NEW YORK: Marketers must expand their remit beyond building brands and serving as “experience orchestrators” as they seek to find new ways to drive business growth, according to a study.

A survey by the CMO Council, the executive network, and Deloitte, the consulting and auditing firm, of more than 190 marketers found that a heightened focus on business drivers will be needed in the future.

“The next evolution of the CMO will be to shift from brand-builder and experience-orchestrator into an executive that directs and drives long-term, sustainable growth by introducing new points of distribution and identifying opportunities for expansion and acquisition,” their analysis said. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: How marketers can adapt to drive future business growth.)

“Few marketers surveyed in this study have currently made this shift, but there are indications that best-practice leaders are looking to these areas for rapid growth and revenue gains.”

Eighty-two percent of contributors named leading “brand development and storytelling” as an area where they enjoyed a leadership role, a total standing at 75% for customer engagement/communications and 65% for media mix modeling.

Their influence was significantly weaker, however, when it came to “identifying robust routes to revenue,” according to the CMO Council/Deloitte research.

Only 25% of the panel spearheaded efforts at advancing distribution channels, falling to 21% for mapping global expansion, 11% for mergers/acquisitions, 8% for in-store operations and 7% for supply-chain optimisation.

When CMOs were asked to identify the activities they anticipated will “initiative or optimize growth”, customer acquisition (68%), targeting (45%) and upselling/cross-selling strategies (44%) led the charts.

“Yet again, marketers seem less inclined to look beyond the immediate customer transaction as only 13% plan to identify new opportunities by focusing on underdeveloped or overlooked markets, and only one in four plans to look to global market expansion as a route to revenue,” the CMO Council and Deloitte observed.

Similarly, marketers placed greater emphasis on indicators like brand valuation and customer acquisition than was the case across the business as a whole.

“Marketers have also lost sight of the long-term impact that customers can make on the business as retention and customer lifetime value fall lower on the impact list,” the study said.

Sourced from WARC