It doesn’t matter where you put your cross on Election Day the vote that should matter to you is that of the finance director. Deborah Rowe says you’ll have one less thing to worry about if the finance team are on your side.
So the election will be on 6 May - no surprise there then, particularly as my voting card arrived on the doorstep before Easter. What is a pleasant, and welcome, surprise is the news that the construction industry officially returned to growth, this March, according to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. The first proper growth in the sector in over two years – that is a cause for celebration. It must surely put a smile on the face of the most hardened financial director in the construction industry (even if only in the privacy of their own bathroom).
Things are on the up but we dare not congratulate ourselves just yet. There’s still that little matter of a new government in a month’s time. Whichever party gets in the resultant cuts in public sector and infrastructure spending could still stamp out those green shoots before they get the chance to take root. Your finance director will have a keen eye on the budgets, quite rightly, and you will have to convince them that you are a responsible marketer with an equally keen eye.
While he or she is in a good mood, be sure to remind them how sound marketing practices have contributed to the bottom line and, to some extent, that good feeling. After all, we are on the same side when it comes to achieving the business objectives.
Show them that marketing is not all about promotions and pretty pictures. Marketing is a strategic discipline with checks and balances. Get key members of the finance team involved in the strategic marketing and keep them informed of how things develop tactically. A lot of serious work goes into developing the marketing campaigns that fulfil those strategic objectives. If they understand what you are doing, and why, and you keep them in the loop, they may be more inclined to help with potential budgeting issues. It could mean the difference between keeping, growing or losing your marketing budget all together.
Admittedly as marketers we may not have done much to help our case with Finance in the past. If that sounds familiar, then it’s time to put all that behind you and to get their help where necessary. They will be happy to help you transform the harder facts and figures into the kind of reports that they would want to see. You have all the information but if it’s not in the right format they may never know, or appreciate, what you are doing. …and that could go all the way up to the board of directors.
It’s time to start canvassing the finance department. At the end of the day the people that control the purse strings are good people to have on your side.
Deborah Rowe, principal consultant of Sheba Marketing, is a member of the organising committee for the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group.