Mapping the Frontier of Marketing Finance

The simple and unfortunate reality is that the marketing profession is not sufficiently prepared to reliably generate the markets businesses need to drive sustainable profits into the future.

May 6, 2011 // Chris Kenton

Like so many aspects of our economic system, marketing as a corporate function is facing significant disruption. Competition is growing globally, conversion rates are dropping, technology is increasingly complex, customers are more informed and demanding—and behind it all, the CFO is demanding a lot more accountability for how marketers generate shareholder value. No wonder the average shelf-life of a CMO is only 18 months.

The simple and unfortunate reality is that the marketing profession is not sufficiently prepared to reliably generate the markets businesses need to drive sustainable profits into the future. When corporate strategists were convincing boards that marketing was just a line function to be efficiently managed, marketers were blowing budgets on overinflated brands. When the dotcom bubble burst and marketers were pushed up against the wall and pressed to explain their math for creating value, they simply parroted the simplistic frame of ROI instead of buckling down and learning the fundamentals of corporate finance. Ten years down the road, so-called marketing gurus are still stuck at ROI, or worse, manufacturing pseudo financial concepts prettied up for the social media age, like “Return on Community”.

Among the very small universe of truly finance-savvy marketing visionaries, SocialRep is incredibly fortunate to count Jonathan Knowles as a long-term partner, collaborator, customer, and most important of all, a true angel. Jonathan has the rare ability to synthesize financial and marketing outlooks, bringing a sensibility to marketing that unlocks its strategic potential for the boardroom—a sensibility that also cuts through the hype of social media marketing.

In this video, Jonathan discusses several of the core concepts of marketing finance, including the pitfall of blind reliance on Marketing ROI to carry the day with the CFO.


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