McKinsey: Can CMOs and CFOs be friends?

By Thomas Barta
Last updated: January 01, 2023

CMOs and CFOs always had a special relationship. Could this change for the better?

Tough effectiveness debates dominated the agenda for decades, as some marketing activities were notoriously hard to measure. But marketing metrics and big data have now entered the marketing suite. Closer ties with finance seem logical. However ROI based decision-making is still yet to come for many marketers, as McKinsey’s Jonathan Gordon, Jean-Hugues Monier, and Phil Ogren have found out.

The authors believe five steps can improve relationships between CFOs and CMOs:

  1. Create an ‘open book’ mind-set
  2. Focus on the metrics that matter
  3. Balance short-term and long-term value creation
  4. Look at savings as well as spending
  5. Seek opportunities to collaborate

These five steps may not end the tension between CMOs and CFOs. But they may turn a heated debate into an informed argument among friends.