I just read a fascinating global study on what CEOs think of Marketers, by the Fournaise Marketing Group. Some of the interesting findings for me are:
- They keep on talking about brand, brand values, brand equity and other similar parameters that their top management has great difficulties linking back to results that really matter: revenue, sales, EBIT or even market valuation (77%)
- They focus too much on the latest marketing trends 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 (74%)
- They are always asking for more money, but can rarely explain how much incremental business this money will generate (72%)
- They bombard their stakeholders with marketing data that hardly relate to or mean anything for the company’s P&L (70%)
The average tenure of a CMO is still less than two years. largely because of the issues identified above. The responsibility for this gap is as much to the CEO as the CMO. If CMOs were surveyed they’d suggest that the CEO doesn’t understand or appreciate what moves a customer to purchase. There’s no right answer, but I believe for the CMO, the ideal profile is one that is ‘middle brained’. A person that focuses on metrics (and understands P&L) but doesn’t forgoe the creative side. CMOs should constantly be balancing the two, and determine strategy, tactics and priorities.