Warc Blog

CEOs suspicious of creativity

12 July 2013
LONDON: 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 staff

 
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