November 01, 2023
The CMO Council’s new report Marketing & Finance: Fueling Innovation Or Falling Behind? examines how economic adversity will test the marketing-finance relationship’s resolve for collaboration and innovation. This is an extract from an Executive Perspective in the report…
Retail marketing has always been accountable to results because it’s a much more nuanced role, says Nadina Guglielmetti, vice president, general manager of marketing at The Vitamin Shoppe. It’s her job to drive customer traffic and engagement across multiple channels — offline, online, the app — and deliver results that show marketing’s value.
That’s not to say measuring marketing performance is easy, even over digital channels where customer engagement can be captured. “There’s this expectation in digital that everything is easily measured, and it’s just not,” Guglielmetti says. “This is where I think some of the friction happens between marketing and finance and other roles.”
Her sentiments are echoed in our study: 44% of marketing leaders in marketing-finance partnerships who aren’t very willing to collaborate say they’re dissatisfied with their ability to measure marketing performance. If digital customer engagement can be captured, why is measuring marketing performance so difficult? The problem lies in the different ways marketing and finance understand how metrics are calculated.
At The Vitamin Shoppe, marketing and finance initially couldn’t agree on cost per acquisition. “There was a kind of thumb wrestling on who’s right, who’s wrong,” Guglielmetti says. “We had to sit down, decide on the methodology, and get to a number together. I’m very lucky that our CFO understands that it’s not so linear.”
Guglielmetti says her CFO is curious and open to learning about marketing, customers, and the customer journey. That curiosity has enabled a positive, collaborative relationship. Of course, there are still sticking points. Many marketing leaders, including Guglielmetti, cite a challenge to get testing budget.
“Marketing needs to throw things against the wall, test five things, maybe only one is going to help propel the business,” she says. “That’s the challenge with investments from finance. There’s often not really a willingness to test new channels where the results are uncertain. That’s why a strong relationship with the finance team is key — the more they are involved in testing, modeling, the more likely they will trust marketing efforts.”
Here are key findings from the report:
Marketing & Finance: Fueling Innovation Or Falling Behind? is based on a survey of over 275 marketing leaders across industries and geographies. Additionally, we conducted in-depth interviews with marketing executives from Schneider Electric, The Vitamin Shoppe, Fiserv, Agios, and others. DOWNLOAD the full report.
Tom Kaneshige is the Chief Content Officer at the CMO Council. He creates all forms of digital thought leadership content that helps growth and revenue officers, line of business leaders, and chief marketers succeed in their rapidly evolving roles. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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