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The Need for CFOs to Collaborate with Marketing

We’re big believers here at CFO Growth Advisors in the need for finance, strategy, and marketing to work closely together. In particular, the CFO and marketing team need to collaborate closely in order to efficiently grow (i.e., scale) a startup or small business.

However, according to an EY survey of CFOs, significant barriers remain, including the absence of common tools, processes, KPIs and continued cultural differences

Here are some key points from the survey:

  • Today’s business models are more complex

  • Customers are becoming more demanding and sophisticated

  • Technology is accelerating the pace of innovation

  • Competitive pressures are always increasing

  • Changes to the marketing strategy drives the need for CFO and marketing collaboration

Some of the crucial areas of collaboration include the following:

  • Customer intelligence

Understanding a company’s customer base via segmentation analysis lies at the heart of its profitability and competitive advantage.

  • Marketing ROI

“Increasing marketing spends in response to changing customer demands and channel proliferation in a digital world must be justified by effective measurement methods, but achieving a leadership position in collecting, managing and mining data for marketing purposes is a complex undertaking.”

“However, it is important to recognise that not all returns are easy to measure, and the CFO and CMO need to agree upon KPIs for both individual marketing initiatives and less directly traceable measures like brand positioning. “

  • Product mix

Optimizing the product portfolio is incredibly important due to the significant impact on profitability and limited resources.

Sub-optimal product portfolio and poor allocation of internal resources limit growth potential. The CFO and marketing team need to strike a balance between focusing on the customer and expanding the product line and services. The CFO plays a crucial role in understanding where businesses are creating value in the product portfolio, and making room for new product innovations.

  • Cost Control

With the increase in technology spending driven by marketing departments (e.g., app development, online presence, advertising and analytics, the CFO needs collaborate with the marketing team to understand how this cost is being managed while still pursing aggressive growth opportunities.

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