Yawning and taking phone calls: Marketers air their biggest boardroom peeves

Around a third (33%) of senior marketers only get an estimated one hour or less to present to their company’s board each year, according to an eye-opening new survey.

Conducted by PR agency Bottle, the research also reveals worrying disparities in the airtime accorded to each sex, with 22% of men accorded over an hour per quarter as opposed to only 16% of women. One in ten (11%) female marketers even reported getting ‘no facetime’ at all.

The boardroom frustrations experienced by marketers don’t stop there however, with over a quarter (27%) saying that they have been interrupted by a C-suite member during a presentation, and 24% adding that their time had even been cut short.

A staggering 37% of respondent indicated that had dealt with board members who seemed ‘distracted’, some chatting among themselves (24%) and even taking a phone call (18%) during the presentation.


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Even more ire-inducing is the fact that as many as one in ten (10%) have had to face yawns whilst presenting, with a further 6% experiencing eye-rolls. Close to a fifth (18%) reported facing blank stares from board members.

Most of these issues are rooted in the perception that the discipline is ‘fluffy’, with close to 60% of marketers worried that the sector isn’t taken seriously at board level, whilst over a third (36%) believe their results aren’t considered important.

“Marketers have long dealt with a perception issue at board level but, in recent years, digital tools have helped a growing industry prove ROI. The reality remains that two-thirds (67%) believe the only metric a board really wants to know is sales growth, according to our survey. Marketing and PR contributes so much more to long term commercial success, so it’s a shame that indicators like brand health and audience engagement aren’t given the airtime they deserve,” Bottle MD and co-owner, Natasha Hill said.

“That said, we’re encouraged that reach continues to be a popular, well-understood KPI. Part of the problem is scientific – the human brain is designed to compare, not count, so it struggles to comprehend big numbers. We interact with small figures all the time, but anything beyond that becomes abstract.

AgenciesNewsResearch and Data

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