The relationship between marketing and finance can be fraught with friction regardless of the size of the company, the industry, or whether it is B2B or B2C.
According to Jennifer Chase, senior vice president and CMO at SAS, one of the issues is that marketers are frequently viewed as a cost center. However, she has been working with Peter Dean, vice-president of global finance at the firm, to change this perspective so that marketing is perceived as a profit center, “an enabling growth engine for the company.”
They explain how the connection between marketing and finance has grown at SAS and how embedding finance into marketing has benefited the firm in the first episode of our new series, A B2B Marketer’s Best Friend, backed by The Marketing Practice.
While she claims the relationship was never “adversarial,” she admits it was too “transactional,” which she and Dean have been attempting to correct.
While she maintains that the relationship was never “adversarial,” she concedes that it was too “transactional,” which she and Dean are striving to change.
Dean describes the necessity for “mutual alignment and commitment” as “very intentional” on both sides.
According to Chase, the marketing and finance teams are now having “highly strategic discussions” about investments at the project, campaign, and macro levels in terms of overall marketing effectiveness.
“The finance team is embedded in our organisation,” she said. “They understand our objectives, our challenges, our hopes and our dreams of how we want to contribute to SAS, and then help us to make the right decisions in order to get there.”
Chase claims that having this relationship and understanding how finance views the business has made her a stronger leader in the organization.
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