3 Essential Conversations Between the CMO & CFO [Infographic]

— June 7, 2017

Traditionally, Marketing and Finance departments haven’t had the most obvious partnership. Only 14% of Marketing organizations see Finance as a trusted strategic partner, and 28% either have no relationship with finance or speak only when forced to (source).

But when these two groups open a dialogue, great things can happen that benefit both. In fact, Marketing organizations at high-growth companies are 3X more likely to align with Finance, working together to track investments and measurements of marketing budgets and returns (source).

We put together this graphic to show three of the most important topics that can arise out of a meaningful exchange between the CMO and CFO:

Today, marketing investments are under greater scrutiny than ever, and marketing leaders are held accountable to so much more than ever before. Because of this, the relationship between marketing and finance is critical, not only because finance holds the purse strings, but also because the CFO continues to take on a much more strategic role in the organization.

Finance is responsible for understanding business results (and what results will be). If a CMO seeks credit for their team’s contribution to the organization’s revenue, they must form a strong bond with the CFO, set expectations of what marketing success looks like, and work closely with the CFO to gain trust.

Tips for marketers seeking to improve their relationship with the finance team:

  • Bring finance into your planning and budgeting process. Finance values predictability over anything else. If they understand where marketing is going to spend, they’ll be more comfortable. With better trust in your projections, you’ll earn additional space to test and try more.
  • Get onto the same page about processes and approaches. Marketing organizations that expect larger revenue growth report significantly better alignment – meaning that measurements of budgets and returns are aligned, and consistent.
  • Set expectations of what success looks like, and update as progress is made, or changes happen. Your goal is to recast marketing as a strategic partner, rather than as a cost center.

This post originally appeared in The MPM Factor, the Allocadia Blog.

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Author: Sam Melnick

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