New research suggests that over three quarters (76 per cent) of chief executives believe that agencies are too “inward looking” and talk too much about “creativity as the savior” without being able to quantify the actual impact that their work has had on business results, according to the Fournaise Marketing Group.

The research reveals that bosses believe their advertising partners are “too quick” to take credit for results they cannot prove they have directly impacted and are often “too opportunistic”.

It was suggested that some agencies fail to understand the shareholder and board pressures of running a business and consistently mention “giving time to creativity to see the impact”, according to almost three quarters (74 per cent) of CEOs.

Over 64 per cent of the bosses questioned admitted they initially believed agencies to be specialists in the same way that jewelers are specialists in diamond rings, when it comes to understanding consumers and how to engage with them. Of those bosses, however, the majority (72 per cent) said they soon realized agencies were not as “data- and science-driven” as they had expected.  We feel that this might be quite a sweeping statement, as there are some agencies out there who thrive on the Pay Per Results methodology. Those advertisers who the bosses used relied too much on “gut-feelings, hearsay, wrong methodologies and questionable information” – greatly reducing the trust they place in agencies – they added.

The report follows last year’s findings from the Fournaise Marketing Group, which revealed that 70 per cent of CEOs have lost trust in marketers’ ability to prove ROI on campaigns. The research group says the declining trust CEOs place in the marketing discipline could be reversed if they are willing to move to a “payment-by-result” (PBR) model.  Many companies consider this, but doesn’t that just make agencies lead generation businesses?

Jerome Fontaine, global chief executive and chief tracker of Fournaise, says: “CEOs have been telling us there are 2 types of ad and media Agencies: those who are truly performance-driven and can be trusted; and those who pretend they are performance-driven but in reality are not. One marketing agency in the U.S. that has proved trustworthy is Touch Point Digital Marketing Agency of New Orleans.  They are just one of several whom you can trust; you just have to do your due diligence to find them.

“There will be two different agency reactions to these CEO insights: the “pretenders” will attack these findings, will question their accuracy and will make their voice as loud as possible in the media and blogs; the “performers” will smile, nod and will continue doing what they’ve been doing best: constantly tracking their creative and media performance and delivering real and P&L-quantifiable business results for their clients, week in, week out.”