that marketing is no longer a solo performance; instead, it’s a symphony, with players across the company ready to play their parts. And their marketers are stepping into the spotlight to conduct the music.

I view marketing as the conductor of an orchestra. The marketer doesn’t recruit the woodwind section—someone else specializes in that. My job is to make sure the entire group is working well together.

Jane Stiller / Chief Marketing Officer, ITV

A Maestro approach: Many players, one mission

These top-performing organizations are reimagining marketing from an isolated function to an enterprise-wide capability. Their marketing leaders are taking what we call a Maestro approach: rather than trying to control the conversation end-to-end, they are breaking down silos to encourage collaboration in every corner of their organization. They spread marketing skills widely to other functions and direct all eyes to the North Star of a shared customer vision. When marketing is a company-wide capability, marketers themselves become connectors bringing disparate parts into harmony—and leaders driving a broader strategy in pursuit of business goals.

Our survey found that all companies with strong collaborative relationships between marketing and other functions saw up to 4% more revenue growth than their peers. With the added benefits of a Maestro approach, they were 33% more likely than their peers to say they had “more control over our brand than ever.

Companies with a Maestro approach to marketing say they perform 1.8x better than their peers on speed to market and 1.6x in terms of customer lifetime value.

Taking a Maestro approach better positions organizations to respond to changing audiences because it is life-centric: it understands customers as multidimensional individuals constantly evolving in response to unpredictable external forces—and builds the business around serving those changing needs and priorities. By reshaping marketing around tech, talent and collaboration, this approach supports the pursuit of Total Enterprise Reinvention, a strategy for driving growth and optimizing operations by transforming every function within a company and enabling continuous evolution.


Embracing the Maestro way: See, solve, simplify, scale

Marketers with a Maestro approach are paving the way for growth and relevance. They do this in four ways:

1. See customers in a new light and marketing as an enterprise-wide capability

Marketers know that relevance comes from seeing customers as people with complex, ever-changing lives. With a Maestro approach, companies are 33% more likely than peers to recognize marketing as having two layers: the individual practitioners doing the work, and the strategic capability sounding across the entire enterprise. As more parts of the organization become involved with the brand conversation and customer experience, marketers themselves shift their role to guiding that broader strategy.

Taking action:
To achieve this, marketers need to:

  • Unite tech and empathy
    Use both to understand customers not just as buyers, but as complex people with shifting priorities

  • Align internally
    Adjust practices to facilitate cross-functional collaboration and data-sharing

  • Support the vision
    Drive strategic alignment with clear and consistent communication from the top

2. Solve for layered customer journeys by forging strategic relationships

To keep up with increasingly complex customer journeys, marketers must foster the right relationships externally and internally so they can see clearly and act quickly. Breaking down the boundaries between functions allows them to build cross-functional connections that uncover value. For example, organizations taking a Maestro approach are 19% more likely than their counterparts to report close collaboration between marketing and human resources.

Taking action:
To enable collaborative ties, marketing leaders should:

  • Understand customers
    Establish a company-wide vision of target customers and map how to reach them

  • Build connections
    Foster strong relationships with internal leaders and work together to champion change

  • Partner up
    Encourage relationships with external partners that deliver better solutions and mutual growth

3. Simplify for relevance by streamlining operations and rethinking success metrics

Companies need to seek simplicity—not just in what they offer but in how they operate. 

Across an enterprise, more people have contact with the customer than ever before. But many businesses aren’t set up to be interoperable. Technology can bridge the disconnect. Companies need to take two steps:

  1. Rewire internally across all customer-facing functions with an integrated technology stack uniting platforms and ecosystems.

  2. Activate automation to make day-to-day tasks more efficient.

This allows all functions to operate more productively, even amid changing circumstances, and lets marketers re-focus their role on championing customer insights (which they’re 31% more likely to do than peers). And it results in greater cross-departmental sharing of data and insights, which in turn allows them to react to changing customer needs and external forces with greater knowledge and agility. 

Taking action:
To streamline operations for better connections, marketing leaders must:

  • Prioritize interoperability
    Design an operating model to nurture cross-functional connection and enable better orchestration of data and technology

  • Empower tech
    Activate automation and let generative AI drive efficiency in routine tasks

  • Rethink measurement
    Develop new metrics for success, a roadmap for shared goals and a framework that incentives collaboration

4. Scale for growth by connecting data, technology and talent in new ways

To scale their wins, marketers can connect human ingenuity and technology. With a cloud-based digital core, data-driven insights and AI-powered innovation, they can optimize experiences, respond faster to changes and deliver more with their existing resources.

According to our survey, marketers with a Maestro approach focus on data. They are 22% more likely to strongly agree that they are collecting data from more channels than two years ago. And they’re more likely than their peers to see data and digital/programming skills as crucial for meeting future marketing needs (18% more and 34% more, respectively). But they also see the human connection that powers the machines. Generative AI and other advancements are offering new ways to automate and share tasks across an enterprise, freeing marketers to spread their wealth of knowledge and speed its application to every function.

Taking action:
To enable this, marketing leaders need to:

  • Seek digital fluency
    Increase company-wide Technology Quotients and upskill all teams to use it thoughtfully and creatively

  • Spread skills
    Train people across the enterprise in marketing skills such as creativity, empathy and brand storytelling

  • Support change
    Establish development programs that guide people as their roles change, so everyone is part of innovation

New connections, new relevance

Taking a Maestro approach allows marketing to thrive as a cross-functional capability involving a multitude of players freed from traditional operational silos. With an eye toward the future, marketers themselves become conductors of a company-wide symphony, with technology and talent working in strategic harmony. And the businesses that embrace them are positioned to adapt to ongoing change—while opening the door to innovation, relevance and growth.


Joy Bhattacharya

Global Marketing Lead – Accenture Song

Zach Newcomb

Global Experience Lead – Accenture Song

Jeannine Falcone

Strategic Integration Lead – Accenture Song

Ivy Lee​

Marketing Transformation Research Lead – Accenture Research