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Chief marketing officers (CMOs) are now not only in charge of the desired perception of the organization (branding) but also the actual perception (experience), notes Accenture in a commissioned study [PDF] conducted by Forrester Consulting. The report finds that new elements are becoming key to the CMO role, including making interactions more human and fostering customer engagement across the entire customer life cycle.

In this changing environment – 88% agree that the CMO’s remit has changed in the past 2 years – customer experience leaders need to create solid internal collaborations, particularly as “every department from marketing to finance touches experience in some way.” For CMOs, this is vital as they have ownership of the customer experience (CX), but not necessarily the CX technology, and 90% view CMOs as the “connective tissue between different lines of business.”

To find out how executives across departments are collaborating to create or deliver customer experiences, Forrester Consulting surveyed 250 respondents at the Director level and above who are responsible for their organization’s customer experience strategy.

The results indicate that majorities are “always” collaborating with a range of teams, from customer service (81%) to marketing (71%), product development (65%), sales (65%) and technology/information management (54%).

However, there does seem to be some room for further internal partnerships. Only half always collaborate with human resources, for example, despite employees being a crucial component of the customer experience. Even fewer always work with commerce (42%) to create and deliver customer experiences.

Moreover, some would like to work with groups but are unable to do so due to silos or other internal barriers. These hindrances are most acutely felt for experience decision-makers wishing to work with agencies, sales, commerce and customer service. The appearance of commerce on that list, coupled with commerce being one of the teams that fewer CX leaders collaborate with, suggests that online business is one area where internal collaboration with CX leaders can be improved.

Meanwhile, the study divided respondents up into two groups: collaboration leaders; and traditional marketers. Collaboration leaders were determined as a result of the following characteristics: encouraging their teams to work across the company, departments, and locations; having agile, cross-functional teams; and instilling a new culture that fosters collaboration across the lines of business.

Not surprisingly, collaboration leaders were more likely than traditional marketers to agree that their entire company is aligned around shared customer experiences. They were also more apt to say they’re engaging employees to submit suggestions that improve CX strategies, and to be aligning cross-functional teams to work enterprise-wide. Likely as a result, they reported far less hindrances to collaboration due to internal silos, and were much more likely to be always collaborating with a range of teams to create and deliver experiences.

The full report is available to view as a PDF here.

About the Data: The results are based on a Forrester Consulting survey of 250 senior-level marketing decision-makers from a range of industries in the US, Canada, UK, Germany and Australia. Respondents were responsible for their organization’s customer experience strategy, and 8 in 10 were from companies with at least 1,000 employees.

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