Marketing needs to spend, Finance wants to conserve – how and where do you start building a bridge that will get you on the same page and accomplish your Marketing goals?
I’ve worked with many marketing executives who have very different experiences with their finance departments – some have great support, some have trouble communicating, it really varies. This is why it is important for us to begin where it matters – not walking into their office and demanding participation in a trust exercise… it begins in understanding how align goals!
Why does it begin at goals? Goal tracking for both marketing and finance executives has changed so much in recent years.
Marketing has to continuously be on top of changing marketing platforms, digital methods of communicating and tracking customers, and it means that KPIs are constantly shifting into more granular focuses; its no longer sufficient to only engage in brand lift studies – marketers need to be constantly reviewing precise analytics metrics.
Similarly, finance teams have had to adjust to a multitude of options for revenue streams and forecasting has greatly changed because of it. Additionally, in this world of building loyal customer lists, CFOs will have to start answering for financial metrics and non-financial metrics.
Long-term value of returning customers and the brand equity built by marketing experiences are valuable KPIs to the modern CFO.
Recent surveys from Martech Today have shown that outcome focuses for CMOs and those for CFOs are actually not that different. Similar goals may be phrased differently; ie. a marketer cares to improve the customer experience to keep loyal customers around longer – reducing customer churn is a high priority of finance too.
In the end, the best suggestion is to invite the other department head to a meeting (or lunch/coffee) where you openly discuss your goals – don’t be afraid to express them in the way that makes sense for your department’s success, but once that is shown, discuss the similarities and complementary goals you both have. Express the challenges that you face in achieving them; for a marketer, long-term brand affinity is always an elusive goal that requires long-term planning and support. Finance leaders must see the value of long-term brand affinity, so how can you get on the same page to support that goal?
This is also a huge opportunity for marketers to “flex” their understanding of their consumer via the incredible amount of collected information via digital marketing. The more a CMO can express the value of each dollar, the better Marketing and Finance will be able to come together as well.
Olivia Roehm is a Digital Strategist and Expert. She is also Co-Founder of The C-Suite Edge, a Fast-Track Learning Org designed for the Current and Aspiring C-Suite Executives. Their current offering includes catered content: Digital Marketing for the C-Suite Executive. See more at thecsuiteedge.com