Being married to an accountant, I can appreciate the jokes and laugh as all the client salespeople refer to their finance or accounting department as the “Sales Prevention Department.” The finance guys tend to look at everything from a very black and white perspective with little room for gray in between. Marketing, on the other hand, couldn’t be more opposite. It’s like a left brain/ right brain merger — and that presents plenty of struggles. Neither side is the victor though. In any marketing program, lines get blurred and there aren’t statistical measurements and graphs to accurately represent each decision and expenditure. Rather, there is a lot of gut instinct and intangible results that aren’t so easily measured. However, that’s not an excuse to let marketing off the hook for accountability in its expenditures. It’s critical to have a strategic plan in place with clear objectives, strategies and tactics to reach those objectives. I encourage clients to look not only at a short 1-year plan, but also at a 3-year plan. Doing so allows you to build momentum and messages each year. Naturally, that plan should be reevaluated and adjusted annually. If you only look 12 months out, you’ll always be behind the game.
And be fair to the finance guys. It’s their job to look after the financial health of the company. Marketing needs to provide justification for expenditures. Give accounting some clear objectives and rationale behind your investments and then demonstrate that you’ve completed those tactics and achieved your objectives. It will make the marriage of the left and right brain much more palatable and ensure your company is running smoothly.
Attached is a video a client sent to me. Seems appropriate for this entry. I guess marketing guys can blur the lines a little too much. Hope you enjoy.