A New Perspective on C-Level Cooperation

Partners in information managementChief Financial Officers and Chief Marketing Officers are not traditionally thought of as best friends. It might have something to do with the juxtaposition of left and right brain thinking, or differing views on how to measure the performance of marketing programs and their impact on the bottom line that keeps these two executives from sitting next to each other at the lunch table.

Yet this relationship is becoming more important as both executives realize the value of more specific marketing and customer information to help drive strategic decisions; a merger of the creative and analytical minds can clearly help improve performance and fuel growth.

Many clients of BearingPoint’s World-Class Finance practice were asking about this, so we decided to partner with APQC, conduct a survey, and report our findings on the topic. You’re invited to read the resulting report: “CFOs and CMOs: partners in information management”.

One of the disconnects highlighted in the report is around the availability of data for customer segmentation and profitability analysis: while 80% of CFOs said they are providing sufficient data, less than 40% of CMOs said they are getting the data they need to make good decisions.

We hope these findings are helpful. Please feel free to share your comments and ideas here once you’ve read the research.

Author: Monica Huber

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3 responses to “A New Perspective on C-Level Cooperation

  1. Your findings are interesting, but not entirely surprising. Having provided marketing departments with high-quality customer and segmentation information, I would suggest that asking people in marketing what figures they would like to see and how would be a good place to start.

  2. I would agree with your suggestion that CFOs should be asking CMOs what type of analysis they would like to see, but many CFOs are clearly not doing so. Most of the CFOs surveyed in our recent study said they are currently providing customer segmentation and profitability analysis, while most CMOs said that that CFOs should be providing this type of analysis, but are currently not doing so. Additionally, instead of just being “order takers”, the CFO’s organizations should leverage their financial acumen to deliver insightful customer information that supports the greater objectives of the business. At this point, Finance just doesn’t seem to be proactively addressing the data and analysis needs of the CMO.

  3. This sounds like a familiar story – I’m not sure what the answer is. Perhaps it is just down to the personality types that are often represented in the two roles. Stereotyping can be invidious, but sometimes there are some truths buried within generalisations.

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