CMOs: Time for digital transformation or risk being left on the sidelines

Lindsay Liu

The lines between service and marketing have been dissolving as the customer experience drives brand engagement and messaging becomes bi-directional with customers. Building longer-lasting customer relationships, designing and delivering branded customer experiences, and making use of multiple channels – including digital – are all responsibilities of today’s CMO. In fact, according to Accenture’s latest global survey, 78% of marketing executives believe corporate marketing will undergo a fundamental transformation over the next five years due to the use of analytics, digital, and mobile technologies. At the same time, a similar number of respondents (79%) believe their company will not be a fully operationalized digital business in the same amount of time. Accenture Interactive’s new report, CMOs: Time for Digital Transformation or Risk Being Left on the Sidelines, stresses the importance for CMOs of fully embracing the digital opportunity to become the catalysts to help companies compete and grow into  digital business. Integrating digital into the company, including real-time analytics, investment in agile technologies and cloud-based services, and building a culture of digital literacy are all components that boost the customer experience. Now, more than ever, collaboration between groups and a focus on the customer are imperative for companies to remain relevant. The report suggests that CMOs should step up to own the customer experience in a number of ways.

  • Increase collaboration with the C-suite, including chief digital officers and chief information officers.
  • Reverse engineer corporate marketing initiatives around desired outcomes rather than focus on sales transactions.
  • Empathize with customers by changing the focus of marketing from something you “do to” a customer to something you “do with” a customer. Don’t build marketing programs based on initiatives that target, capture and convert customers, focus instead on efforts that influence, engage, stimulate and help customers.
  • Remember that the customer is not a transaction but an ongoing dialogue, a continuous engagement. It is a relationship that covers the whole spectrum of sales, service, retention and loyalty.

As the role of marketing shifts beyond traditional boundaries, how can CMOs position their organizations for success? How can companies better meet the needs of customers and grow their brands? It’s time for CMOs to take advantage of digital – in marketing but also more widely within their organizations and offerings – in order to deliver customers with consistently delightful experiences. Explore the findings of the report in more detail, including an interactive workbook of survey responses, at

Lindsay Liu

More Stories from Fjord