As more businesses become digital businesses, the budgets behind their transitions are following suit.
According to a new Accenture Interactive study, CMOs predict digital will account for more than 75 percent of their marketing budgets over the next five years. That’s no surprise since the proliferation of technology is driving a lot of change in the marketing ecosystem.
But the path to digital involves more than just allocating additional dollars to digital channels. It requires a transformation, and, currently, the position to lead this change is up for grabs. Accenture’s study found only 1 percent of surveyed C-suite executives believe CMOs are responsible for digital innovation in their organizations. Further, 79 percent of respondents do not believe their companies will be prepared for this digital shift.
The results of Accenture’s study are based on the responses of 581 senior marketers across 11 countries and 12 industries, including auto, banking, CPG, electronics, insurance, life sciences, media, retail, telecom, and travel/tourism.
“The first step to a digital transformation is to put the customer and customer experience at the center of all you do, and then operationalize around that,” said Glen Hartman, global managing director of digital transformation for Accenture Interactive, in an exclusive interview with CMO.com. “By definition, digital business means taking the purview of marketing and expanding that into sales, service, and loyalty, too. The way people interact nowadays, as you know, is no longer defined by a linear funnel.”
The Accenture study listed three “musts” for CMOs looking to lead the digital transformation charge within their organizations. First, CMOs need to increase collaboration with the C-suite, including chief digital officers and chief information officers. Next, they need to reverse-engineer corporate marketing initiatives around desired outcomes rather than focus on sales transactions. Last, CMOs need to build marketing programs that focus on efforts that influence, engage, stimulate, and help customers--not trap them.
According to Hartman, achieving a digital transformation requires a new mind-set for the CMO. CMOs must learn to empathize with consumers, focusing marketing efforts away from “marketing to the consumer” to “marketing with the consumer.”
“Being able to focus on the customer in a new way means looking at new metrics for performance,” Hartman told CMO.com. “It’s about helping organizations build long-lasting relationships and experiences across channels. That’s a big opportunity for the CMO. The CEO has a mandate: He/she needs someone to put all this together. And since marketing is so much more inextricably linked to tech, data, and other enterprise operations, it calls for more collaboration in the C-suite, since all the roles are merging now. CMOs need to bring the other business leaders in and break down silos.”