Chief Martech Blogger Scott Brinker recently predicted that Marketing Finance would be one of the hot B2B technology categories for 2015. And not just hot, but really hot.
He’s right, of course. The time is now for organizations to investigate and adopt marketing finance technology. Here’s why.
Changes in Marketing
The pace of business has never been faster: Companies need to be nimble in reallocating spend. Tracking that spending and the related results are vital to a company’s health. We have dashboards for everything else. Why shouldn’t we have them for marketing financial performance?
It’s about the basic accountability of modern marketing: While “likes” and “followers” and “leads” are still important, the two big measures of marketing accountability are still revenue and return on investment. Tracking revenue generated by marketing makes it possible to measure its impact and see what’s working. And looking at the bottom line — the return on investments made — requires that finance and marketing work together.
Being accountable to finance isn’t an option anymore — it’s a requirement. The more marketing becomes measurable, the more a central system of record is needed. Budgets and plans are the nerve center around which all the other pieces of marketing are built. And they’re the only aspect of marketing still typically done in isolation from other programs and with outdated technology: the spreadsheet.
Having the tools to track key metrics effectively and share them across departments is vital.
Facing New Challenges
Organizations face a few challenges in getting finance and marketing to work together. Sharing data is a big one, and it’s as much a cultural issue as a technical issue. The rise of the marketing operations function shows the importance of having someone who can organize and format the data in a way that is useful to both finance and marketing.
In addition, the technology has evolved greatly in such a way that marketing and finance can each work with the data in ways that are useful to them — and then can be merged and analyzed together for the most useful results. Organizations will need intuitive and powerful platforms that can help them work with the data effectively.
Organizations that can ensure data accessibility for both marketing and finance — and that have the people with the skills to manipulate the data — will be able to analyze revenue attribution more effectively and really understand what’s working. That’s where the barriers are coming down, and where the art of marketing combines with data analytics to give scientific results.
We’re excited that organizations are recognizing the importance of combining marketing and finance. At Allocadia we call it Marketing Performance Management. As they look for ways to get marketing and finance on the same page and realize the value of analyzing their spends more deeply, we’re ready to see Marketing Performance Management take off as a hot topic this year — just like Scott Brinker said.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Why Marketing Finance Is a Hot Topic for 2015
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