Charlotte Rogers has a fascinating practitioner article on the Marketing/Finance interface published in Marketing Week. This is a positive piece. It outlines how marketing and finance groups are collaborating more. Much of the advice is sensible. For example, UKTV brought a finance person into the media review team. This meant the person was able to supply some great ideas. The implant had an equal voice. It is a great example of marketing and finance working together.
Feelings Of Ownership Help
A secondary benefit of bringing finance people into marketing decisions is shared ownership. When involved in a decision the finance group feel ownership. They want to make it work. They also get to understand some of the challenges in marketing. For example, a key one being seeing whether a project has been successful. Marketing and finance working together makes sense if you work on the assumption that finance people actually want the business to be successful. If you share the reasons for your plans, assuming your plans make sense, the finance people are more likely to be receptive.
The advice if you want to bring groups together seems sensible. Create physical closeness. They did this at Energizer. “… finance physically sits alongside sales and marketing, putting the team in a central position to support the other business functions” (Rogers, 2017). (It reminded me a little of Gordon Allport’s Contact Hypotheses. Contact was designed to reduce racism. Bringing groups together is the best way to reduce inter-group tension. Seems logical to me.)
The ultimate aim may be to convince finance people that marketers aren’t just frittering away money. “The fact that the Monster finance team sees marketing as an investment rather than a costs is one of the company’s biggest achievements” (Rogers, 2017).
Optimism Can Be Reasonable
The tone is optimistic. “By casting outside the outdated assumptions that marketing and finance are diametrically opposed, brands are finding better ways to create a collaborative business culture that simultaneously fosters creativity and delivers concrete results” (Rogers, 2017). It is optimistic but I also think it is right.
For more on working at the marketing finance interface see here
Read: Charlotte Rogers, (2017) How marketing is working with finance to shake off the “us versus them” attitude, Marketing Week, 17 October 2017