The Fournaise Marketing Group (Fournaise) is a leading Marketing Performance Measurement & Management (MPM) company, specialising in marketing effectiveness, tracking & boosting. In late October, Fournaise’s Global CEO and Marketing Performance Chief, Jerome Fontaine, was named as 2018’s Marketing sector CEO of the Year by CEO Monthly Magazine. Following this, Jerome offered some insight into the firm’s success in leading an industry renaissance.
The face of marketing has changed dramatically since the dot-com boom of the mid-nineties, with industries of all shapes and sizes looking to capitalise on the opportunities that new technology offers. The marketing sector has been redefined more than most, with marketing technology forming the cornerstone of modern practice – with, for example, the widespread adoption of digital, social media, CRM and automation technologies.
Despite this marketing technology boom, Fournaise tracked that close to 75% of marketing campaigns deployed in traditional, digital, social and direct media still underperform and achieve low business ROI. With CEOs questioning marketers’ ability to deliver business results that matter, the industry has realised it needs to realign to a more business-focused approach to be effective.
Using its proprietary MPM technology and models, Fournaise has – over the last fourteen years – tracked and boosted the effectiveness of over 2.5 million marketing strategies, programs, campaigns and ads, across 20 countries, 13 industries (B2C & B2B) and 13 languages, for some of the largest Fortune 500 institutions, SMEs and top advertising agencies. To begin, Jerome takes a moment to discuss the firm’s approach to realigning the focus of marketing towards achieving tangible, measurable and business-relevant results. “Ultimately, we track and measure what works, what does not, where, on which audience and, very importantly, we understand why. From there we advise Senior Management and Marketers on the strategic and tactical corrective actions they should take to push their marketing to deliver better results, effectiveness and ROI: more sales, more market share, more conversions, more prospects, more customer demand.”
“The marketing industry at large has been facing a major challenge for many years: it has lost sense of its real purpose and job: to generate incremental customer demand for the organisations’ products or services in a business-quantifiable and business-measurable way. Over the years, we’ve tracked that today’s Marketers have been making two key mistakes: The first, they live too much in their creative, digital, and social media bubble, focusing on the “big creative idea” and/or on parameters such as “likes”, “tweets”, “feeds” or “followers” – parameters that they can’t really prove generate more quantifiable customer demand for their products/services. These very parameters are judged by CEOs as “interesting but not critical”. Secondly, they pay more attention to the form instead of the content, neglecting their Customer Value Propositions (CVPs), and end up deploying weak, ineffective content.”
“We tracked that 80% of today’s CEOs admit they do not really trust and are not very impressed by the work done by their Marketers – while by comparison, 95% of the same CEOs do trust and value the opinion and work of CFOs and CIOs.”
As such, careful and comprehensive consideration defines Fournaise’s work, and Jerome is quick to emphasise its unique MPM model: “We Track. We Analyse. We Feed. We Advise.” Fournaise provides a complete and empirical 360-degree (products, pricing, channel and communication) effectiveness & performance offering for its clients, using its proprietary technology developed, managed and constantly enhanced by the team internally. Marketing effectiveness tracking & boosting is a complex multidimensional game of optimisation, and to best identify and fix the effectiveness issues faced by its clients, Fournaise has developed a unique problem-specific, optimisation-focused suite of solutions organised into five proprietary categories: Audience Tracking Optimisation (ATO); Pains, Needs, Wants, Expectations Tracking (PNWE); Product, CVP & Message Effectiveness Optimisation (PMEO); Campaign Performance Tracking & Optimisation (CPTO) and Brand Performance Tracking & Optimisation (BPTO).
Moving on, Jerome discusses the importance of Fournaise’s role as a MPM advisor – the “We Advise” part of its MPM model: “Tracking results is not enough. Turning these results into business-growing actions is what truly matters. We are recognised Marketing experts, with proven business track records around the world – enabling us to best analyse the tracking data and results to provide the sharp, result-driven, effectiveness-boosting recommendations our clients are looking for. Some of our clients call us the data whisperers, which is rather flattering”.
As Global CEO, Jerome is, by all regards, the crux of the firm’s enduring operational success. With a history at the helm of large-scale marketing campaigns for some of the world’s top organisations prior to founding Fournaise, he had spearheaded the efforts of leading brands such as Compaq Computer, United Parcel Service (UPS), Yahoo! and Volvo to name but a few.
So how does an MPM specialist like Fournaise effectively generate customer demand for its own business? Interestingly, Fournaise doesn’t engage in advertising, but rather, opts to grow its client portfolio through a commitment to establishing long-term client relationships, and through a reliance on word-of-mouth, PR efforts and referrals.
As we come to the close of the interview, the conversation turns to the role that Fournaise’s team plays in ensuring that the firm’s founding goals remain at the very centre of its work. Reflecting a more modern approach to management, Fournaise’s internal culture finds its foundations in four integral pillars: work-life balance, empowerment, productivity, and a politics-free working environment. “At Fournaise we know that success is impossible without a high-quality, dedicated, high-performance workforce, and for this we have one simple philosophy: “A happy workforce delivers”. Our staff know that we have their back, and the only thing that matters is that they do their job well, with the level of quality and consistency expected. Equally, when staff members are in charge of something, they are in charge. We understand they may make mistakes, and what we ask is that they learn from these mistakes to be able to avoid them in the future.”
“At the end of the day, we are one big family: we succeed together, we fail together. We do not point fingers at each other when things go wrong, and we do not try to outshine each other. We are all part of the same team working towards the same goal. It may sound like a cliché, but we are proud to say that there is no politicking in our organisation.”
In his closing comments, Jerome summarises Fournaise’s ethos: “Fournaise is 100% dedicated to incremental customer demand generation. We solely focus on feeding Marketers with the business-quantifiable and business-measurable effectiveness tracking & boosting data, results and recommendations we know they need – giving them the opportunity to demonstrate they can be solid incremental customer demand generators.”
Jerome Fontaine graduated from EDHEC Business School Masters programme in 1994. EDHEC is ranked in Europe’s Top 15 Business Schools, and is one of the World’s Top 3 Business Schools for Finance (Financial Times). Prior to founding Fournaise and growing it on a global scale, he led Consumer Product Marketing at Compaq Computer; ran Marketing Research & Development, eCommerce & Customer Relationship Management (CRM) at United Parcel Service (UPS), one of the global leaders in package delivery and supply chain management; and was Partner & Director of Marketing Services (covering insights, data, digital and CRM) at top advertising agency Euro RSCG (now Havas Worldwide, one of the world’s Top 10 advertising agencies) where he was also Brand Director for globally-recognised brands such as Yahoo!, Tag Heuer, Dell, ABN AMRO Bank, Evian Mineral Water and Volvo to name a few.
Company: The Fournaise Marketing Group – The Marketing Performance Booster®