Finance departments often criticize marketing’s inability to present a tangible ROI and use financial measures. It’s a common lament and one we’ve all heard. Rob Stuart, Executive Vice President & Publisher at CFO Publishing, in a recent conversation reminds us that CFOs expect marketers to come prepared to describe what their ROI is going to be for marketing investments. CFOs want to know how marketing is going to measure success, the key performance indicators for a conference and the ROI targets. CFOs are looking at the big picture and the organization’s overall investments.
If we want the CFOs support we need forge a stronger partnership with our finance colleagues. The perception or reality of an antagonistic relationship needs to be replaced with collaboration. And one of the best way to begin to build this relationship is to work from the CFOs comfort zone: data, analytics and metrics.
You may think that you already do. But here’s an example of how easy it is to throw things off kilter. A key source of the friction is derived from using the words with double meanings. For example, consider “brand equity”. The marketing professional uses the term to describe the health of the brand’s franchise with its key audiences; the financial professional uses it to characterize the brand as an economic asset. Whatever their differences, marketing and finance professionals need to find common ground.