When rebrands go wrong

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70% of CEOs have lost trust in marketers

The majority (70 per cent) of CEOs have lost trust in marketers’ ability to deliver growth after becoming frustrated by what they see as an inability to prove ROI on campaigns, according to a new report.

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More than a third (69%) of CEOs say they have stopped enforcing key business objectives and indicators on marketers because they have “continuously failed” to prove marketing strategies and campaigns delivered business growth.

The report says that many CEOs have marketing departments “purely out of tradition” and have “made the conscious decision not to expect more from marketing than branding, look/feel good ads and promotions”.

CEOs feel marketers “live too much in the brand, creative and social media bubble”. They would like marketers to be more ROI focused and able to account for very pound spent and measure its positive impact on P&L.

Just 20 per cent of CEOs consider their top marketers to be ROI marketers but those that do believe they have a “solid influence” within the organisation and could go on to senior management.

The report by Fournaise Marketing Group is a follow up to a previous report earlier this summer which identified that 73 per cent of CEOs believe marketers lack credibility because they cannot prove the business impact of marketing.

However, of these CEOs, 70 per cent admit that their own lack of trust and attitude is to blame for the poor reputation of marketers.

Jerome Fontaine, Fournaise’s global CEO and chief tracker, says: “Whether we like it or not, what CEOs are telling us is clear cut: they don’t trust traditional marketers, they don’t expect much from them. CEOs have to deliver shareholder value. Period. So they want no-nonsense ROI Marketers, they want business performance, they want results.

“At the end of the day, Marketers have to stop whining about being misunderstood by CEOs, and have to start remembering that their job is to generate customer demand and to deliver performance. This is business. When is the last time you heard CFOs whine about being misunderstood by CEOs?”

The findings are part of the Fournaise 2012 Global Marketing Effectiveness Program, which has interviewed more than 1,200 CEOs across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Readers' comments (68)

  • In my experience Marketers are aware of their responsibility in illustrating ROI and converting more visitor’s thus generating revenue is the basis on many campaigns.

    Using real time data and software that allows Marketers to see exactly where visitors have come from and what actions are required to drive prospects through the sales process is a very definite way of proving ROI.

    This type of approach illustrates the creative response that technology has been able to deliver as a result of Marketers requiring evidence of their campaigns and goes along way to showcasing the demand that Marketers themselves place on the value of ROI.

    Delivering growth and proof of how it was achieved is not simply a concern of CEO’s and understanding the nature of what drives prospects to purchase allows better decision making from the top down and that’s exactly what Marketers aim to achieve.

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  • This article certainly made me squirm, I guess the simple consideration for CEOs is that the ROI of £nothing is... guess what... £nothing. Marketing is an investment, but it should be our job to set measurable and realistic KPIs for any campaign. This way CEO's expectations can be appropriately set.

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  • in my experience the majority of Marketers are aware of their responsibility in illustrating ROI and converting more visitor’s thus generating revenue is the basis of many campaigns.

    Using real time data and software that allows Marketers to see exactly where visitors have come from and what actions are required to drive prospects through the sales process is a very definite way of proving ROI.

    This type of approach illustrates the creative response that technology has been able to deliver as a result of Marketers requiring evidence of their campaigns and goes along way to showcasing the demand that Marketers themselves place on the value of ROI.

    Delivering growth and proof of how it was achieved is not simply a concern of CEO’s and understanding the nature of what drives prospects to purchase allows better decision making from the top down and that’s exactly what Marketers aim to achieve.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Are there really that many marketers out there still running their channels without looking at the data and optimizing on the fly? Or is this just proof that 70% of all CEOs are aloof and clueless?

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  • Businesses (CEOs and Marketers) need to wake up to the fact that they need analysts in marketing (and I don't mean a report junkie, actionable insights is what's required) and someone responsible for conversion and optimisation.
    There's a big wake up call coming for anyone who thinks they can continue to live on brand metrics alone. All businesses are about sales and now that we can measure marketing spend and resulting actions more easily there's no hiding. Marketers should learn basic analysis then use analyst and optimisation skills to convert.
    Once they do this effectively marketers will find their best friend is the CFO...who has the ear of the CEO. Bingo, that's how you get more budget to grow the business...and your team.
    Of course there's more too it than just two new hires, but I'd say those two are key, especially when talking to your agency about your next campaign...and how that integrates with your internal and partners insight data!

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  • Lets first define ROI. And lets do it from the lens of the CEO and what keeps her/him up at night. Its about the KPIS that matter most to them - such as revenue, revenue growth, margin, EBITA, etc. Then we, as marketers, need to demonstrate the incremental return frommarketing "I" contributes to the overall enterprise KPIs, as outlined above. Absent of having the language of the boardroom, which is quantitative, we end up in the boiler room.

    Last time I checked, no CEO wakes up in the middle of the night and say, " I need more likes, re-tweets, higher sentiment, more open rates, or even more MQLs"

    Marketing-driven revenue to the business is the thread that leads to a meaningful conversation. And I suggest we stay away from campaign ROI langauge.

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  • Maybe the CEOs needs to focus more on product. Delivering ads is only one piece of a large pie!!!

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  • Very interesting indeed. One of things that hurts CEO's is that Marketing is not treated as a discipline. Most managers believe they are marketers when in fact they are Monday morning quarterbacks.

    Put together a solid marketing program with measurable ROI and a plan and you often get. "Sounds good.... What can we do for half the cost?...... Or. I can do that myself". Then businesses wonder why leads aren't generated?

    As a seasoned marketing and sales ops manager, when leaders stay in their lanes of expertise and are "all in"on agreed strategy then
    Businesses can succeed. Ride the tsunami together or down in the undertow of poor teamwork.

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  • That is why we need marketing metrics for estimating ROI of Marketing. Also, most of CEOs tend to see marketing costs as just costs instead of seeing it as an investment.

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  • And.. What about incompeten CEOs focused in non confessable objetives? What happens to all of those that do not decide based in marketeer's reports? In my experience. I have seen many
    many of CEOs looking for some one to guilt because of its own ineficacy.

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