Your CEO Doesn’t Trust That You’re Doing Your Job!

Does your boss trust you?Did you see the startling statistic shared last week that 70 percent of CEOs have lost trust in marketers? If you’re a marketer, like I am, that should alarm you.

According to the recent Fournaise 2012 Global Marketing Effectiveness Program, which has interviewed more than 1,200 CEOs across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, CEOs have lost faith in their marketing departments with their inability to prove ROI on campaigns:

Furthermore, they have:

Made the conscious decision not to expect more from marketing than branding, look/feel good ads and promotions…

CEOs feel marketers “live too much in the brand, creative and social media bubble.”

I was discussing this with my buddy, Mitch Joel, who shared the following on his blog:

Doesn’t digital change everything?
Digital does change everything (at least from my perspective), but digital changes nothing if all a brand is doing is traditional marketing in new marketing channels. That isn’t to say that solving the digital marketing challenge will suddenly get the marketers a more respected chair in the c-suite, but this is massive opportunity for marketers because measuring, testing, optimizing and learning has never been as scientific and results-oriented as it is (and can) be in the digital channels. There’s the old saying, “fail faster,” I believe that digital marketing allows a brand to not only fail faster, but to do it in a cost-effective way.

There is very little excuse (other than it is hard to do and takes work) for digital marketing not to be business-performance-obsessed. The fact is, way too many marketers may no longer be counting HITS, but they are still measuring with that philosophy. By the way, HITS stands for “How Idiots Track Success.”

Don’t misunderstand me and think I am anti-social media. Just the opposite, I know the true ROI of social media. I view it as a long-term brand-building necessity, but just like branding, you can’t measure it in the short term by direct sales and without proper attribution modeling in place. That’s why it doesn’t concern me when I see social media sales statistics like:

  • Only 0.68 percent of Black Friday online sales came from Facebook referrals – two-thirds of 1 percent. That was a decline of 1 percent from last year.
  • Commerce site traffic from Twitter accounted for exactly 0.00 percent of Black Friday traffic. That was down from 0.02 percent last year.

Marketing measurement should never be about how many views, likes, +1s, retweets, shares, etc. you have. All marketing efforts, and especially digital marketing efforts and their metrics, should flow directly and intelligently into the C-suite’s financial statements. That is, if we want to stay relevant to what matters to the CEO and CFO. We have been preaching this since 2001.

If we still have this issue in digital a decade later, imagine the issues the rest of marketing must have in terms of business performance alignment and measurement. Let’s make a resolution to make 2013 the year marketers regain trust from their CEOs and become obsessed with business performance.

In my next column, I’ll share with you a framework on how to get there.

P.S. The results of this CMO Club Survey has me hopeful that Marketers are starting to focus on the right things.
Please share if you think others would benefit.