Consumers now have more choices than ever and businesses are scrambling to adapt.  But what strategies are key to success?  And what technologies are defining this new landscape?  These questions and more are the subject of a new survey released by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The study, The rise of the customer-led economy, sponsored by, surveyed 1300-plus business executives.

Here are two key findings:

1. Customer intimacy is the new imperative for CEOs

The CEO survey respondents who say that “customer intimacy” is their principal value discipline has jumped by 76-percent over the last three years.  And they are looking to the CMO to play a leadership role in that shift. Some 93-percent of CMOs say that their companies have refined marketing strategies to recognize the changing climate. This increased emphasis on customer relationships has given marketing a new significance. The department now has the ear of the CEO, the know-how to leverage digital and social media, and the authority and budget to move things forward.

2. Need for mobile apps recognized, but there is lag in development

The study uncovered a mobile “app gap”:  Fifty-four-percent of senior executives view mobile apps as a “key instrument” for accomplishing a better customer connection, but only half of them have actually deployed such apps (26-percent). Reasons for this lag may include a lack of knowledge within companies on how to create apps that will truly set their products apart. User design could also be an issue. Consumers regularly have amazing experiences with the mobile apps they use day-to-day, and these expectations aren’t lowered when it comes to business apps.

For more information, including additional findings, view the infographic.

Infographic: The Internet of Customers from Salesforce

Download the executive summary or read the complete study at The Rise of the Customer-Led Economy at the button below.