In its 2013 Global Marketing Effectiveness Program, the Fournaise Marketing Group said 71% of marketers performed three times lower on average in terms of ROI than those who did not neglect customer value propositions (CVPs) in their campaigns.
The performance measurement company interviewed more than 1,200 CEOs and marketing decision-makers in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia and also measured the effectiveness of more than 2.5m ad campaigns across all media.
It concluded that 70% of marketers were distracted by what they thought would be "game changers", such as marketing automation, omnichannel executions and big data management, instead of employing tried and tested marketing techniques.
And almost four-fifths (79%) of those polled admitted they had failed to prove their marketing spend unquestionably delivered the ROI that their management expected.
Jerome Fontaine, global CEO and chief tracker at Fournaise, said the key lesson from last year is that campaigns and activities that do not have "crafted, researched and optimised CVP architectures" will under-perform regardless of media channel.
He said: "One of the diseases in the marketing industry is that marketers too often forget new media, marketing automation, omnichannel, big data and the likes are only tools used to best deliver, analyse and/or optimise the messages.
"Those marketers who made the tools the core of their strategies got it wrong in 2013. In the tyre industry they say that power is nothing without control. In the marketing industry, form is nothing without the right content."
Data sourced from the Fournaise Marketing Group; additional content by Warc staff