CEOs Hating On Marketers

CEO Attitudes Toward Marketers

  • 80% of CEOs do not really trust nor are very impressed with marketers’ work
  • 80% think marketers are too disconnected from the short-, mid-, and long-term financial realities of companies
  • 78% think marketers too often lose sight of generating customer demand in a quantifiable manner
  • 74% want marketers to become 100% ROI-focused
Photo - Skeptical CEO
Photo courtesy ScienceBusiness on Flickr

THOUGHT: Well thanks for that, CEOs.

Yet it’s a little understandable why CEOs might be hating all over us marketers, as the data from this July 2012 survey by Fournaise Marketing Group make clear.

Think about it.

There are numbers attached to everything online: Twitter followers and Facebook Likes and YouTube views and email subscribers. We’ve become acclimated to the idea that everything is measurable.

Indeed, one of the primary arguments we marketers used to convince skeptical C-suiters to pull the trigger on whatever online strategy we wanted to implement was the fact that it could be measured.

And then we didn’t measure it. Or didn’t measure it properly. Or didn’t measure what mattered.

No wonder then that CEOs want us to show them the money.

Yes, part of the problem is that executives may not appreciate the value of measurable online activity that may not fit within the neat traditional metrics with which they are accustomed.

But the bigger part of the problem is the failure of marketers to include and implement a plan for measuring marketing activity that results in revenue. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that those of us who make a living in the communication professions are word people. And because we’re word people, numbers make our eyes glaze over when compared to language, or worse, numbers simply scare us.

We need to get over it. The fact is, it’s not that difficult as long as you start with your end goal–sales, brand awareness, etc.–and then measure starting with the beginning of your marketing activity till the end goal has been accomplished.

Online sales are the easiest example because you have an actual transaction with an actual dollar amount attached to it. You can measure whether traffic coming from Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or search is more profitable.

Ideally, you’ll have access to analytics along every step of the way but unless you’re in-house, it’s not always going to be the case that you can configure the analytics to track sales–or whatever else you need to track–or even, indeed, get access to the website traffic at all.

So while the CEOs’ judgement may be harsh, we’ve brought this upon ourselves. We need to understand analytics well enough to know what needs to be measured and that measurement has to be built in to our recommendations.


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