How To Improve The Alliance Between Your Marketing and Finance Teams

On the surface, it can appear that marketing and finance have nothing in common. These two departments are like the Ryan Reynolds and Alanis Morrisette couple of the corporate world. What on earth could they possibly have in common?

However, if you dig a bit deeper, you start to see all the finer intricacies that tie these two departments together and why without the other, they would both be lost. 

Marketing and finance are the ultimate power couple and here’s why you need to make sure they are both on the same page going into the New Year.


1. Make Sure REAL Communication Takes Place

All too often in an office environment, we get so caught up in our emails, instant messages and Skype calls that we forget to have real conversations with our colleagues.

With marketing and financing playing such a pivotal role with money coming in and staying in the business, it’s imperative that both these teams build a strong interdepartmental relationship.

Weekly meetings is a great way for both teams to catch up with one another and share a progress report. These sessions can be used to snip any projects not performing well in the bud before more money is spent or to funnel more money into one that is performing exceptionally well.


2. Foster a Culture of Frugality

In a company, the finance team protects its wealth. They live and breathe the phrase “saving for a rainy day” and do their utmost to cut back on any unnecessary spending. After all, they want the money to stay in the company and then double it.

Marketing, on the other hand, wants to spend money. Whether it is on the latest marketing automation tool or a prize for a social media contest – the budgets set out by finance never seem to be enough.

It is this dynamic that can often cause a clash between these two teams. According to Helen Trotter ,  design and marketing manager from A Plus Digital, one of the best ways to avoid this, have your web design and marketing team brainstorm ways they can reduce expenses. Once they have a list, arrange a meeting and allow finance to see marketing being proactive about the company’s expenditure.

It is a simple activity that will foster a spirit of frugality and respect between the two teams.

3. Be Transparent About Marketing’s ROI

By 2019, it is predicted that companies will have spent $103 billion on search marketing, social media and email campaigns. With so much money at stake, finance needs to see the ROI value in all these campaigns. 

By having your marketing team sit down and show how all that money is spent and explain how it positively affects the business’s bottom line, finance will be in a better position to understand what it is exactly marketing does and why they need all those tools to attract leads to the business.


4. Have Marketing Prepare Their Own Numbers

If your marketing team is never impressed with its budget from the finance team, have them crunch their own numbers.

Before the next meeting to discuss the new fiscal year or to get funding approved for another campaign, have marketing draw up a solid budget plan for funding. Make sure it breaks down all the costs and includes the expected ROI.

By having marketing go through this process, they can present finance with the numbers they want with strong reasoning to back the expenditure. It will help to make interdepartmental negotiating run a lot smoother and help both teams walk away happy.


5. Dissect Results As A Team

It’s common knowledge that marketing and finance think in very different ways. One is very practical and grounded, while the other is creative with a plethora of ideas always on the tip of the tongue.

This does not have to be a bad thing. Getting these two teams to combine their different views is fundamental to building your business up. One of the best ways to do this is to have your marketing and finance teams analyse campaign results together.

With their different views on success; you can all decide together if a campaign was a success, what could have been done differently and if it was worth the expenditure in the end.

By creating this environment for discussion, you can avoid costly mistakes and make the best financial and marketing decisions for your company going forward.

At the end of the day, a happy alliance between marketing and finance is all about acknowledging each other’s strengths and weakness and forming that power couple relationship. Once your company has these two teams working together and not against each other, you will be better equipped to deal with bumps in the road to success.