Marketers: drop the buzzwords, drop the obsession with social trends, and start thinking like a businessman!

According to The Fournaise marketing group, a firm that tracks marketing effectiveness in relation to Return on Investments (ROI), if corporate CEOs could get together and send a message out to marketers, the above advice would be it.

Research from the group’s 2011 Global Marketing Effectiveness Program, which comprises of interviews with over 600 large corporations’ and SMEs’ CEOs and decision makers found that majority of CEOs do not feel that their marketers are business-savvy enough, or have a strong ROI and sales-revenues focus.

CEOs expressed that marketers lack the ability to demonstrate how cross-channel marketing strategies and campaigns can grow an organisation’s top line in terms of increased customer demand, sales, prospects, conversions or market share.

The top issues expressed by CEOs about their marketers include:

  • 77% of CEOs feel that despite marketers talk about brand, brand values, brand equity and other similar parameters, top management has difficulties linking it back to results that really matter: revenues, sales and even market valuation
  • 74% feel that marketers focus too much on the latest marketingtrends 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
  • 72% believe that marketers understand the task of increasing Marketing ROI 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
  • 72% also think that marketers are always asking for more money, but can rarely explain how much incremental business this money will generate
  • 70% feel that marketers bombard their stakeholders with marketing data that hardly relate to or mean anything for the company’s P&L
  • 67% think that unlike CFOs and Sales Forces, marketers 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

On the flip side, the survey found that 69% of the marketers they interviewed felt that their marketing strategies and campaigns did have an impact on the company’s business, even though majority of them can’t precisely quantify or prove the positive impact.

Jerome Fontaine, CEO and chief tracker at Fournaise believes that until marketers start speaking “the profile and loss language” of their CEOs and stakesholders, 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.

Fontaine, speaking to Marketing says: “Especially in B2B, there is a pressure to deliver results because everyone is going after the same audience. It really is more than just following trends for the sake of following trends and believing the social media is going to save the planet”,

“Its important that marketers now see and train themselves to be ROI marketers, to be marketers that can talk business and incremental demands. They need to look at where the results are coming from and bring the money there.”