73% of CEOs Believe Marketers Lack Business Credibility.

75% of Marketing Campaigns Underperform.

What’s the Problem with Marketing?


The Fournaise Marketing Group (“Fournaise”) is one of the world’s leading Marketing Effectiveness Tracking & Boosting (METB) companies. Using its proprietary METB technology and models Fournaise has over the last 15 years tracked and boosted the effectiveness of more than 2.5 million marketing strategies, products, programs, campaigns & ads, across 20 countries, 13 industries (B2C & B2B) and 18 languages, for Fortune 500 companies, SMEs and top advertising agencies.

In April 2019 Fournaise was awarded “Most Outstanding Marketing Effectiveness Specialists, 2019 – Asia Pacific” by APAC Insider.

We sat down with Jerome Fontaine, Fournaise’s Global CEO & Marketing Performance Chief, to get his views on what Marketers should do to push their Marketing spending to be more effective and deliver better business results.

APAC Insider: “Jerome, why do CEOs think Marketers Lack Business Credibility?”

Fontaine: Over the last 11 years we’ve been running a Global Marketing Effectiveness Tracking program (across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific) to (A) better understand Marketers around the world (what they think their job is, how effective they are, what type of results they deliver) and (B) better understand what CEOs expect of these Marketers.

We tracked and identified that:

– 80% of CEOs expect Marketers to generate incremental customer demand for their organisations’ products/services. That’s true in both Large Enterprises and SMEs.

– 73% of CEOs think Marketers lack business credibility and are not the business growth generators they should be. Why? Because they are still too far from being able to unquestionably demonstrate how the Marketing strategies, programs, activities and campaigns they deploy grow their organisations’ top line in terms of generating more customer demand, more sales, more prospects, more conversions or more market share. The key word is “unquestionably”. The top issues CEOs in Asia Pacific and around the world have with their Marketers are:

1. They keep on talking about brand, brand values, branding measurement, 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%)

2. They focus too much on the latest marketing trends such as digital and social media, because they believe they represent the new marketing frontiers – but can rarely unquestionably demonstrate how these trends help them generate more business for the company (74%)

3. When asked to increase their Marketing ROI, they tend to understand it as cost cutting through better economies of scale or negotiations with their thirdparty partners and agencies, instead of top-line growth generation: more revenue, more sales, more prospects, more buyers (73%)

4. They bombard their stakeholders with marketing data that hardly relate to or mean anything for the company’s P&L (70%)

5. Unlike CFOs and Sales forces, they don’t think enough like business people: they focus too much on the creative, “arty” and “fluffy” side of marketing and not enough on its business science, and rely too much on their creative and media agencies to come up with the next big idea (67%)

The worrying part: while on one hand 73% of CEOs think Marketers lack business credibility and are not effectiveness-focused enough to generate incremental customer demand, on the other hand 69% of the Marketers we analysed feel their strategies and campaigns do make an impact on the company’s business, even though they can’t precisely quantify or prove it – confirming the great CEO-Marketer disconnect.

Until Marketers start speaking the P&L language of their CEOs and stakeholders, and until they start tracking the business effectiveness of all their Marketing strategies, programs, activities and campaigns to prove they generate incremental customer demand, they will continue to lack credibility in the eyes of their CEOs and will continue to be seen more as a cost centre than an asset.

APAC Insider: “You said 75% of Marketing strategies & campaigns under-perform:

Why? What could Marketers do to make them more effective and generate better business results?”

Fontaine: We track every year that on average 75% of marketing campaigns deployed in traditional, digital, social and direct media still underperform and achieve low business ROI. It is interesting to note that this number is rather similar across the world (Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific).

At Fournaise we are 100% focused on helping Marketers generate better business results, through incremental customer demand generation. For this we apply a proprietary 360-degree Marketing Effectiveness Tracking & Boosting (METB) model: We Track. We Analyse. We Feed. We Advise. This means we track and measure what works, what does not, where, on which audience and, very importantly, we understand why. From there we advise Senior Management and Marketers on the strategic and tactical corrective actions they should take to push their marketing to deliver better results, effectiveness and ROI.

So why do 75% of Marketing strategies and campaign underperform?

We identified many reasons, but here are the two most critical ones:
Reason #1 = Weak, Ineffective, Under-performing Customer Value Propositions (CVPs) At Fournaise we have a saying: “in the tyre industry they say power is nothing without control; in the marketing industry, form is nothing without the right content”.

If the product, service or message (i.e. the content) you are pushing or advertising is not engaging with and not effective on your target audience, then whatever creativity, media strategy, instore activity or direct, social and digital marketing activity you deploy, will fail to deliver the level of interest, desire and subsequently action you are looking for from your target audience.

To fix this issue we advise our clients to run our proprietary Product, CVP & Message Effectiveness Optimisation (PMEO) model, via our unique scorecard-based solution called Fournaise CVPOptimiser™ – it will track, measure and identify the most effective CVPs on their target audience, build a Winning CVP Architecture® and from there the related Optimised Product Story® that will (scientifically) give our clients’ products, services or messages the best chance to engage with and be effective on their target audience.

Reason #2 = Lack of (or Incorrect) Pains, Needs, Wants & Expectations Understanding You can’t develop and deploy effective CVPs if you have not first and foremost identified the correct pains, needs, wants and expectations of your target audience, in the right order (or hierarchy).

At Fournaise we identified that Marketers have access to (and spend a lot of money on) all sorts of research data, work with all sorts of insights and research providers, have hundreds (if not thousands) of PowerPoint slides full of tables, charts and statistics, and are at the forefront of the latest research techniques: focus groups, online surveys, machine testing, eye tracking, neuroscience and biometrics to name a few.

Yet we measured that 80% of Marketers are drowning in their gigantic pool of data and insights, so much so that:

a) They end up over-analysing their target audience, creating all sorts of segments and subsegments, with all sorts of (often complex) profiling, demographics and psychographics analyses;

b) From there they end up losing sight of the big picture and of the most important pains, needs, wants and expectations of their target audience – the ones that truly matter and that should truly be addressed;

c) And they end up being unable to rank these pains, needs, wants and expectations in the right order, to thereafter be able to tackle them one by one in their Marketing strategies and campaigns, in the right order.

To fix this issue we advise our clients to go back to basics and run our proprietary Pains, Needs, Wants & Expectations (PNWE) Tracking model, via our unique scorecard-based solution called Fournaise PainsTracker™ – to scientifically track, measure and identify the pains, needs, wants & expectations of their target audience, in the right order (hierarchy), and get a crystal clear picture of the ones they should primarily focus on (and why), for which audience segments, for maximised effectiveness and results.

At the end of the day the job of Marketing is to deliver incremental customer demand for the organisations’ products/services. Modern Marketing is more a science than an art – a science dedicated to effectiveness, ROI and business results. The sooner Marketers understand this, the sooner they will start winning the trust of their CEOs, and the sooner they will be seen as demand and growth generators.

About Fournaise

Global Leaders in Marketing Effectiveness Tracking & Boosting (METB). Fournaise tracks & boosts the effectiveness of Marketing, Product, Pricing, Channel, Communications & Branding strategies, programs, campaigns and activities across 20 countries worldwide, 13 industries (B2C, B2B) and 18 languages – to help them generate better results/ROI. For Fortune 500 & Large companies, SMEs and Top Advertising Agencies.

Company: Fournaise – The Marketing Effectiveness Tracker & Booster®
Website: www.fournaisegroup.com

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