The Important Lessons – Marketing & Finance Partnership Lessons

LinkedIn can be a fascinating platform, recently there was an interesting debate around “your job is marketing not finance“.

This is the original statement made by well know B2B Marketer Dave.

This is an age-old debate, whether you as a Marketing lead need to be good at finance or be on top of the finance side. I have been lucky across my career, I have worked with two outstanding Finance partners who wanted to collaborate and take co-ownership of the budget.

For me the answer is obvious:

You need to know and own the responsibility of the money allocated to you and your department.

You also have a responsibility to pass on this knowledge and help others develop their knowledge.

Below is my comment (I have extended slightly with more in-depth explainers – LinkedIn comments have restricted character counts), I truly believe these three lessons will help drive your career forward whatever discipline of Marketing or Growth you operate in or teams you lead.

Here is my comment with the lessons you should learn from and teach others:

The three important lessons very few Marketer leads actually pass on:

  1. Every marketer should know:
    – (i) How the company makes money,
    – (ii) How the marketing budget works
    – (iii) How the Marketing budget operates inside of the company-wide budget.
    Hint: Think of operational efficiencies such as budget reductions (at the end of the year) & not backfilling headcounts.
    These are two of the biggest frustrations that any Marketing team goes through, particualry those working in mid to large size companies.
  2. How to story-tell more powerfully than the excel sheet or finance system, epsecially when being questioned about campaign performance, this is essential in the boardroom (especially when talking about brand and brand investment).
    When you are the only department that truly has to track everything and report ROI you need to be able to take people on journies.
  3. Marketing* is the only department that ‘creates the future’, pulls it forward & has to collaborate with the other departments in hitting highly uncertain numbers.

    Marketers have to create a future vision, predict and build it and then make it happen with its partners, even the most forward thinking Tech and Product departments are chasing the future not always building it.
    (*Dedicated Growth teams are having to create the future when they are responsbile for dedicated feature upgrades, high volume tests and Product launches, with goals such as converting traffic to signed up users – actions like these will depend on the remit and responbilities of the Growth team)

Dave’s point is true across the business – a takeaway for marketing leads – having a dedicated partner per department; helps to improve knowledge, performance and culture.

A big hint if you are a Marketing lead or an aspiring Marketing leader, coach as you go, mentor others with how the company operates (financially and operationally), how you need to understand how you are truly adding value to the company.

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