CEOs suspicious of creativity/eMarketer survey in UK

Most chief executives think advertising and media agencies are too focused on creativity and not enough on business results, a new survey has found.

The Fournaise Marketing Group, a performance measurement and management company, interviewed more than 1,200 chief executive officers and decision makers around the world for its 2013 Global Marketing Effectiveness Program.

It found that 78% thought agencies were not performance-driven enough and did not focus enough on helping to generate the business results they expected their marketing departments to deliver.

In addition, 76% felt agencies talked too much about “creativity as the saviour” while not being able to prove or quantify it. Indeed, they believed that agencies were frequently opportunistic in claiming credit for results that could be attributed to other factors such as the product, sales force, channel or pricing.

Trust was further eroded by the realisation by 72% of CEOs that agencies were not as data- and science-driven as they had expected. There was too much reliance on gut-feelings, hearsay, wrong methodologies and questionable information.

Money was another issue, as 70% of chief executives thought agencies claimed inadequate budgets or slow payment times as excuses for an inability to deliver expected business results.

Jerome Fontaine, Global CEO & Chief Tracker of Fournaise, said that chief executives saw two types of agency, one performance-driven and trustable, the other pretending to be performance-driven and not trustable.

He anticipated that the pretenders’ reaction to the survey would be to attack the findings, questioning their accuracy and ensuring their views were heard in the media.

“The ‘performers’ will smile, nod and will continue doing what they’ve been doing best: constantly tracking their creative/media performance and delivering (real and P&L-quantifiable) business results for their clients, week in, week out,” Fontaine concluded.

The overall picture could change, however, if agencies were willing to move to a payment-by-results business model, as the survey revealed that 89% of chief executives saw this as a way of forcing agencies to focus on what CEOs actually expected from them.

Data sourced from Fournaise Marketing Group; additional content by Warc, July 2013


About Framework Marketing Group

Framework Marketing Group has access to and is able to provide a range of co-ordinated creative thinkers…as and when you need them. It’s a marketing communications company with a toolbox of resources able to be used on an “on-demand” basis. The focus is on communication tools that evaluate brand strategies and interpret consumer behaviour to ensure a consistent and practical brand communications programme. Specifically: 1. Build strategic marketing plans: Understanding market data so strategic marketing plans have practical outcomes and communications to target markets are effective. 2. Communication audits From analysis of all messages – understand how customers really think and then recommend improvements to messages and media channel selection 3. Brand evaluations Establish how robust the brand equity is with each target market so communications to them is relevant 4. Integrate all communication channels Recommend an effective mix of communication channels to achieve economies of scale timing and content compatibility 5. Interpret market research Understand and fix gaps in market knowledge for consumers, customers and staff 6. Sales strategies Develop sales strategies from a foundation of core marketing platforms so all communications to market are complementary to each other
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