The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is addressing the criticism in a recent Cranfield Business School study that marketers are “unaccountable, untouchable, slippery and expensive” in its latest White Paper.
The CIM is unveiling a paper tomorrow (May 20) called “Marketing’s decline: a wild exaggeration?” designed to help marketers strengthen their influence and value within a firm.
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 considerable budgets, falling back on dull and uninspiring campaigns and floundering when questioned on 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 proportion of chief marketing officers and 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 their customer needs can be taken into account in strategy (79%). They also agree that marketers “are failing to engage both the analytical and creative side of their brain” while many feel their marketing lacks “novelty” and promotional strategies are routine.
On the positive side, CFOs have a higher regard for the quality of information processed by the marketing department than marketers themselves (65% versus 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 also needs “to get out of its silo and to champion customer needs across the firm and insure that customer needs are a foundation of corporate strategy.”