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CMOs: Digitally transform your businesses or risk being left on the margins

Zafar Anjum | July 14, 2014
67% percent of APAC senior marketing executives expect digital technologies to drive a transformation of corporate marketing over the next five years, Accenture survey finds

More than three quarters (76 percent) of senior marketing executives in Asia Pacific (APAC) believe corporate marketing will undergo a fundamental transformation over the next five years due to the use of analytics, digital and mobile technologies.  However, only 23 percent of the surveyed executives believe their company will be known as a digital business in five years.

These figures were revealed by IT services firm Accenture, based on the company's report, CMOs: Time for Digital Transformation or Risk Being Left on the Sidelines.

The report indicates that senior marketing executives are chasing the digital vision as more than one third (39 percent) of the APAC executives surveyed expect digital spending to account for more than 75 percent of their marketing budgets within five years. 

Forty-two percent also believe their spending on digital marketing will increase by more than five percent next year alone. 

This is a key finding from the new report based on survey responses of nearly 600 executives in 11 countries, including more than 180 in Asia Pacific, conducted between November 2013 and January 2014, Accenture said in a statement.

"As senior marketing executives are increasingly embracing digital they can be catalysts to help their company take advantage of the wider digital opportunities," said Patricio De Matteis, managing director of Accenture Interactive for Asia Pacific. "Senior marketing executives are well positioned to assume this role because the opportunities, as well as the potential lie in the customer, the brand, the interface with the customer and how the customer is empowered.  The power of customer experience should not be underestimated. To be part of their enterprise's digital transformation, senior marketing executives should extend their vision of marketing beyond traditional boundaries."

Build long-lasting customer relationships

The report says that companies will have to improve their ability to build long-lasting customer relationships, design and deliver branded customer experiences, and make use of multiple channels, including an increased leverage of digital channels.

The report recommends several broad concepts that businesses should consider as they work toward achieving that goal:

  1. Increase collaboration with the C-suite, including chief digital officers and chief information officers.
  2. Reverse engineer corporate marketing initiatives around desired outcomes rather than focus on sales transactions.
  3. Empathise with customers by changing the focus of marketing from something you "do to" a customer to something you "do with" a customer.
  4. Remember that the customer is not a transaction but an ongoing dialogue, a continuous engagement. It is a relationship that covers the whole spectrum of sales, service, retention and loyalty.


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