What if we aligned marketing and finance ?

If I say: “Marketing alignment and…”, will you not answer : “Sales”. Surely you will as sales and marketing alignement is essential. As I wrote earlier, “who never thought that sales teams came from March and  marketing teams from Venus…? »

However, there is another essential alignment for the company,  Marketing and Finance alignement.

As a matter of fact, which departments seem so far apart from each other as these two? With a common objective – the growth of the company – they seem to evolve in a silo without really communicating. We exchange figures and reports that are sometimes incomprehensible on both sides.


Ask a marketer to comment on the accruals  Excel file he has just received……..

Or your Finance colleagues to draw conclusions from the customer engagement dashboard……

These two teams do not share common indicators for this unique relationship that would enable a true collaboration.

After many years in charge of Marketing Ops for American IT companies, I can almost say that my best friend was the CFO. American IT companies have put marketing performance at the heart of their strategy for many years, and this requires an alignment between Marketing and Finance.

So, what is blocking the marketing side?


Too often, marketers imagine that Finance considers them as a cost centre:

  • “No dialogue is possible with Finance.” We often receive our marketing budget a little late because many companies have a top-down approach to the marketing budget.
  • “Budget cuts are not taking into account our priorities.”
  • “Our efforts are not recognized for their true value.”
  • “Our participation in the company’s growth is not taken into account”.

Ow! Ow! Ow!  And even so, if that were the case, how could we change things:

1. Present your marketing plan to your Finance Department.

You have certainly presented your marketing plan to your sales department, but have you done the same with the financial team? Have you all sat down together around a table and explained to them:

– How you aligned with the company’s strategy.
– How you will invest the allocated budget, and what are the key actions. What you expect from your spendings.
– What is marketing automation and how it will  help you ?
– Kpi’s you’ve set.
– How you will manage your budget. And pilot your marketing performance.

With this meeting, you’ve just changed your image from a “cost center” to a “growth lever”.


2. Organize recurring meetings

After presenting the plan, continue meeting with Finance. Present your results, your new forecast (the plan may have changed). Take the time to present the new flagship campaign and the expected objectives. Do your own marketing!

A new perception of the role of marketing through increased collaboration between marketing and finance, allows many companies to see their marketing budget increase.


3. Define common indicators

Choose indicators that serve your everyday activity and create alignment. Here is 1 example:
Marketing budget commitment rate
Finance often blames marketers for committing their budgets too late in the budget cycle, if not at the last minute. This leaves them perplexed about our ability to manage marketing activity….
Check each month, or each quarter, the amount of your purchase orders against your budget and explain them what’s going on and what are your intentions.

Engaging your budget early enough with your suppliers will allow you to professionalize your approach. It will also protect you from budget cuts that have fallen from the sky. You will save valuable time during budget reviews and your credibility will be increased.

More indicators here

4. Hire new Marketing Profiles,  oriented Marketing Ops

No need for studies to prove that marketers have limited knowledge of financial processes and objectives. And vice versa! . Marketing Ops oriented marketers have an appetite for numbers, processes and performance. They will be the perfect fit for your new friends.

By better understanding each other’s organization, goals and objectives and bringing clarity to the marketing team, Marketing Ops creates the necessary alignment with Finance for a good collaboration. Managing marketing budget, provisions and kpis, Marketing Ops pilot your performance in direct contact with Finance and other departments – including Sales.

Bringing finance and marketing together is the best way to foster collaboration, especially when it comes to marketing budget and planning. Increased collaboration between marketing and finance helps establish clearer working relationships between teams.
It has a positive effect in clarifying the specific roles and responsibilities of each individual and repositioning marketing as an essential contributor to the company’s growth.

To continue the discussion, call me!


A bientôt !

Béatrice Loriot – + 33 6 81 07 34 41 / + 34 680 907 987 – Bloriot@beautifulnumbers.fr

Photo in post by 张 学欢 on Unsplash

Cover Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash

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