5 Benefits of Aligning Marketing and Finance

October 28, 2016 James Thomas

unknown-7With the rise of data-driven marketing and marketing performance management, the relationship between marketing and finance has radically changed — for the better. A new Forrester survey of 190 marketing and finance decision-makers confirms the trend, with more than 75 percent of respondents saying it’s critical or very important for marketing and finance to be aligned on business objectives, including revenue growth and profit margins.

But aside from achieving harmony in the C-suite, what are the benefits when marketing investments are well-managed and aligned? Here’s how finance and marketing alignment benefit company growth, the customer experience and even new technology adoption.

Improving Marketing Budget Stewardship

“CFOs appreciate CMOs who behave as general managers — applying strategic analysis, metrics and a process-based view to the marketing function’s priorities and initiatives. Countless marketing leaders have asked for more budget without first demonstrating a facile corporate stewardship of the budget dollars they were entrusted with. Track the return on marketing dollars and communicate this to the CFO.” —Read more at SiriusDecisions.

Sharing a Common Vision for Objectives and Reporting

“[I]t’s important to build consensus around these specific KPIs. Different stakeholders may have varying points of view on which metrics really are KPIs and which are vanity metrics. Ideally, by facilitating that conversation, and coming to a broad agreement across the team, the KPIs you do select become the ‘coin of the realm’ when it comes to insights and optimization. In other words, your team speaks a common language when it comes to insights, and you don’t get bogged down in arguing about metrics definitions, translating between two teams’ chosen metrics and so on.” —Read more at Marketing Land.

Delivering Critical Business Intelligence Insights

“The CFO of a U.S. retailer led his firm to measure and prioritize ‘emotional connection’ with customers. By focusing on emotional connection, this CFO helped his business return to profitable growth, measure the contributions of marketing, innovation, and customer experience investments on the bottom line, and transcend data overload to deliver critical intelligence driving the business.” —Read more at CFO.

Realizing Economic Benefits of a Positive Customer Experience

“For CFOs who are increasingly asked to assist with strategic decision-making across the company, it is essential to understand the economic impact of customer experience (CX). Without proper insights, a CFO may dismiss certain budgets as ‘nice to have’ when they could actually provide strategic advantages and gains.” —Read more at CFO Innovation.

Rising Above the Lure of Shiny New ‘Digital Toys’

“All too often, adopting the latest and most popular technology available can be very tempting — even if the price tag outweighs its benefits. With their typically common-sense approach, finance leaders can help their executive peers rise above the lure of shiny, new ‘digital toys’ that only serve a single department. Instead, they can jointly explore the opportunity of achieving tangible bottom-line improvements when focusing on a sophisticated enterprise management platform.” —Read more at Forbes.

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