CEOs Lost Their Trust in Marketers


There seems to be an ongoing battle between marketers and CEOs. Marketers always try to show that their jobs add value to businesses. But somewhere along the line things have changed, and marketers seem to be unable to convince CEOs of their activities’ benefits for organizations. Meanwhile CEOs say they have lost their trust in marketers, as a new study shows.

This very disturbing conclusion for marketers was found by The Fournaise Marketing Group in their 2012 Global Marketing Effectiveness Program. Over 1,200 large corporation and SMB CEOs and decision-makers in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia were interviewed for this study, thus making the results internationally relevant.

69% of CEOs said that they have lost their trust in marketers’ business abilities due to the fact that marketers were unable to show an actual business growth for their organizations as a result of their activities during board meetings. Going further, 67% of CEOs admitted that they stopped to hold marketers accountable and said they would like to work with business-focused people. However these ROI driven marketers are hard to find.

As a result of this disappointment in marketers, 64% of the CEOs that mentioned they are not happy with marketers admit they have, over time, reduced product development, pricing and channel management responsibilities, thus making the marketing department almost synonymous with the marketing communication area. Also, only 20% of CEOs consider their marketers to be ROI marketers. These marketers focus on generating more customer demand and they track the business impact of their activities trying constantly to be cost-efficient in their actions and not waste companies’ money.

“Whether we like it or not, what CEOs are telling us is clear cut: they don’t trust Traditional Marketers, they don’t expect much from them. CEOs have to deliver shareholder value. Period. So they want no-nonsense ROI Marketers, they want business performance, they want results,” explained Jerome Fontaine, Fournaise’s Global CEO & Chief Tracker.

“In this context, the questions to Marketers are simple: what type of Marketer do you want to be? How much of a business driver do you want to be known for? How much respect and trust do you want to earn from your CEO? How far up do you want to go within your organisation?” Fontaine added.

“At the end of the day, Marketers have to stop whining about being misunderstood by CEOs, and have to start remembering that their job is to generate customer demand and to deliver performance. This is business. When is the last time you heard CFOs whine about being misunderstood by CEOs?” Fontaine concluded.

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