Archives for posts with tag: marketer

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Valuable and return business is based on trust. You trust your hairdresser to make you look good. You trust your barista to serve a coffee according to your taste. You trust your mechanic to fix your car and keep you safe on the road. And CEO’s trust their marketing departments to generate more business-quantifiable customer demand for products and services.

Problem is: CEOs don’t trust marketers.

That’s apparent in a new survey by marketing consultancy Fournaise, which polled 1,200 chiefs of large and small companies. Campaign Asia reported the findings, which are your wake-up call ringing from an armada of alarm clocks:

“For B2C CEOs, more customer-demand means more sales revenue. Unfortunately, nearly seven in 10 of B2C CEOs believe their marketers now live too much in a creative and social-media bubble and focus too much on parameters such as ‘likes’, ‘tweets’, ‘feeds’ or ‘followers’—parameters they can’t prove generate more business-quantifiable customer demand for products and services. CEOs regard these parameters as “interesting but not critical”.

For B2B CEOs, more customer demand equates to more qualified or sales-ready prospects in the sales pipeline. More than 70 per cent of these CEOs believe that their marketers are focused on the latest marketing technologies but are failing to deliver the level of incremental customer demand expected of them.

These CEOs feel marketers are too distracted, get sucked into the the “technological flurry and jargon” related to system integration and forget that technology is meant to be used only as a support tool. These tools don’t create demand per se; only accurate strategies and campaigns pushing the right products, product benefits, content and customer value propositions do.”

While the marketing echo chamber continues to discuss secondary tertiary issues like engagement, value of connections, interactions…(Please add your buzzwords here), CEOs get this nagging feeling that marketers love fluff and despise substance. CEOs trust their finance and tech departments more, and the marketing department is as beloved, respected and trusted as US Congress.

Even worse, CEOs believe marketers measure the wrong objectives, focusing on performance indicators that are not theirs, such as prospect conversions and revenue. Instead, marketers should focus on the customer-demand related indicators, which are directly linked to their job and over which they have control.

What to do?

“Marketers should zoom in on a few critical key business performance indicators to precisely measure, quantify and report on the level of customer demand they are delivering, according to the study.

To earn the CEO’s trust and prove that they are solid business generators, 74 per cent of CEOs want marketers to be completely ROI focused.

B2C CEOs want these ROI marketers to be focused on tracking, reporting and boosting four key marketing performance indicators: sell-in, sell-out, market share and marketing ROI (defined as the correlation between marketing spending and the gross profit generated from it).

Meanwhile 85 per cent of B2B CEOs (and B2C CEOs in prospect-driven industries) would like ROI marketers to focus on tracking, reporting and boosting prospect volume, prospect quality rate, marketing effectiveness rate (defined as the percentage of marketing spending that directly generated prospects) and the business potential generated by marketing.

“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,” explained Fontaine. “They will have to transform themselves into true business-driven ROI marketers or forever remain in what 65 per cent of CEOs told us they call marketing la-la land.”

For too long, marketers have seen data as an aid to justify media spend and overall marketing investment. This harsh wake-up call should spell an end to this justification era. Marketers need to use data to drive, determine and justify their marketing and media plans.

What are you going to do? Wake up or hit the snooze button?

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Under the title “More gain, less strain: Optimizing marketing partner performance and value in a digital world”, the CMO Council published an analysis of how marketers are optimizing marketing partner performance and value in a digital world.

It’s not a pretty picture

  • Just 9% of marketers believe traditional ad agencies are doing a good job of evolving and extending their service capabilities.
  • 58% of marketers are unsatisfied with the current process of measuring their agencies’ advertising effectiveness.
  • 55% of senior marketers do not systematically evaluate creative impact, and 58% are unsatisfied with the evaluation process associated with benchmarking their agencies’ creative advertising effectiveness.
  • Only 36% of marketers are committed to their agency relationships, with 49% saying that they may consolidate or change their global agency rosters.
  • 32% are looking at selective replacement in their agency rosters, 9% see increased turnover of resource, and another 9% are decreasing the use of agencies.

A small bright spot in a dark environment

Marketers are continuing their search for new insights: 48% consider the most important value and gain from outside agencies fresh ideas, analytics and perspectives. 39% are looking for new methodologies and creative approaches.

When reviewing and evaluating agency relationships, the majority of multi-national marketers look at strategic contributions (57%) and business value created (56%).

The frustration is palatable

The survey respondents also ranked the top five causes of pain and friction in their agency relationships: (in order)

  • Lack of an agreed-upon set of analytics and metrics that defines success and failure
  • Limited knowledge and comprehension of the client’s business
  • Lack of value-added strategic thinking
  • Pricing and budgeting issues
  • Integration of marketing plans and services

Do marketers get what they pay for?

As we all know, marketing expenditures are under incredible pressure from CMO’s and procurement.  While marketers complain about lack of knowledge and comprehension of their business, they don’t seem willing to pay agencies to acquire this knowledge.

A lack of knowledge and comprehension will lead to lack of value-added strategic thinking. The agency might be able to give out some creative candy, but no filling, strategic meals.

Being so unprepared to market a client’s business, the chance of success is diminishing and there’s no benefit in succinctly defining failure and success.

Ultimately, resulting in pricing and budgeting issues.

It takes two to tango

Marketers have to understand that agencies are not lazy or disinterested in learning about the client’s business. Structurally, the client-agency relationship is not set-up for such a learning experience.

On the other hand, agencies need to set parameters for success and failure at the pitch. The pitch meeting should be the occasion where both parties set expectations, discuss challenges and solutions. It should be less about fireworks, grandiose creative and big promises. More about business decisions, culture check and partnership processes.

The current pitch meeting with all its confetti is best suited for a fling. As any married couple with a few decades under their belt will tell us, confetti gets annoying after a while. Long-term relationships are built on trust, transparency and authenticity.  No confetti needed.

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What is the biggest customer need?

Engaging with your brand? Interacting with your product? A conversation with the brand? Purchasing your service?

Of course not.

The biggest customer need is to make better decisions. Decisions that prove valuable over time. Decisions that nobody regrets. Decisions that delight.

Marketers are not doing enough to help customers make better decisions.

Actually, the majority of marketing exists to make it harder for people to make better decisions. We clog their various channels with messages, overload them with information and try to obstruct the direct path to a good, well-informed decision.

This has lead to an adversarial between customers and marketers. How would you feel every time you want to make an important decision a clown jumps out of the bushes and tries to feed you nonsense?

This is a huge opportunity for marketers

Customer empowerment is the biggest opportunity marketers have encountered in the last few decades. In a world filled with noise, customers will embrace any marketer that will help them filter out the signals with the ultimate goal to implement better decisions. At every hour of the day. At every life stage. At every situation.

The age of customer empowerment is upon us. Either you’re with them. Or you’ll be gone.