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Accenture: Innovative chief marketing officers driving success

Businesses that prioritize customer experience generate 11% higher shareholder returns.

That’s according to a new study from Accenture, which found that a small number of innovative chief marketing officers are helping their organizations generate shareholder returns 11% higher than those of their industry peers by delivering hyper-relevant customer experiences.

Based on a survey of nearly 1,000 CMOs and more than 500 CEOs, the report, Way Beyond Marketing – The Rise of The Hyper-Relevant CMO, found that these marketing leaders — the top 17% — are driving transformational change at the highest levels of their organizations, helping them respond quickly to changing customer needs by rewiring their companies to enable better integration and collaboration and deliver superior customer experiences.

“These marketing leaders are finding creative ways to reinvent the customer experience, which is setting them apart from competitors,” said John Zealley, who leads Accenture’s customer insight & growth practice. “They are challenging the status quo of traditional organizational structures, taking the reins of innovation and disruptive growth and unlocking value through new C-suite collaborations. Their actions are enabling organizations to become what we call ‘living businesses’ — able to constantly anticipate and respond to changing customer needs at speed and deliver significant business value.”

Ninety percent of the surveyed CEOs and CMOs agree that the marketing function will change fundamentally over the next three years. The report noted that leading CMOs are ahead of the curve, thinking entirely differently about the kind of roles and skills their teams will need to be successful in the future — with immersive experience designers, storytellers, growth hackers and futurologists topping their list.

In other findings from the report:

• Three-quarters (76%) of CMOs believe that consumers have higher expectations today of a brand’s purpose. CEOs agree, with 70% saying that companies that stand for a bigger purpose achieve higher levels of commercial success.

• Nearly one-third (31%) of the CEOs surveyed expect CMOs to drive growth using customer data and insights to create new products, services and experiences. The study found that innovative CMOs (the top 17%) actively partner with others in the C-suite to create customer-obsessed organizational cultures.
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