Joe LaSala, Analytic Partners’ VP of Marketing, considers topics from Forrester Research’s report, “Collaborate With Finance To Prove Marketing’s Business Value”

Times have changed quickly for marketing teams. No longer can we focus on metrics like click-through rates or think about our success on a campaign-by-campaign basis. Like our colleagues on the Finance teams, we need to learn how to look at the big picture and better understand how our efforts impact the bottom line. What’s the best way to achieve this? According to a report from Forrester Research, “Collaborating with finance to show marketing’s impact on financial metrics helps marketers get more buy-in from the business and calculate future marketing risks and opportunities.”

Forrester Report: Marketing Must Measure Up To Business Impact
Marketing Must Measure Up To Business Impact – Source Forrester Research “Collaborate With Finance To Prove Marketing’s Business Value,” May 17, 2017

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

The folks in finance are smart about more than just numbers. Their understanding of processes, people and data can help marketers better understand their business impact. To benefit from this expertise, collaboration must happen. That collaboration can take the form of an actual role that exists between marketing and finance, actively learning from each other and using the same language, or physically sitting the teams together. (We at Analytic Partners have seen that last one work well within some of our clients.)

Smart marketers will also include finance in marketing planning and measurement. This helps develop KPIs both teams believe in, allows finance to benefit and learn from marketing analytics like Marketing Mix Modeling, and better consider both short and long term impacts. We have clients that use this approach to balance short-term revenue goals with impact on long-term financial measures like customer lifetime value.

And as technology and data investments grow across both teams, it is important to integrate systems and data to ensure the company is working off of a consistent set of metrics. This also makes it easier for marketers to include non-marketing data into their analysis – which is key to understanding the big picture