One marketing approach stands out from the crowd among CFO:s. Account-based marketing is reliable marketing spend, which is measurable and a tactic that maximises profits. In this article, I introduce account-based marketing from a CFO's perspective.
Last week I took part in an exciting discussion about how the cooperation between a CFO and CMO could be improved. To understand each role's need and their differences, we started to generalise responsibilities for each role.
The CMO is responsible for reaching and converting the target audience to meet the sales objectives. In other words, the CMO wants to ensure the message is spread across all relevant channels where the target audience is.
As a CFO, you are responsible for financial planning. You want to ensure that all business decisions are economically sound. In other words, whenever you discover an economic weakness, you need to take action.
Hence it's quite clear that what a CMO wants from you as a CFO is a budget approval for initiating the activities needed to reach and convert prospects.
But what do you want from the CMO?
Well, first of all, the CMO should be able to quantify the outcome of the activities. It's essential for you when determining whether the marketing efforts will be economically sound or not. Secondly, after the project, the CMO needs to show you the figures; what was the return on investment? This will be the basis for future budget requests.
Why is a close finance-marketing relationship important?
In an organisation where the CMO can demonstrate the return on investment of various activities, the CFO can work proactively and help the CMO determining the best methods for reaching and converting prospects from a financial perspective.
Yet, why are there so few organisations that achieve this close collaboration between finance and marketing? The reason is that marketers traditionally tended, and some still do, to focus too many resources on activities that can't be measured. It's challenging to determine whether activities such as a billboard ad or a TV commercial are economically sound. It might improve your 'brand awareness, but what is the financial impact?
How to strengthen the finance-marketing relationship
Now, returning to the discussion I had about how the cooperation between a CFO and CMO could be improved, one approach stands out from the crowd.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is an approach used by marketing and sales to target and engage with a focused set of accounts in your target market. This way of aligning sales and marketing efforts brings several commercial benefits for your organisation, but there are some specific benefits from a financial perspective.
There are three main reasons why ABM strengthen the finance-marketing relationship:
It's reliable marketing spend
ABM is a very structured marketing and sales approach. It follows a logical structure;
Identify Target Accounts → Present to Target Accounts → Close Target Accounts → Delight Accounts
This makes it easier for the CMO to plan each activity's budget to succeed with the ABM approach. This, in turn, gives you as a CFO a clear overview of the marketing spend.
As marketing and sales target specific accounts, it's easier to set clear objectives and desired outcomes. Based on that, at the end of the initiative, it's easier to measure the return on investment for each account that has been targeted. As a CFO, you'll get the data needed to determine whether the investment has been economically sound or not.
It maximises profits
As marketing and sales work actively on the accounts who are most likely to become customers, the approach promotes long-term growth and boosts profits. There are many benefits of eliminating the time spent on marketing and trying to sell to unqualified leads. Thus, from a financial perspective, ABM is an exciting approach.