Identifying a CMO collaborator: Do you have one in your company?

CMOs have the opportunity to expand their remit by taking on the role of CMO collaborator, introducing new levels of collaboration across the C-suite, technology ecosystem and agency partners. Through this, CMOs can drive customer experience (CX), according to a Forrester Consulting thought leadership paper titled "Rethink the role of the CMO" commissioned by Accenture Interactive.

The report defines CMO collaborators as individuals who encourage their teams to work across the company, departments and locations. Compared to traditional marketers, collaboration leaders bring together internal teams and outside partners to collaborate. They are also two times more likely to collaborate across the C-suite than traditional marketers.

These folks instill a new culture that fosters collaboration across the lines of business.

Majority (88%) of organisations surveyed agreed that the CMO's remit has changed in the last two years, and they agreed that it will potentially change over the next two years.

To drive "superior CX", CMOs are required to think and act like, as well as embrace the hybrid role of the CMO collaborator.

The report said that the CMO collaborator must step up and oversee how CX is shaped and delivered throughout the company.

This is largely because the CMO is seen as the connective tissue between different lines of business by 90% of organisations. Moreover, the new economy required for "unparalleled collaboration" across the company to deliver better CX.

CX: The new battleground

The report described CX to be the "new battleground" for brands today, with 87% of organisations agreeing that traditional experience are no longer enough to satisfy consumers. As such, CMOs are presented with an opportunity to grow their roles beyond the traditional brand advertising and communications, and seize their CX agenda to deliver business success. Also, 90% of organisations with collaboration leaders are ready to execute CX strategy, the report said.

Most of (95%) collaboration leaders agree their customer experiences surpass their competitors compared to only 68 percent of traditional marketers. Meanwhile, traditional marketers are more than twice as likely as collaboration leaders to struggle with a lack of top-down support from CEOs.

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Importance of collaborating with agency partners

The report noted that 50% of marketing technology purchasing decisions occur outside of the marketing department. As such, it is crucial for CMOs to have a key voice in decision making for adopting tools that affect multiple channels, business units and regions.

Also, nearly 52% of organisations stated that their CMOs demand collaboration between agency partners and their teams. According to the report, "forward thinking CMO collaborators" understand that partnerships can help them stay ahead of the competition. About 83% of collaboration leaders are expanding or have implemented this strategy compared to 60% of traditional marketers.

91% of collaboration leaders see external/third-party partners as a crucial part of their CX strategy.

Glen Hartman, head of Accenture Interactive, North America, said 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.

“We believe that by thinking like a CMO collaborator, CMOs can fulfil their potential and seize the CX agenda to drive top-line growth for organisations. By adopting this mindset, CMOs can be the ones who are the voice of the customer and can align their organisation, their agency partners and their technology partners to focus on delivering the best experiences on the planet for their customers," Hartman added.

The report's data was gathered via an in-depth phone interview with 10 senior level marketing decision makers, and an online survey of 250 senior level marketing decision makers from a range of industries in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and Australia. This was to evaluate the current and future role of the CMO in building and delivering CX and the need for company-wide collaboration to meet consumer needs. The study ran from July to August 2018.