The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is using its latest policy document to address claims made in a Cranfield School of Management study that marketers are “unaccountable, untouchable, slippery and expensive”.
The CIM unveiled a white paper on Wednesday (20 May) called “Marketing’s decline: a wild exaggeration?” designed to help marketers strengthen their influence and value in a company.
David Thorp (pictured), director of research and professional development at CIM, says: “Sometimes marketers are their own worst enemy, failing to account for their often large budgets, falling back on dull and uninspiring campaigns and being unable to explain the financial impact of their strategies.”
However, the white paper, which included 100 chief financial officers within its survey, found there was no significant difference in the proportions of either chief marketing officers or CFOs that recognised the strategic importance of marketing (68%) or the exceptional importance of branding (80%) to their business.
But while 74% of CFOs agree marketing has its place in an organisation, they also say that the marketing department’s primary responsibility is marketing decisions and nothing else.
Both CFOs and CMOs also agree that marketers rarely show how customer needs can be taken into account in strategy (79%). They also agree that marketers “fail to engage the analytical and creative side of their brain” while many feel their marketing lacks “novelty”.
On the positive side, CFOs have a higher regard for the quality of information processed by the marketing department rather than marketers themselves (65% compared with 51%). The paper suggests that the marketing department must make sure that it is viewed as a facilitator that helps the whole organisation realise “that their business survives and thrives by serving customers”.
The marketing team needs to stress customer proximity and the ability to convert this to commercial opportunities, it adds.