A report from Accenture is a must-read for CMOs. It might make you re-think your answer to a simple question: “What business are you in?”

In its “Accenture Technology Vision 2013” report, Accenture finds that “because technology has become core to virtually every aspect of a business, every business is a digital business.” (I added the emphasis.) Therefore, according to Accenture, senior leaders need to “hit the reset button on how they use technology to drive market differentiation, deepen customer relationships, and deliver growth and profitability.”

Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology officer, concludes that leaders of today’s businesses should “re-imagine themselves in the context of an increasingly software-driven world.”

The implications of Accenture’s report for marketing executives are huge.   For example, Accenture notes, mobile devices and social networks increase connectivity with buyers – but there’s a risk of losing customer intimacy in the process if we put too much emphasis on technology as a transactional channel.

I can’t resist connecting some of the dots between Accenture’s report and what I’m seeing in the world of managing marketing events.   Here are some nuggets from Accenture– and my interpretations for CMOs:

Lessons from Accenture: My two cents:
“What’s needed is a strategy that sees data more as a supply chain than a warehouse.”  Ask questions that need to be answered, then capture relevant data to get answers. Ask questions about event goals, such as:  What’s the revenue expected from every event?  What’s the ROI you’re getting on your marketing event portfolio?  Then, start capturing data for benchmarking and continuous measurement of performance.
“A surge of new technologies is accelerating the entire data cycle from insight to action.” That magnifies the importance of analytical skills. Right on! Let’s use real-time insights from marketing events to engage the sales force earlier and shorten the sales cycle.
“In a truly digital business, data is your strategic asset.” Chances are you already have relevant data at hand—you just need the tools, processes, and management buy-in to extract its value.

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