Monday, November 19, 2012

Why 80% of CEO's should be fired

The good news is that the average tenure of a CMO has increased from 23.2 months in 2006 to 42 months in 2012. The bad news? Their most senior leader views “CMOs as being outside of their internal circle of key business decision-makers (such as CFO, COO and CIO).”

This is according to a study that has been published by English (self proclaimed) “Marketing Performance” firm Fournaise MarketingGroup. According to this study, among more than 1,200 CEOs of large corporations and small and medium-sized businesses based in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, 80% of CEO’s are “not very impressed” with their marketing teams.

CEO’s do not believe that marketers add value to the bottom line, and have given up giving them measurable targets to deliver ROI for the significant marketing investments they make. A large majority of these CEO’s admit having removed once basic marketing functions such as innovation and pricing to other, apparently more accountable and trustworthy executives.

“Whether we like it or not, what CEOs are telling us is clear-cut: They don’t trust traditional marketers, and don’t expect much from them,” sums up Jerome Fontaine, Fournaise’s global CEO and chief tracker.


The real rub here is the admission that CEO’s have given up giving marketers clearly business-linked performance targets. Shame on those CEO’s. That is as bad as being responsible for millions of dollars of SuperPac money and investing it in old style media and offering no clearly defined success tracking.

We live in an age where there are now more and more sophisticated tools that actually help you calculate a form of Marketing ROI. And so we all bloody well should. There is more data than we ever had at our disposal. There are some really, really clever algorithm-jockeys who can create magic with all this data. I have worked with Rex Briggs’ Marketing Evolution’s ROMO, Octagon's Simon Wardle and with Huw Griffiths over at UM, who was just named a Media All-Star by AdWeek. Smart, smart people.

All that is needed is an enlightened senior leadership that demands a better (or “any”) level of Marketing ROI measurement. This should not be expressed in outputs such as “CPM/GRP/CPT” for traditional media, nor should they or can they be “CTR/Fan count/Number-Of-Likes” in digital.

In my experience, it is totally possible to develop marketing models that will eat all your data, and create very insightful “what if” scenario outcomes. These smart models are able to suggest a mix of touch points that have a high probability of delivering “awareness” if that is what your brand is after, and will offer a different mix if you are after “re-consideration” or “response/participation”.

There were 20% of CEO/CMO relationships that were based on exactly that: a CMO that was not afraid to be measured and evaluated by ROI/value-creation and a CEO who perceived their marketers as key players/partners in the success of their business.

CEO's should not be allowed to label the CMO as a second class executive. And CMO's should not accept being treated as such by demonstrating to the C-suite what marketing, their marketing, adds to the bottom-line. Love is, after all, a two way street.

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