Marketing Accountability

According to New Media and Marketing.com, a UK-based Fournaise Marketing Group in its 2012 Global Marketing Effectiveness Program, interviewed more than 1,200 large corporation and SMB CEOs and decision-makers in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Its findings:

80% of CEOs Do Not Really Trust Marketers (Except If They Are “ROI Marketers”):

  • 80% of CEOs admit they do not really trust and are not very impressed by the work done by Marketers
  • In comparison, 90% of the same CEOs do trust and value the opinion and work of CFOs and CIOs.

Why is this?

  • 78% of CEOs think Marketers too often lose sight of what their real job is: to generate more customer demand for their products/services in a business-quantifiable and business-measurable way.
  • 75% of CEOs think Marketers misunderstand (and misuse) the “real business” definition of the words “Results”, “ROI” and “Performance” and therefore do not adequately speak the language of their top management.

These CEOs apparently feel that Marketers are not properly zooming in on a few critical key business performance indicators to precisely measure, quantify and report on the level of customer demand they are asked to deliver, and are instead “drowning everybody with data and analyses that are too remote from the P&L.”

69% of B2C CEOs believe B2C Marketers now live too much in their creative and social media bubble and focus too much on parameters such as “likes”, “tweets”, “feeds” or “followers” – parameters they can’t really prove generate more (business-quantifiable) customer demand for their products/services. They judge these parameters  “interesting but not critical.”

Benefits of Key Metrics

Inbound Sales Network weighs in on the issue of how to hold marketing accountable to the bottom line success of the company, creating valued opportunities for Marketing to gain a more valued seat at the executive table:

With programs like inbound marketing, marketing automation and integration with CRM systems, marketing is able to create closed loop reporting system…Marketing will now be able to make a business case about why they deserve a larger budget or a great share of the current one…With the ability to track where each lead comes from and the cost of that lead, marketing can now show why they deserve more and be held accountable for performance.

Constructing a basic set of marketing metrics to get an accurate measure of ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment) or program effectiveness helps Marketers:

  • Ensure they are spending more on the things that drive profitable revenue and less and less on things that don’t.
  • Predict how much revenue the spend on a certain marketing tactic is likely to yield in a certain time period.
  • Provide a complete reporting system to get insight into sales effectiveness and overall sales pipeline velocity.
  • Work more synergistically with Sales to deliver greater results and meet monthly and quarterly targets.

For CEOs in prospect-driven industries such as education, financial services and insurance, more customer demand means fuelling more qualified or sales-ready prospects to the sales pipeline – prospects that can then be converted faster into actual revenue by Sales Forces. Some metrics that can help fill that need are featured on Inbound Sales Network.

Closing the Trust Gap

According to Fournaise, the core source of the problem CEOs have with marketing is that 80% of CEOs believe Marketers are too disconnected from the short-, medium- and long-term financial realities of companies.

These CEOs feel Marketers are too distracted in technology and have forgotten that technology is only a support tool that does not create demand per se – only accurate strategies and campaigns pushing the right products, product benefits, content and customer value propositions do.

A word of caution, however: in contrast to the pipeline metrics offered in Inbound Sales Network, another key finding of the research shows that CEOs also feel Marketers have been starting to wrongly focus on performance indicators that are actually not theirs, such as prospect conversions and revenue in reporting. They feel that these are primarily Sales Force-related performance indicators, and Marketers should focus instead on the customer demand-related indicators directly linked to their job for which they have 100% control.

What CEOs Expect: ROI Marketers

75% of CEOs think Marketers misunderstand  the “real business” definition of the words “Results”, “ROI” and “Performance” and therefore do not adequately speak the language of their top management: these CEOs fail to understand why Marketers cannot zoom in on a few critical key business performance indicators to precisely measure, quantify and report on the level of customer demand they are asked to deliver, instead of drowning everybody with data and analyses that are too remote from the P&L.

CEOs believe they trust CFOs and CIOs because they are 100% ROI-focused – where every dollar spent must have a measurable, quantifiable and positive impact on the company’s P&L and operations. To earn the CEOs’ trust and prove that they can be solid business generators, 74% of CEOs want Marketers to become 100% ROI-focused: they call them “ROI Marketers”.  In this context, CEOs have a clear vision of what they expect from ROI Marketers:

82% of B2C CEOs would like B2C ROI Marketers to focus on tracking, reporting and boosting four Key Marketing Performance Indicators such as:
  • Sell-in.
  • Sell-out.
  • Market Share, and
  • Marketing ROI (the correlation between Marketing spending and the gross profit generated from it).
85% of B2B CEOs and B2C CEOs in prospect-driven industries like financial services would like prospect-driven ROI Marketers to focus on tracking, reporting and boosting four Key Marketing Performance Indicators:
  • Prospect Volume.
  • Prospect Quality Rate.
  • Marketing Effectiveness Rate (percentage of Marketing spending that directly generated prospects.)
  • BizPM™ (business potential generated by Marketing).

Jerome Fontaine, CEO & Chief Tracker of Fournaise, sums it up as follows:

People trust doctors, surgeons, lawyers, pilots or accountants: simply because they know these no-nonsense professionals are trained to focus on the right set of data to take the best decisions and achieve the best outcomes possible. CEOs trust CFOs and CIOs for the same reasons. It’s not a game of data, but rather a game of the “right & relevant” data for the right purpose and the right decision-making, with no fluff around. Marketers will have to understand that they need to start “cutting the rubbish” if they are to earn the trust of CEOs and if they want to have a bigger impact in the boardroom. They will have to transform themselves into true business-driven ROI Marketers or forever remain in what 65% of CEOs told us they call Marketing la-la land.

Snap! principle of key Marketing Metrics:

“It’s not a game of data, but rather a game of the right & relevant data for the right purpose and the right decision-making.”

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