BLURRING BOUNDARIES: HOW ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE
BLENDS AGENCY AND CONSULTING WORK
In recent years, Anatoly Roytman, managing director
of Accenture Interactive Europe, Africa, Middle East,
Latin America, has seen the CMO role evolve rapidly. As
marketing chiefs take on greater responsibility for the
customer experience, they need to blend their function’s
traditional creative expertise with newfound analytical
rigor. Consulting firms are conducting their own blending
act, combining advertising expertise with traditional
consulting expertise, to meet the rapidly expanding needs
of CMO clients. Here, Roytman discusses marketing’s
current transformation and the challenges and consulting
opportunities generated by this change.
CONSULTING: How have you seen the marketing
function and the CMO role evolve in the past two-three years?
ROYTMAN: The past three years have accelerated the
evolution of marketing – beyond delivering advertising
and creative campaigns to being responsible for the end-to-end customer experience and the associated digital
transformation of the enterprise. CMOs today are expected
to be much more accountable than they were in the past
and deliver return on marketing spend, whether by achieving
more with the same or less, increasing the number of new
customers, or increasing wallet share and engagement.
They also need to be a lot more tech-savvy as marketing
technology and advertising technology now play a pivotal
part in reaching the right customer with the right offer at the
right time and providing delightful and engaging experiences.
CONSULTING: What are some common challenges
ROYTMAN: A huge challenge is keeping up with the lightning
pace at which customer expectations shift and evolve. In a
recent study, we found that just seven percent of companies
in the U.S. and Europe actually exceed their customers’
expectations. These expectations are changing faster
than ever and what people learn to love in one industry
increasingly defines what they expect in other areas as well.
We call this development ‘liquid expectations.’
CONSULTING: What types of assistance are CMOs and
marketing functions requesting from their consulting partners?
ROYTMAN: Most requests boil down to helping companies
connect with their target audiences and delight them
in order to improve conversion and increase loyalty. We
help our clients get there in many ways, many of which go
beyond what traditional agencies can deliver. For example,
linking and aligning the advertising experiences to all the
other customer touch points. Overall, clients are looking to
help them with experience design, digital and traditional
marketing strategy and execution, personalization, content
and digital commerce capabilities, because all of these are
necessary to provide superior customer experiences.
CONSULTING:Can you share an example of a recent
ROYTMAN: We have worked with a top automotive company,
managing their entire marketing function, from brand
awareness to conversion and loyalty. It’s a project where the
boundaries between agencies and consultancies are blurred
and it’s really a template for how marketing will be done in
the future. Clients require true innovation partners who can
bring together creativity, technology and business acumen as
well as share risks with them.
CONSULTING: How has your practice evolved to
better address the needs of marketing services clients?
ROYTMAN: We have combined the creative and
entrepreneurial spirit often associated with agencies
with the scale of Accenture’s industry expertise and
industrialized technology capabilities. We have expanded
our services with a number of strategic acquisitions, such
as Fjord, which is one of the best service design agencies,
and we continue to hire top agency talent. As a result, we
are now the largest digital agency, according to the Ad Age
2016 Agency Ranking, and also the fastest growing.
CONSULTING: What are some ways you expect
marketing functions and your services to evolve over the
next two-three years?
ROYTMAN: Just look at the top automotive company I
previously mentioned where we manage the entire marketing
function, or at a large international hotel chain where we are
responsible for the end-to-end customer journey. This is the
future of marketing—clients are looking beyond campaigns
or projects. They want a partner who takes responsibility for
outcomes. Our services will further evolve to support and be
accountable for end-to-end customer experiences. —E.K.