Marketing Planning with Financial System Integration

Written by: Patrick Kilgore on 12/20/16 1:51 PM

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The relationship between marketing and finance is a complicated one. Marketing relies on finance for incremental budget approval and continuously works to report results that prove their value to the organization. Finance in turn looks to marketing to help break down and reconcile costs, as each group has their own set of budget processes.

Yet, both departments ultimately have the same goal: drive the maximum amount of revenue for the organization while reducing wasted spend. So why do we seem to have such a hard time seeing eye to eye? That’s not how things have to be. Technology can help.

Tech Integration Builds a Bridge

There are two main problems that cause the disconnect between marketing and finance:

  1. Your technology is disconnected. Marketing and finance both have technology they turn to every day, but the planning and performance software that shows the marketing team where the budget’s allocated is different from the financial system used to track the company’s books.
  2. You’re not speaking the same language. The way marketing tracks spend doesn’t match up with the way finance sees it when it comes time to reconcile costs. Finance may have its own general ledger account codes that vary from where marketing has bucketed the spend.

Manually bridging this divide, as most marketers will tell you, can be a herculean effort. The hours required to reconcile marketing’s finances can be a significant drain on both groups. And since few organizations have an individual dedicated to this task, it becomes a shared burden across the team. To remedy these issues, you’ll need a solution that can automate marketing financial management on both ends and serve up results in real-time.

Give Them What They Need, Where They Already Are

A good marketing financial management solution makes it easy to track your spending for campaigns, programs, and tactics to see exactly where your budget is going for any given period. It should also display how your actual spending matches your spending predictions for the quarter, so you’re well aware of any changes to your projections.

At Hive9, we’ve architected our solution as an orchestration layer that integrates marketing data with your existing financial suite. Once deployed, your counterparts in finance can log into Hive9 to see marketing budgets and anticipated spend. After actual costs are reconciled by finance, they are fed back to marketing to determine if spend is over, under or on-target. Finance continues to work in their system of record while silently informing the marketing budget.

A tool that makes this level of integration possible can finally get marketing and finance on the same page. It saves finance from extra effort and frustration and turns marketing into a partner aligned with their interests – which is good for your department when it comes time for finance to make decisions about where to allocate next year’s budget. Using technology integration to build a bridge between the two departments will help you transition away from the adversarial and towards a mutually beneficial partnership.

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Topics: Marketing Planning, Hive9, financial integration