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)

  • As a shareholder, I'd more interested in why 70% of the CEOs allow themselves to have employees that they do not feel contribute to the bottom line. The real message of the article is that only 30% of the CEOs feel like they are running an efficient business, where every resource, human or otherwise, is effectively utilized.

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  • The critical thing is that CEO's enable marketing to measure ROI. Marketing campaigns are only as good as the tools they have to measure them. Cut corners on SFDC marketing integration due to lack of budget, etc. and marketing is hamstrung to produce solid 360 degree metrics.

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  • This echos work we did 10 years ago on marketing department influence in the business. The marketers who have credibility focus on three things. Credible evidence/results, engagement with the business team and use business rather than brand language

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  • And the alternative is?....

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  • This is one example as to why I'm freelance. While I can measure and produce Analytics to my campaigns a strong part of my success is in the ability to keep learning innovative methods, collaborate, and take risks. If I'm buried in a cubicle constantly worried about the "guy upstairs" it kills my ability to produce. But if I have the confidence that if this account doesn't go great I can always learn and move on the next client. It's known confidence fuels success.

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  • Every employee, no matter what department, has the same job, with the same two objectives. 1. Protect the owner's/stockholder's investment. 2. Increase profitability. Marketers are no exception. One thing that has changed is the CEO's. They no longer ask us to provide them with a plan and then allow us to execute it. It seems they determine the plan based on what they think or have heard is good to do in marketing and hitter us to do that. Then when i make a suggestion

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  • Oh my god. Marketing is the company responsible to predict the future. And future as You know, it is not certain. Maybe lehman brothers economists can explain that To this ceos. Please dont confuse incompetence with strategy. And regarding social media, You can avoid it, but you cant deny the the giant trend. Lots of ceos didnt still realize what's brand engagement value On long term

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  • I need to add that Sales Departments need to be more engaged with Marketing Departments. Being more engaged in all the campaigns together can make a positive difference in the bottom lines.

    This also helps the company culture...

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  • 70% of CEOs don't know the difference between "marketing" and "marcom", the former being ROI and the latter about producing brochures and Powerpoint presentations. Marcom is really sales support. The difference is right in the article:

    "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."

    It's not hard to tell the difference. In the US, Marcom people like snappy clothes, doing lunch, and spending a lot of time with graphic designers. Marketing guys might put on a tie to go with a sport jacket, but that's about it. Marcom people use tablet computers and like charts; they don't "do numbers". Marketing people use laptops and can recognize patterns in numbers. Marcom people talk "at" customers. Marketing people try to understand what is going on in customers minds.

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  • It only happens if the marketer is staying in her or his own cocoon and not a team player , the whole company is like the football team , so the whole team needs to be in harmony with one focused goal and the striker or the scorer is the salesman. so all has to prepare for the game.

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