Four Priorities for a Smoother Ride

The Pressure’s on
As CMOs steer a course through
the rough waters of today’s global
marketplace, one thing is certain:
not enough feel prepared for the ride.
Nearly four in 10 CMOs say they do
not have the right people, tools and
resources to meet their marketing
objectives. Compared to responses
from Accenture’s 2011 study, this
is a five-percentage point drop in
preparedness (Figure 1).
Without a doubt, the pressure’s on. CMOs
face wave after wave of competing business
priorities, changing consumer behaviors
and higher customer expectations. All these
factors contribute to an environment made
more and more complex by:
1. Relentless demands.
In the three years since Accenture began
surveying CMOs in global companies
around the world,1 none of the top business
priorities have declined in importance.
Profitable growth (87%) and operational
efficiency (85%) remain in the top positions,
followed closely by the need for organic
and inorganic growth and the agility to
capture opportunities quickly. So strong is the
pressure for growth and efficiency today that
marketers are being asked to support these
objectives considerably more than they are
being asked to cut marketing budgets (58%).
2. Higher stakes.
Customer issues maintain their dominance.
For the third year in a row, requirements to
acquire and retain customers and increase
sales are the most important. As in previous
years, these customer challenges continue
to increase in difficulty—by five to six
percentage points every year.
Across 15 enablers often used to support
customer centricity and sales, both
importance and difficulty increased in
2012. Among the new strategies on which
marketers were surveyed in 2012, seven out
of 10 CMOs found these to be important:
• Synchronize the end-to-end customer
experience, from marketing to sales
to service.
• Enable agile, timely and relevant marketing.
• Use data and technology for real-time
marketing impact.