Only six in ten senior business leaders view their companies as customer-centric, and just over half (56%) report a clear understanding of customers' tastes and needs, according to a recent report from The Economist Intelligence Unit and SAS.

The report, which was based on a survey of 389 global marketing and nonmarketing executives conducted last year, also highlights a disconnect among leaders regarding whose responsibility it is to make understanding and interacting with the customer their top priority.

Nearly one-quarter of chief marketing officers (CMOs) surveyed want a chief customer officer to take responsibility for being the voice of the customer, whereas another quarter see the task as their own. Currently, the CMO is considered the voice of the customer at just 18% of organizations, trailing the head of sales (31%).

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji