5 Ways to Improve the Alliance between Finance and Marketing
For many years, it has been assumed that the team members of a marketing team are creative individuals who have no consideration for finance and budgets. It has also been assumed that the members of the finance team are only concerned for making drastic budget cuts, and reducing the budgets of other teams to the bare minimum. These assumptions can make any kind of working relationship between the finance team and the marketing team difficult and tenuous. However, for any business to be successful then there needs to be an alliance between the two teams.Marketing is becoming a more and more important focus for many businesses, and even small businesses should have a marketing budget. Therefore, marketing and finance need to encourage an alliance to the benefit of the business. There are five key ways in which this relationship can be improved.
There should always be open and honest communication between the marketing and finance teams. If communication has broken down, then regular meetings should be established to open the lines of communication up again. Although it is a good idea to establish a regular meeting schedule before this happens, and it can actually prevent a communication breakdown. Some companies prefer these meetings to be between the department heads, while others prefer to include all members of both teams. These meetings can be vital to the relationship between the teams, and open communication is key. Erin Williams, of SEO services Montreal, said that while both teams use different skill sets, they are both equally essential to a successful company, and collaboration between the two is a good sign of a successful business.The marketing team should explain any upcoming campaigns, and estimates for the funding. The finance team should explain what the bottom line figure is, and why it is important.
- Fiscal Responsibility
Finance teams tend to appreciate other departments who have fiscal responsibility. If the marketing team can cut back, or completely cut out any non-essential spending, then it would be highly appreciated by the finance team. This appreciation could be shown in the future if, and when marketing needs a bit more leeway with their budget. The other benefit for the marketing team is that they will have a stronger budget with firmer numbers, as it is less likely to be subjected to harsh cuts, or random additions. This can mean that the marketing team can plan their upcoming campaigns with more financial security.
- Show Success
When finance see a large expenditure, but have little to no idea where it’s going, what it’s being spent on, or what the results from the spending actually are, then the chances are that they’re going to trim it back. The marketing team should make sure that they show the finance the team the results from the marketing campaigns, and not just the financial results. The campaign may have increased the online traffic, or helped the brand positioning. This should be shown to the finance team so that they can better understand the way in which the money is being spent, and how it is benefiting the company.
Finance departments tend to dislike financial requests that are nothing more than vague estimations and guesswork. Any financial request from the marketing team should be researched and prepared as fully as possible. This means that the marketing department is asking for a request with firmer figures, and essentially have given a better idea of the required budget, rather than finance giving a budget based on vague numbers. This makes negotiating between the two teams much easier, and friendlier, and encourages a better relationship between the teams.
- Confess Mistakes
If the marketing team thinks they might overspend on their budgeted figures, then they should inform the finance team as soon as possible. The finance team will appreciate being forewarned of any potential mistakes. If they already have gone over the budget, then they need to go to the finance team, and explain what happened, how it happened, and what steps they plan to take in the future to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. The marketing team should be upfront with the finance team, and shouldn’t try to hide the mistake, or try to shift the blame. This will help to promote open and honest communication between the two teams.
Essentially, the only way for a business of any size to be successful is for the different departments to work together. This is especially true of the finance and marketing teams. Finance are responsible for the accounting, and financial health of the company, and marketing are responsible for promoting the company. Both these roles are highly important, and if they can collaborate effectively, they can ensure that a business of any size can be successful.