CMO Now: The beating heart of an agile, future-facing business

In the age of big bang disruption and data driven services, the role of the CMO (chief marketing officer) reaches far beyond typical advertising to traditional customers.

Rapid advances in technologies coupled with customers' changing expectations have given rise to a new landscape where acquiring new customers and driving growth is harder to reach with old-school more-is-more approaches.

Once upon a time, business could rely on big campaigns, more stores and loyalty schemes to gain and retain customers — but in a digital world, that seems an almost archaic approach to growth. One glance at Amazon's continued break-neck figures when held up against those of a traditional retailer is all you need to realize the old jig is up.

"""The pace of change will never be slower than it is today." - Matthew Bishop, Innovation Forum

While all smart businesses know working in silos will kill you dead, are companies really doing enough to harness in-house expertise with true cross-departmental collaboration? The kind of dynamic collaboration that allows its teams to be hyper-relevant and able to quickly react to developing customer needs?

If the customer wants something faster, smaller, downloadable, printable, imported, bespoke, or on subscription – the new CMO cannot meet that request without all departments being willing and able to shift their product or service on-demand.

The new CMO needs a new approach. One that is alive with possibility, truly collaborative, agile and risk-taking.

The CMO landscape
Three-quarters of CMOs say they have a great deal of control over disruptive growth levers.
Which is great, as more than a third of CEOs consider the CMO as the first in the firing line if growth targets are not met.
While disruption is the buzzword, sixty percent of CMOs still spend most of their time on traditional marketing plans, such as maintaining brand image and customer loyalty.

The Accenture Strategy report, ‘The C-level Disruptive Growth Opportunity’

Drive growth as a continuously evolving business

This cutting-edge series will break down the issues, and offer a practical framework for CMOs to help reinvigorate their business from within, enabling a closer, constantly evolving customer experience. We'll talk to global thought-leaders who share their expertise on how to build a responsive organization to meet fluid consumer expectations and we'll take a closer look at how some of the world's leading CMOs tackle — and overcome — the challenges of this new landscape.

The power of more than one

In part one we'll talk about how to harness the power that sits within your entire organization. The new CMO needs to work with the engineers, designers, finance, HR and sales and most importantly, ensure that these departments work collectively in the gathering and analysis of data from across all teams.

This approach must be deeply rooted within a new interconnected structure. And most of all — it must work towards the same purpose.

Plugging the knowledge gap

Understanding why a customer might choose one brand over another is critical to success. In part two we'll break down what it means to deliver a hyper-relevant experience that is engaging, intelligently personalized, consistent, credible, and generous.

To get there, businesses need to move quickly and work intelligently. They must identify issues, quickly resolve them or, even better, anticipate problems before they arise. Because today, customers have plenty of public ways to let you know if you got it wrong. But with such anticipation, customer experiences will be better and you'll hear more of their positive feedback being aired.

One fiercely worded review on Facebook can have a ripple effect that could have a devastating impact.

"Companies need to focus relentlessly on propositions that anticipate and respond to fast-changing customers' needs. These rely on a dynamic understanding of customers' contexts. It relies on products and services that get continually re-designed, and on developing transformative experiences that reshape their customers' way of life." -  Accenture 2018

Drowning in martech

There are more than 5,400 MarTech (marketing technology) products available as of end of 2017. Add this to the digital giants like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, plus the new and ever-evolving world of VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) and you're left with overwhelming choice.

Digging up what's useful and discarding what is not can be time consuming and it's never predictable how a technology or a hot new platform will evolve. In part three we'll look at the tools you can use to navigate the space, from working with, or learning from peers to digital rehab: how to disengage from a dead space.

"""Don't become an expert in a different discipline; become an expert in surrounding yourself with dedicated experts. A strong, multi-skilled team is agile in process and innovation adoption." -  Glen Hartman, Accenture

Building 'a team for all seasons'

Finally, in part four, we reveal the essential skills of an effective modern marketing team – and how to ensure the team optimizes its range and skillset. Having a focused and nimble customer-centric model helps make the most of each opportunity. The right team can develop processes that allow the business to drive growth more effectively than before.

The new CMO's mission is to cultivate a new mind-set where collaboration is second nature. By combining the testimonies of expert marketers with best practice advice from Accenture Interactive, this series enables CMOs and marketing teams to transform the way they work and build a customer-relevant business.

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 442,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at

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