That is a key finding of The Fournaise Marketing Group 2011 Global Marketing Effectiveness Program which interviewed more than 600 large corporation and SMB CEOs and decision-makers in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Released June 15 this year, the top 5 issues CEOs have with marketing are:
(1) They keep on talking about brand, brand values, brand equity and other similar parameters that their top management has great difficulties linking back to results that really matter: revenue, sales, EBIT or even market valuation (77%)
(2) They focus too much on the latest marketing trends such as social media, because they believe they represent the new marketing frontiers – but can rarely demonstrate how these trends will help them generate more business for the company (74%)
(3) When asked to increase their Marketing ROI, they tend to understand it as cost cutting through better economies of scale or negotiations with their third-party partners and agencies, instead of top-line growth generation: more revenue, more sales, more prospects, more buyers (73%)
(4) They are always asking for more money, but can rarely explain how much incremental business this money will generate (72%)
(5) They bombard their stakeholders with marketing data that hardly relate to or mean anything for the company’s P&L (70%)
Most worrying for agencies is: “Unlike CFOs and Sales Forces, they don’t think enough like businesspeople: they focus too much on the creative, “arty” and “fluffy” side of marketing and not enough on its business science, and rely too much on their ad agencies to come up with the next big idea (67%)”
The report says that most concerning: “while 73% of CEOs think Marketers lack business credibility and are not effectiveness-focused enough to generate incremental customer demand, 69% of the marketers Fournaise talked to feel their strategies and campaigns do make an impact on the company’s business, even though they can’t precisely quantify or prove it – confirming the great CEO-Marketers misalignment”.
Best summed up by Jerome Fontaine, CEO & Chief Tracker of Fournaise who said “Until Marketers start speaking the P&L language of their CEOs and stakeholders, and until they start tracking the business effectiveness of all their strategies and campaigns to prove they generate incremental customer demand, they will continue to lack credibility in the eyes of their CEOs and will continue to be seen more as a cost centre than an asset”.
Well put. What do you think? Do marketers lack business credibility because of a lack of business strategy alignment?