CMO Council Data Shows Concerns Of Economy, CFO Collaboration

Marketing leaders are not prepared to weather investments in a challenging economic environment. Only 10% strongly believe their marketing investments position them to emerge from economic turmoil ahead of the competition, according to Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council data released this week.

One of the reasons for this challenge: marketing and finance departments need stronger collaboration, but nearly four in five CMO-CFO partnerships are not "very willing" to collaborate on investments, goals and metrics.

Stronger collaboration would require developing an understanding in the differences of each department, such as metrics and goals, priorities and incentives, risk assessment, timetables, and more.

Collaboration would require a stronger connection between budget and marketing planning, and execution and performance that would give greater visibility across marketing and finance teams.

The CMO Council report -- "Marketing & Finance: Fueling Innovation or Falling Behind?", produced in collaboration with KPMG LLP -- examines the relationships of marketing and finance departments and how marketing leaders can achieve a higher level of confidence in their investments



Among CMO-CFO partnerships that are indifferent or hesitant to collaborate, only 27% are satisfied with their ability to innovate.

The data suggests that a strong marketing-finance connection makes marketers more innovative. CMOs and CFOs who work well together cite marketing analytics, machine learning, and automation as immediate areas of focus in the next 12 months, making them more predictive and productive to meet changes in market and buyer behavior.

Companies with CMOs and CFOs lacking strong alignment are not very confident in their marketing investments and are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with capabilities. After marketing analytics, they are focused on short-term, business-as-usual investments in brand marketing, digital media and search, and social media.

Co-ownership of customer data plays a central role, especially when it comes to sharing. Marketing budgets and investment decisions rely on data validation.

Only 18% of marketing leaders strongly believe both finance and marketing have the same timely access to insightful, reliable, accurate, and integrated customer data, transactional information, and market intelligence to inform marketing investments, but only 22% are willing to collaborate on this topic.

The study found that 87% of marketers in a marketing-finance partnership that are willing to collaborate were either satisfied or very satisfied in their ability to measure performance.

Only 57% of marketers in a partnership that are less willing to collaborate said the same thing. To be fair, tracking and measuring performance is a challenge for practically every marketer.

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