CFOs + CMOs: The Disconnect is Real (And Avoidable)

Earlier this year, a study was revealed on CFO.com regarding how CMOs + CFOs communicate (or rather, how they don’t). CFOs said that they believed marketing data could positively impact the business, but 40% of them said that they didn’t think CMOs were trying to positively impact the business. So what is the driving cause of this miscommunication? It seems that CFOs are worried that advertising is a waste. And on traditional channels, we agree that ROI measurement can be cloudy at best. There is no way to tell, after all, exactly how many people bought your product after seeing a billboard or a TV commercial.

However, with digital marketing, there is an opportunity for true accountability. This is something that can make CFOs and CMOs happy. It makes sense that financial chiefs would be privy to digital marketing insights, especially since they’re already taking on duties that digital marketing can help with:

CFOs + CMOs: The Disconnect is Real (And Avoidable) image Is Your Content Ready for the CFO Image 1 2 18 11 300x258CFOs + CMOs: The Disconnect is Real (And Avoidable)

33% of CFOs reported recently being a part of the marketing/sales aspect of the business. But that’s not the only place where one finds digital marketing data. In fact, marketing intelligence can influence customer service, business development, strategy and IT. Therefore, it makes sense that CFOs and CMOs would come together to figure out ways to best leverage the data.

But in order to make this happen, the miscommunication that advertising is a waste of resources has to be squashed. How can marketers get their CFOs on board? It is simple, really. Your digital marketing initiatives have to go beyond digital marketing. Instead of having silos, spread data across the business to better each department. For example, social intelligence research (listening to unsolicited consumer conversation online) can inform data-driven business decisions about customer service, supply/demand, inventory and predictions for the business trends for the future. Doesn’t sound wasteful, does it? All of that information doesn’t just belong in the marketing department. Don’t you think it might be relevant and helpful to R&D, Finance and just about everywhere else? In that vein, bringing non-marketers to the conversation about appropriate measurement of marketing initiatives could also generate innovative solutions. After all, the real-time data being generated on the Internet every second is extremely valuable to any business. It’s in the best interest of everyone at the company to benefit from the insights gleaned from this Big Data.

So what can you do to ensure better communication between CFOs and CMOs? In short, you have to be willing to listen and adjust. There are things you won’t understand about each other’s ideas or solutions. The important thing is that you keep in mind that mining the data to improve the operation of your company is what matters. And it can truly change not only the way you see your consumer and your company but each other.

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