Accenture recently polled 1,000 chief financial officers (CFOs) and chief marketing officers (CMOs) and found that most are “holding the reins tightly” when it comes to price competitiveness and increasing costs.
The vast majority (85 percent) of those who participated in the study said they do anticipate growth. But they also reported that continued economic uncertainty is forcing a more disciplined approach, one that focuses on cost management and the prudent use of cash.
- Nearly 90 percent of survey participants said price competitiveness is a primary strategic issue and that they expect to continue to maintain or cut costs and build cash positions further.
- Nearly three out of four CMOs surveyed (71 percent) said pricing is now among their companies’ top three strategic priorities. More than two thirds (71 percent) of the combined group of CMOs and CFOs believe they will have to maintain pricing, or even drop prices, given the current economic environment.
- Virtually all are eyeing additional cost-cutting. Continued pricing pressure, combined with persistent uneasiness among executives about the prospects sustainable global economic growth led 99 percent of survey participants to indicate that their companies would be pursuing some additional level of cost-cutting.
- 70 percent of respondents indicated that their companies have optimal-to-excess cash positions relative to current business demands, and nearly 90 percent have teams in place (some permanent, some temporary) focused on continuing to improve working capital productivity. Roughly one third of the CFO participants indicated the need to continue generating cash to allow for opportunistic investments, increased R&D and/or future operational necessities.
Coupled with this disciplined approach to cost management, the study found that the CFOs and CMOs polled expect major impacts to their growth to result from improved product value, innovation and promotion across their businesses. (more…)