How CMO Collaborators fill the gap in the C-suite to drive CX and growth

by | Oct 16, 2018 | Marketing, Public Relations

New global research released by Accenture and conducted by Forrester Consulting reveals an opportunity for chief marketing officers to expand their remit by assuming the role of CMO Collaborator. By ushering in new levels of collaboration across the C-suite, technology ecosystem and agency partners, CMOs can drive customer experience, now a proven source of growth in modern organizations.

The report, Rethink the Role of the CMO, states that CX is the new battleground for brands today. The research finds that nearly 87 percent of organizations agree that traditional experiences are no longer enough to satisfy their customers. This changing landscape represents an opportunity for CMOs to grow their roles beyond traditional brand advertising and communications and seize their CX agenda to deliver business success. CX is a proven catalyst to businesses’ bottom line as previous Forrester research found that one-point increases in CX scores can translate into approximately $10M’s—$100M’s in annual revenue.

“Each time the CEO creates a new c-suite title it’s often code for the fact that he or she feels that nobody is successfully driving the customer experience agenda,” said Glen Hartman, head of Accenture Interactive, North America, in a news release. “We believe that by thinking like a CMO Collaborator, CMOs can fulfill their potential and seize the CX agenda to drive top-line growth for organizations. By adopting this mindset, CMOs can be the ones who are the voice of the customer and can align their organization, their agency partners and their technology partners to focus on delivering the best experiences on the planet for their customers.”

How CMO Collaborators fill the gap in the C-suite to drive CX and growth

The new research finds that up to 88 percent of organizations agree that the CMO’s remit has changed in the last two years, and they also agree that it will likely continue to change over the next two years. To drive superior CX requires a new mindset where the CMO starts to think and act like and embrace the hybrid role of CMO Collaborator.

According to the report, “The CMO Collaborator must now step up and govern how customer experiences are shaped and delivered organization wide. To deliver world-class experiences a requirement of unparalleled collaboration is needed across the organization and the CMO is seen as the connective tissue between different lines of business by 90 percent of organizations.”

How CMO Collaborators fill the gap in the C-suite to drive CX and growth

CMO Collaborators vs. Traditional Marketers

CMO Collaborators are defined in the study as individuals who encourage their teams to work across the company, departments and locations, and who instill a new culture that fosters collaboration across the lines of business. When compared to traditional marketers, collaboration leaders are set apart by bringing together internal teams as well as outside partners to collaborate. They allow the entire organization to align on the brand vision and align their CX strategy to achieve their vision. The research states:

  • Ninety-five percent of collaboration leaders agree their customer experiences surpass their competitors compared to only 68 percent of traditional marketers
  • Collaboration leaders are two times more likely to collaborate across the C-suite than traditional marketers
  • Ninety percent of organizations with collaboration leaders are ready to execute customer experience strategy
  • Traditional marketers are more than twice as likely as collaboration leaders to struggle with a lack of top-down support from the CEO

Experience Builds Brands

In today’s digitally connected world, there are more opportunities than ever for the brand experience to fall apart. And only 36 percent of marketers said their brands have a well-defined experience vision—that’s why only 15 percent of consumers rate customer experience as “good” and zero as “excellent,” according to Forrester. Additionally, the research finds:

  • Ninety-five percent of collaboration leaders agree their entire company is aligned around a shared customer experiences, compared to only 68 percent of traditional marketers
  • Eighty-one percent of collaboration leaders have an insight-based, empathetic relationship with customers, compared to only 53 percent of traditional marketers
  • Ninety-six percent of collaboration leaders agree their organization meets their customers’ expectations compared to 77 percent of traditional marketers
  • Sixty-nine percent of organizations with collaboration leaders benefit from freedom of creativity and flow of ideas that achieves a ‘wow’ factor in their customer experiences

How CMO Collaborators fill the gap in the C-suite to drive CX and growth

Workforce, Technology and Agency Partners Need to Collaborate

Marketing relies heavily on technology to deliver contextual, relevant and personalized CX. Today, 50 percent of marketing technology purchasing decisions are happening outside of the marketing department. CMOs must have a key voice in decision making for adopting tools that affect multiple channels, business units and regions.

Additionally, almost 52 percent of organizations agree that their CMO demands collaboration between the agency partners and their teams. The report states that forward-thinking CMO Collaborators know that partnerships can help them stay ahead of the competition. Eighty-three percent of collaboration leaders are expanding or have implemented this strategy compared to 60 percent of traditional marketers. In fact, 91 percent of collaboration leaders see external/third-party partners as a critical part of their customer experience strategy.

Accenture Interactive is helping some of the world’s leading brands break down organizational silos and drive change through world-class customer experiences, including Subway and New York Life.

Access the full report here.

In this study, Forrester conducted in-depth phone interviews with ten senior level marketing decision makers and conducted an online survey of 250 senior level marketing decision makers from a range of industries in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia to evaluate the current and future role of the CMO in building and delivering customer experiences and the need for organization-wide collaboration to meet customer needs. The study began in July 2018 and was completed in August 2018.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter