73% of CEOs say marketers lack credibility

Three-quarters (73%) of CEOs think marketers lack business credibility because they fail to quantify the success of their campaigns, according to a report.


CEOs feel marketers talk too much about about brand values and brand equity as their parameters, rather than the results that “really matter”, which top management believe to be revenue, sales, EBIT and market valuation.

About 74% of CEOs also say marketers focus too much on the latest trends, such as social media, but can rarely demonstrate how these trends can help to generate more business for the company.

Marketers also fail to understand what it means to increase their marketing ROI and tend to comprehend the term as cost-cutting rather than the generation of more revenue, sales, prospects or customers, according to 73% of CEOs.

The report says marketers are “bombarding” their stakeholders with marketing data that barely relates to the profit and loss of the company and focus too much on the “arty and fluffy” side of marketing and not enough on its business science.

Jerome Fontaine, CEO and chief tracker of Fournaise, the marketing group that created the report, says: “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 as more as a cost centre than an asset.”

The disconnect between marketers and CEOS is also further demonstrated by 69% of marketers believing their strategies and campaigns do make an impact on their companies, although they cannot always precisely quantify or prove it.

The Fournaise Marketing Group analysed the findings from a series of interviews with more than 600 CEOs from large corporates to SMBs in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Merlin Entertainments CEO Nick Varney says that marketers are becoming too siloed to become well-rounded chief executives.

He says: “There are very few marketers below the senior level who get to see the whole picture. And even at a senior level, few marketers carry the responsibility for profit and loss.”

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