US: We asked finance professionals what they want from the marketing team
December 12th, 2023, Christien Pheby

US: We asked finance professionals what they want from the marketing team

When it comes to executing a marketing strategy, understanding why your competitors’ customers are choosing them over you can be just as valuable as knowing your own brand’s strengths.Targeted audience analysis can help marketers understand the ins and outs of a highly specific group - from X/Twitter users to mobile gamers; from Heineken drinkers to Honda drivers - allowing you to position your brand or product in the right place to take advantage.Using its targeting capabilities, YouGov Self-serve - our fully self-serviced research platform - allows marketers to quickly, easily and cheaply survey an audience and ask them whatever they want.In just a few clicks, you can target an audience of your choice (including customers of one or more of 1,500 brands in UK or 2,200 brands in US), and then create your custom poll using our easy survey builder. Within 24 hours, you could have the answers that make the difference between failure and success for your upcoming product launch, brand campaign or crisis management strategy.

In this piece, we used our survey tools to poll professionals who work in finance and accounting.

It’s imperative for marketing to maintain a healthy relationship with these teams: having their confidence can mean a higher budget, greater levels of efficiency, and better trust across the organisation. So we asked 200 US finance professionals what they believe are they key things marketers should bring to the table.

First, the good news: 43% say the relationship with marketing at their current workplace is positive, and just 7% say it is negative (29% say it is neither). What’s more, asked if the relationship between marketing and finance had gotten better, 22% said it had, and just 6% said it had gotten worse (42% said it stayed the same).

But there’s always room for improvement, and for opportunities to foster greater transparency. We asked finance professionals how marketing could better demonstrate its effectiveness, and the top response was, as you might expect, “return on investment” (46%): the more bang marketing provides for the company’s buck, the better. But that’s the case for every dollar a company spends, so where else are finance pros looking for marketers to demonstrate their effectiveness?

Over a third 35% cite new customer acquisition, which is prized - albeit only slightly – over retention (31%), while a quarter (25%) says its “delivering business outcomes”. The fifth most chosen response was “conversion rates” (21%).

Brand awareness was lower down the list of priorities (16%), perhaps highlighting a tension between what can sometimes be finance’s needs for short term results over marketing’s longer-term focus on driving and nurturing brand perceptions. Brand recall, highlighted as priority by just one in twenty (5%) finance professionals, is even less of a priority. Brand affinity sits somewhere between the two (10%).

We also polled finance and accounting professionals on how the two departments can work together more effectively. Nearly half (47%) said they wanted a clearer idea of how marketing supports the wider business strategy, while two in five (38%) said they wanted regular updates on progress against objectives. A third (35%) said shared objectives between marketing and finance were important.

A quarter said they wanted a better understanding of marketing activities, and a fifth (21%) said they wanted reassurance that marketing care about profit and loss, as well as regular budget updates (19%). Some 14% said they wanted face time with the marketing team – a blow for those marketers who want to spend more time with finance.

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YouGov polled 200 US finance and accounting professionals online on 29 September 2023. The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Data is weighted by age, gender, race, political affiliation, education level and region. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.