It could be said that marketing & finance functions have historically been pretty distant from each other. Stereotypically they are the organisations’ left and right brains, but in practice it’s often less of a Ying & Yang relationship, more Punch & Judy.
Today’s landscape is more conducive to – and demands – a far more effective working relationship between the two functions.
- With lots of acquisition activity in consumer-packaged goods, there’s more focus from investors on the enterprise value (EV) of a firm. The CFO needs to be able explain how marketing investment makes the business more valuable.
- Product portfolios are coming under pressure, with extraneous SKUs being removed by retailers and often replaced by own label or higher margin branded competitors, this can have impacts on sales, margins and overhead recovery.
- Online price transparency and the growth of discounter chains have made pricing a key battleground – it’s harder than ever to push through price increases which many CFOs see as the most direct way to bolster the bottom line.
- The digitisation of communications media, customer relationship management systems and so on, mean it should be easier to measure the return from marketing activity.But in an EY survey, whereas 79% of CFOs saw measuring marketing ROI an important or very important priority, just 13% believed marketing/finance agendas are aligned.
If you want a better relationship with finance, you need the support of your team. How can you encourage your team to develop greater financial acumen and build bridges?
- One of the most useful training sessions I organised as a marketing director in corporate land, was an internal ‘finance for marketers’ workshop. Could your team benefit from this sort of intervention?
- Encourage your marketing team to think and behave as through the business was their own. It’s an old, but extremely effective mantra. It’s a universal truth that people are more astute with their own money!
At Brand Ambition we have lots of experience of working with marketing and executive teams to enhance performance and co-develop strategy. If you’d like to chat, please get in touch.