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How CMOs can establish a growth machinery


In our CMO survey where 1 600 marketing executives participated, we found that over three-quarters of CMOs (76%) are responsible for business growth (i.e., contributing to revenue or profit) – either directly or as a shared responsibility. Marketing capabilities are also being moved in-house to a greater extent to ensure access to capabilities and talent. In retail, 53% of marketers anticipate bringing the work done by marketing agencies in-house. But marketers struggle with their growth responsibility – only 48% of marketers are able to decide the “next best course of action” on content and marketing actions based on data and collected insights.

Having multiple customer touchpoints creates challenges for marketers to get a single view of the customer. But the more we know and can predict about the customer, such as psychographics, intentions, behaviors and preferences, the better we can respond with an appropriate and personal approach in real time. Qualitative data is a hygiene factor to accelerate growth and high-volumes. According to our CMO survey, 54% of data-driven real-time marketing campaigns often deliver higher benefits than expected. Marketers who are not data-driven struggle with unlocking these benefits.

The most common reasons why marketers fail with their growth initiatives are

  • The lack of a growth team setup that effectively intertwines workflows on executive levels across analytics, strategy, marketing, sales and IT
  • The lack of clear, defined and narrow targets (OKRs and KPIs) for each focus stream, pilot or initiative
  • Not tailoring the specific algorithm or project design to a level where it is narrow, unique and bespoke enough to fit the specific business objectives aimed to be solved
  • The lack of an optimized, rapid testing environment where ideation, prioritization and experimentation quickly turns into either sharp learnings or scale-up initiatives

To truly accelerate growth, we at Capgemini Invent believe that to build growth capabilities, firms must take on their ambitions in a more structured and scientific way. This includes combining in-house capabilities, doing live experiments and testing the approach here and now. We call this approach the growth machinery.

Our approach – The growth machinery

Our approach to growth is a scientific and creative way of combining cross-functional competences with the agile development of new ideas – de-risking innovation and enabling shorter time to market and accelerating scaling. We call our approach the growth machinery.

To build growth capabilities we use a structured process that enables continuous learning and allows for rapid scale-up

  • Setting the direction: Find key growth levers and set defined and clinical goals and hypotheses based out of qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Experimenting: AI and analytics exploration and modelling turns into rapid testing mode where business strategy can be enhanced and ultimately overall impact can be made.

Access to real-time customer insights enabled by flexible data store layer

  • With the right structure in place, finding the right growth levers and identifying the most relevant goals are results of in-depth data exploration
  • The execution takes form in a controlled experiment manner before entering into either a learning categorization, or in any of the available scale-up categories “quick wins”, “midterm operational improvements” or “long-term strategic advantage” – all with an established growth case potential attached to it.

The team set up is cross-functional & value-driven – designed to decrease time to impact

  • As important as the other parts of our growth machinery, the agile growth team setup is made out of execution-focused, hyper-skilled professionals who works in an iterative way to combine and leverage strategy, analytics, machine learning & AI, project management and communication.

Recommendation for the modern CMO

The issue for the growth responsible today is not the quantity or the quality of data available. It’s also not the lack of ideas, nor the support from other executives or the CEO. The challenge lies in establishing an efficient, innovative and impact-focused growth machinery by setting up the right infrastructure, business objectives, iterative machinery & testing environment and the optimal agile team focusing on execution. Data-driven marketers and CMOs that utilize this approach have positioned themselves strongly to create both quick, defined business uplift as well as long-term strategy enhancements while generating invaluable learnings along the way.



Frida Cedergardh

Brand and Content
Capgemini Invent Sweden & Finland