When talking to FDs about marketing spend, Turtl’s founder Nick Mason realised that it was often difficult for finance directors to measure the value brought by marketing to business. It was suggested that further communication between the two sectors could enable FDs to calculate ROI – meaning they would invest more in marketing.
Sectional analytics; average time spend on page; and individual reader tracking all encompass metrics which are frequently overlooked by FDs, said Mason. Yet, an increasing use of them could lead to greater communication – helping finance speak the language of marketers.
Why the gap?
Karla Rivershaw, Head of Marketing at Turtl, details why the two sectors can often lack collaboration, leaving finance directors doubting the work value of marketing:
“For starters, they speak different languages. Finance directors are very much interested in revenue and making sure that marketers can demonstrate ROI, and that’s how they speak. The reality is that most marketers aren’t doing that now. They will often talk about things such as brand awareness, shares, impressions – management metrics. However, this doesn’t work for us.
“As the finance director is the right hand of the CEO, they will often have a lot of sway in what marketing receives in terms of budgets – it has a knock-on effect. The resources that marketing has available but also the reputation that marketing has within the business would be why there is such a big gap between marketing and finance.”
The gap between the two sectors can therefore be explained through the difference in language used by the marketer and FD. That means communication is essential in order to build a work relationship that is efficient in terms of productivity.
Building a relationship
Rivershaw claims that building an efficient relationship lies within the hands of marketing, with informing finance directors about the value of their work key to business success:
“There is a lot of work that marketing can do. We’re starting to see a new wave of modern marketers, where they are starting to pick up the right lingo and talk about the right things.
“Rather than communicating about marketing metrics, they are informing about things that finance directors understand – how much they are contributing towards sales pipeline or how much they have sources from for example. These are what finance can get its heads around and start seeing the true value of what marketing is bringing.”
Expanding on this thought, Rivershaw explains: “If you can understand how people are reading and engaging with your content, that can really inform salespeople when they’re going to follow up. It is important that marketing can deliver that kind of insights and analysis because it will, first, help to improve the relationship between them. Secondly, it helps to attribute what marketing are doing back to the overall pipeline.”
When a correlation is made on behalf about marketers’ contribution to the overall pipeline, FDs will invest in their work and understand what they offer to the business’ profit. Improving the relationship between the two sectors can not only become beneficial in terms of understanding metrics, but also for the company’s productivity.
Key benefits for businesses
The collaboration between marketing and finance involves an endless loop, where a lack of communication could lead to a decreasing budget generating a plunge in business growth – and vice versa.
Rivershaw concludes: “If finance understands the value in marketing, they will not be afraid to fund the marketing team, meaning it will be equipped with resources needed to deliver on the company goals and help drive growth while retaining customer base.
“When marketing has its budget cut, then it can only deliver less – and then because it doesn’t deliver enough it gets cut again. If they can show the metrics to the finance team, then the finance team will understand marketing a lot better. Over time, they will start to resource it properly, which can only be good for the company.”