Brands will be aware of the importance of great customer experience (CX), but how best to deliver it has eluded some, which is why a new report that recommends an enhanced role for CMOs to drive up CX standards could provide the answers.

Consultancy firm Accenture Interactive commissioned the study, entitled Rethink the Role of the CMO, which states that CX is the new battleground for brands today.

It is based on responses from 250 senior marketing decision-makers in the US, UK, Canada, Germany and Australia, who Forrester Consulting surveyed between July and August 2018, in addition to in-depth phone interviews with ten top executives.

When asked to evaluate the current and future role of the CMO in building and delivering customer experiences, 87% agreed that traditional experiences are no longer enough.

And there was widespread acceptance that collaboration across multiple parts of the business – including the C-suite, technology and agency partners – was essential.

With that in mind, Accenture made a key recommendation that CMOs should expand their remit beyond traditional advertising and communications by assuming the role of “CMO Collaborator”.

“The CMO Collaborator must now step up and govern how customer experiences are shaped and delivered organisation-wide,” the report said.

“To deliver world-class experiences a requirement of unparalleled collaboration is needed across the organisation and the CMO is seen as the connective tissue between different lines of business by 90% of organisations.”

Accenture defined CMO Collaborators as individuals who “encourage their teams to work across the company, departments and locations, and who instil a new culture that fosters collaboration across the lines of business”.

Their worth appeared to be confirmed with the survey finding that 95% of collaboration leaders agreed their customer experiences surpassed their competitors compared to only 68% of traditional marketers.

In addition, traditional marketers were found to be more than twice as likely as collaboration leaders to struggle with a lack of top-down support from the CEO.

And importantly, 96% of collaboration leaders agreed their organisation met their customers’ expectations compared to 77% of traditional marketers.

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

“We believe that by thinking like a CMO Collaborator, CMOs can fulfil their potential and seize the CX agenda to drive top-line growth.”

Sourced from Accenture Interactive, Forrester Consulting; additional content by WARC staff