While Spiralgroup often gets referrals from CEOs and CMOs, we have a larger-than-usual number of referrals that come from CFOs. And this is for one very simple reason: we speak their language.
Traditionally, Finance and Marketing have had a fraught relationship because they approach the business problem from very different vantage points. For example, whereas Finance’s metrics are highly quantifiable (there are actually only SEVEN measurements CFOs care about), Marketing has over 50… and many of them have highly-specious value. Two-thirds of Marketing organizations use qualitative measurements only… or are not measuring at all. As a result, only 12% of CFOs rate their CMOs are excellent in connecting their marketing initiatives to ROI.
We realized early on that it was our responsibility to guide our clients to bridge that gap. The fact is, in companies where Marketing and Finance work closely together and metrics are aligned, 40% outperform business expectations. To better synch goals and ensure a continual exchange between Marketing and Finance, we do such things as
- Set mutual goals with a Revenue Marketing Summit, where we work with Finance and Marketing to agree upon corporate priorities, and strategic direction, understand each other’s’ requirements for success, and establish process and rules of engagement.
- Co-develop analytics that are mutually acceptable by Finance and Marketing. Thanks to marketing automation, marketing today is very metrics-driven. Marketing also takes the lead in opening the door to the sale, generating and warming leads. Through marketing, 70% of buying process is now complete by the time a prospect is ready to engage with sales.
- Establish a mix of financial and non-financial metrics that are truly meaningful to the organization.
- Institute simple reporting systems that satisfy the needs of both groups.
- Focus on achieving financial events. In the end, what moves the needle most are events where money is positively moved for a company, ranging from lucrative partnerships and key customers to investment, acquisition or IPO. (In total, Spiralgroup has supported over $5B-plus in company acquisitions, exits or IPOs.)
To further deepen our understanding of the needs and wants of CFOs , we act as marketing advisor to Financial Executives International / Silicon Valley, the local chapter of the professional organization for the nation’s chief financial officers. By working side-by-side with the CFOs of the Valley’s most successful companies, we have access to not only understanding the needs of CFOs today, but have insight into what their concerns will be in the future. To learn more about what we are doing for FEI, you can read the case study here.