Seventy per cent of CEOs admit they no longer hold marketers accountable: Fournaise

Fournaise interviewed more than 1,200 large corporation and SMB CEOs and decision-makers to analyse the ‘CEO-CMO divide’.

Nov 20, 2012 02:27:00 PM | Article | Campaign India Team

Following its July study that said CEOs perceived their CMOs to be living in 'la-la-land', The Fournaise Marketing Group released a report aimed at getting to the bottom of this perception. 

Via its 2012 Global Marketing Effectiveness Program, Fournaise interviewed more than 1,200 large corporation and SMB CEOs and decision-makers in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia to analyse the "CEO-CMO divide". 

According to the report, 69 per cent of CEOS admitted that over time, they had stopped imposing specific key performance objectives (KPOs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) for marketers to achieve. 

"They think marketers have continuously failed to unquestionably and consistently prove in the boardroom that their marketing strategies, activities and campaigns generated actual business growth [customer demand] for the organisations," explained the report. 

These CEOs, continued Fournaise, have a marketing department "purely out of tradition" and rank CMOs outside their circle of key business decision-makers. 

As a result, 67 per cent of CEOs interviewed feel that they are not holding marketers accountable enough, or at all. They find themselves "too busy running the business and tired of dealing with one-dimensional traditional marketers", and have decided not to expect more of marketing than "branding, look-good/feel-good ads and running promotions".

As a result of this, 64 per cent of CEOs who are unhappy with their marketers have removed product development, pricing and channel management from their CMO's purview. These CEOs believe product, pricing and channel management are critical for growth and need to be led by more pragmatic, performance-driven specialists reporting directly to the top management.

However, about 20 per cent of CEOs considered their marketers to be ROI-focused and capable of generating more customer demand; tracking and reporting the actual business impact of their marketing spending on the company’s P&L; and working hard to minimise marketing wastage.

These marketers have a solid influence within their organisations, are trusted by the top management and are perceived as key players, according to the CEOs. 

“Whether we like it or not, what CEOs are telling us is clear cut: They don’t trust traditional marketers," said Jerome Fontaine, Fournaise’s global CEO and chief tracker. "They don’t expect much from them. CEOs have to deliver shareholder value. Period. They want no-nonsense ROI marketers. They want business performance. They want results”

It's time for marketers to "stop whining" about being misunderstood by CEOs, continued Fontaine, and to start focusing on generating customer demand and delivering performance. "This is business. When is the last time you heard CFOs whine about being misunderstood by CEOs?”

The article first appeared on Campaign Asia