Chris Reed
Jul 19, 2012

CEOs think YOU are untrustworthy, unimpressive and disconnected: Part 1

Four in five CEOs have trust issues with their marketing team and claim to be unimpressed by their work, a study by Fournaise Marketing Group has revealed. I would say the feeling was mutual!Most ...

CEOs think YOU are untrustworthy, unimpressive and disconnected: Part 1

Four in five CEOs have trust issues with their marketing team and claim to be unimpressed by their work, a study by Fournaise Marketing Group has revealed. I would say the feeling was mutual!

Most CEO’s come from an accounting/finance background and haven’t got a clue about brands and marketing. They’re just number crunchers. They haven’t got a creative bone in their body.

I blame finance trained CEO’s for the rise of procurement and the decline of open minded and risky marketing. Have procurement taken over marketing decisions backed by an anti-marketing CEO?

1200 CEOs were surveyed in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific finding that 80% admit they don’t really trust and are not very impressed by the work done by marketers, while trust and value in the work of CFOs and CIOs was dramatically higher at 90% of the sample.

The negative opinion of marketers appears to be driven by a perception that they’re disconnected from financial imperatives. Over 70% of chief executives believe marketers to be disconnected from business results and focus on the wrong areas.

In fact the reverse is true. Marketers are directly linked and acutely aware these days of the association between marketing spend, strong desirable brands and commercial results. Maybe this survey is just showing CEO’s ignorance of marketing?

69% chief executives from consumer-facing firms asserted that communications teams live too much in their “creative and socialmedia bubble” and criticised metrics like Facebook likes and Twitter buzz for being difficult to tie to sales. While I agree that marketers do tend to get obsessed by shiney new things like facebook which is still unproven in driving either brand value or sales, more CMO’s are realizing that a like on facebook means nothing.

You give something free away on facebook someone will like you. It’s not rocket science and it’s certainly not brand loyalty or brand like, it’s just that it’s free. More marketers should be relying less on this matrix and if they still are using it as a statistic to prove their case then they are not doing themselves or the profession any good.

Three in four of the interviewees thought marketers were too focused on new techniques and jargon to understand terms like ‘results’, ‘return on investment’ and ‘performance’ in the business context. The group wants their marketers to focus on more tangible results, with 74% expressing a desire to see greater demonstration of return on investment.

The study also found 78% of respondents reported that marketers too often lose sight of what their real job is – increasing demand for goods and services in a quantifiable manner. In my experience in Asia that’s complete rubbish.

If anything there is an over obsessions with ROI which is often difficult to prove absolutely. More and more clients of ours are demanding exact ROI’s and guarantees which often is simply impossible in promotional and partnership marketing. Predicting redemptions is always a calculated guess based on various factors but no two scenarios are ever the same.

In fact I have found the other side of this desire to have everything measured by results and ROI by a CEO’s lackeys the procurement teams, who have usually never worked in marketing and don’t know what they are talking about. These dark forces, akin to Storm troopers or Orcs, will now use any reason connected with no guarantee and lack of understanding of a complex ROI based on their ignorance to not progress with more risky marketing techniques such as partnership marketing. Part 2 of this blog reveals two actual examples that back up my case…..

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