The UK-based Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
has teamed up with two marketing institutes to produce guidance on
how the finance and marketing functions within business should work
together more effectively.

The guidance came about when discussions between CIMA, the
Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Direct Marketing
Association revealed members of all three bodies were concerned
about the value contributed by marketing and where to find evidence
of this value. CIMA director of brand Ray Perry said there has
traditionally been a lack of understanding between the marketing
and finance functions in business.

“There is this age-old thing between finance professionals and
marketers, where from the finance perspective the natural tendency
is for us to want to measure and monitor and put performance
indicators around things. But of course the big issue is you don’t
want to stifle creativity either,” Perry said.

“I think with modern technology moving forward, a lot more
marketing activity is around websites, sending out emails and
monitoring what works and what doesn’t.

“So in a sense marketing is becoming more of a science, and I think
the financial professionals need to embrace that and work with the
marketers to make sure the company gets the best from its

One key is to get the finance function involved in marketing
projects in the early stages so that by the time it gets to the
budgeting stage the finance person is more likely to be supportive,
Perry said.

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It essentially comes down to better communication.

“The marketer has got to understand the finance person is not being
deliberately awkward, they just want to know that the money is
being used effectively and the finance person needs to understand
that you can’t pin everything down to a number and there needs to
be some creative investigation,” he said.