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accenturestrategy-cmos-role-in-innovation-nov2016Virtually all CMOs believe that disruptive growth is at least somewhat behind their company’s overall growth today, and three-quarters feel that they have a great deal of control over the disruptive growth levers in their company, according to a new study from Accenture Strategy.

Based on a global survey of almost 850 CMOs (96% of whom are from companies with at least $1 billion in revenues), the study indicates that CMOs are being tasked with driving disruptive growth at a time when new market entrants are providing stiff competition. Indeed, roughly 8 in 10 CMOs agree not only that new entrants in their industry use customer experience as their key differentiator (82%) but also that these companies typically are better at providing positive customer experiences than traditional industry players (78%).

As such, almost all of the CMOs feel that it’s a priority at least to some extent to defend their business against new types of competitors that have not traditionally been part of their industry.

To do so, CMOs need to be highly involved in innovation. To wit, 78% agree that marketing has a critical role to play in the company’s innovation agenda. And while only 30% strongly agree that they are a leading edge innovator in marketing, another 47% agree with that statement, indicating that there is some confidence in their ability to drive disruptive growth.

Their jobs may depend on it, per a separate survey of CEOs included in the report. CEOs not only tabbed CMOs as the role most responsible for driving disruptive growth (edging out the Chief Strategy Officer), but also pointed to them as the first in the firing line if the company fails to meet its growth targets.

With that in mind, CMOs estimate dedicating more than 37% of their time to innovation. Disruptive growth is a priority, although a majority (60%) continue to spend most of their time on traditional marketing activities such as maintaining brand image, improving customer experience and loyalty.

That may tilt more in favor of innovation, per recent research. In a recent report from Forrester Research, more than 1 in 5 CMOs named innovation the most important area in which to increase their influence. Prior to that, an ANA survey found three-quarters of client-side marketers saying that their role in product innovation is expanding, a significant increase from the prior year.

About the Data: The Accenture Strategy report is based on a global survey of 847 CMOs and 535 CEOs from 12 countries and across 15 industries. The geographic breakdown of respondents was as follows: 30% North America; 41% Europe/Latin America; and 29% Asia-Pacific. The vast majority (96%) of respondents are from companies with at least $1 billion in revenues. Some 28% are from B2C companies, 58% from B2B2C and 14% from B2B companies.

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