How do you get to future-readiness faster? By skipping maturity levels…and one of the most effective ways to accomplish that is by building ecosystem relationships. External partners play an important role in making marketing organizations future-ready. Marketers we surveyed recognize this, with many citing ecosystem partnerships as a top-three business priority.


of marketing leaders ranked ecosystem partnerships as a top-3 business goal three years ago.


of marketing leaders rank ecosystem partnerships as a top-3 business goal today.

Govern and scale relationships

As they work across multiple technology platforms and with multiple service providers, marketers too often rely on a patchwork of low-value, commoditized tasks to manage their provider relationships.

Instead, they must identify how each partnership delivers value and how to best engage with each partner—efforts that should ultimately help CMOs free marketing talent to spend less time on provider relationship management and more time on strategic activities. They must also develop the right in-house capabilities to best capitalize on the services and benefits the partner delivers, ultimately driving efficiency and sustainable growth.

Client case study

A global cosmetics giant eyed sustainable growth when it collaborated with Accenture to build relationships with ecosystem partners. It sought to drive a deeper understanding of customers and transcend its status quo: Because the company did not sell products directly to customers, marketers struggled with limited insights on customer preferences and behavior.

With our help, the business partnered with a technology company and a department store that sold cosmetics. These partnerships transformed the company's client relationship management system, empowering it to gather once-inaccessible customer intelligence. The company also developed in-house capabilities to efficiently leverage that intelligence.

Empowered with a new, targeted marketing approach, the company experienced:

  • A 25% increase in customer engagement.
  • A 10% increase in revenue per customer purchase.

Customers were inspired to engage more with the brand and spend more on its products, delivering sustainable growth.

Invest in strategy

Leapfrogging to a future-ready state requires developing an overarching strategy, including one that accounts for the future-ready capabilities critical for growth. While this may appear obvious, all too often, businesses fail to invest enough in gathering insights and resources to make this happen.

Here’s the good news: Marketing executives and executives of all stripes increasingly understand the importance of cohesive strategies. They recognize that technology must play a central role, with most executives (83%) across functions agreeing that their organizations' business and technology strategies are becoming inseparable. For their part, marketing leaders agree that strategy is important to help them scale data operations, stakeholder experiences and leading practices.

Ultimately, organizations will undoubtedly find their strategies evolving. And, as marketers add and develop the capabilities for delivery excellence, they will sharpen their strategic direction, do so with agility, and discover new growth opportunities along the way.

Nigel Gilbert

Managing Director, Lead – Marketing Operations


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