CMOs And CFOs Are Working in Harmony – But More Can Still Be Done To Close The Gap

CMOs and CFOs need to get along harmoniously to achieve digital transformation – that much we already know. Yet according to a new research report from Wipro Digital, the two C suites are seeing eye to eye on digital marketing budgets.

The study, which was based on responses from 50 CMOs and 50 CFOs at US companies, says the two are seeing eye to eye much more than ever before. Yet it’s not all peaches and cream; 36% in the financial side said marketers’ use of click-through rates and impressions would be considered ‘vanity metrics’, while a further 22% said marketing teams did not measure in terms of concrete outcomes.

So what needs to be done to close this remaining gap? CMOs ‘must create a shared understanding by proving the value of their work’, according to the report. The report concedes that marketers are struggling to find the right tools to enable them to prove that value because they aren’t able to paint a picture rather because they don’t want to.

47% of CMOs polled said they cannot use these metrics as the vendors they work with don’t have the available functionality, with 47% more saying it was difficult to find common metrics because not all vendors are able to measure in the same way.

“CMOs and marketing departments are aware that martech is key to creating and delivering relevant and personalized experiences to customers. However, too many marketers are struggling with implementation and changing how they work,” said Andy Coghlan, global head of martech at Wipro Digital.

“Equipping marketing teams with the right martech talent and expertise is only half of the battle – the real challenge lies in determining how martech fits into the larger digital transformation and enterprise renovation program, and how to reinvigorate operating models, culture, and leadership, accordingly,” added Coghlan.

Writing for this publication last year, David Schwarzbach, COO, and CFO at Optimizely argued that CMOs and CFOs need to create a shared understanding through experimentation and learning.

“With a shared set of numbers and accurate spend attribution, CMOs and CFOs can embark upon a far better conversation,” said Schwarzbach. “This is not the holy grail of marketing spend attribution. The number of permutations can be infinite, and a balance on investment in resource vs returns is needed. But who drives these numbers?

“This has to be a collaboration – CFOs cannot just sit back and wait but must become increasingly involved in the marketing analytics and own a portion of the analytics function.

“Marketing simply cannot be a budgetary black hole when spend is so high – and accurate spend attribution is the key to creating ever closer alignment between CMOs and CFOs.”

Ultimately, the report advocates four ways CMOs can build trust with CFOs: agree on the metrics that matter and be transparent about processes; prepare for digital transformation; meet with innovative partners and be open to probing questions.

You can find out more about the report here (email required).

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