Where do CMOs really stand in the eyes of CFOs?

By Transmission |
2 minute read

Where do CMOs really stand in the eyes of CFOs?

The divide between CMOs and CFOs is a tale as old as time. But why, despite all the progress we’ve made as an industry, are we still having the same conversations we had 20 years ago in 2023?

Last year, our 'State of B2B Brand Building' research revealed how marketing leaders were re-evaluating the importance of brand in B2B businesses. They seemed to recognise its potential for not only business growth, but also employee engagement, CSR, and overall long-term success.

However, just as B2B brand seemed to finally earn some well-deserved buy-in, enter a year of budgetary shake-ups and less-than-ideal economic conditions. Had brand been left by the wayside in B2B organisations? Were business leaders outside of the marketing department still embracing brand as part of the growth equation? Where did creativity sit on priority lists? And importantly, did CFOs believe in their CMO counterparts?

We decided it was time for answers. Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of our latest research report: 'Closing the CMO-CFO brand value gap in B2B'. We explore the brand-related views of over 200 CMOs and 200 CFOs across the world’s B2B organisations – connecting the two traditionally siloed sets of business leaders in the unique opportunity to ask the questions we all want answers to, but never get a chance to ask.

Why we’ve conducted this research

Brand building, and advertising in general, has been shown to be a key growth driver for businesses – especially when economic times are tough. But despite the fanfare surrounding brand’s potentially transformative effects on growth over the last couple of years, only 23% of high-growth B2B companies plan to increase their levels of investment.

Marketing leaders have shown a repeated willingness to do so. Unfortunately, the challenge comes when trying to convince those on the other side of the organisational aisle about the business value of brand: the CFO.

We conducted our research to help bridge the gap between the two misaligned functions – asking the questions that will help our industry expose the fears, doubts, and uncertainties CFOs have towards brand building.

In doing so, we provide much-needed clarity on where CMOs, brand, and creativity stand in the eyes of CFOs, arming them with the insights they need to bridge gaps, win budget, and tackle the tricky conversations necessary for meaningful change.

Who we asked

Now, this is all well and good. But research is only as good as the method supporting it and there’s little point in asking the right questions to the wrong people. That’s why we asked more than 200 Marketing and 200 Finance leaders from B2B businesses across Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific for their views on:

  • How far respect and trust exist between CMOs and CFOs
  • Honest perceptions of B2B brand marketing from both contingents
  • How brand building fares in today’s B2B boardrooms
  • Where creativity sits on both leaders’ priority lists
  • Who’s measuring brand marketing effectiveness – and how
  • Hopes and fears for the future of brand-building in B2B

We ensured that each respondent had an influence on how budgets were spent within their organisation to guarantee we got answers from those closest to the challenges we know all too well.

If you’d like to learn more about how we conducted our research, view our methodology here.

Who is it for?

Brand building can be a daunting task for any Marketer responsible for increasing the value and impact of their brand. We conducted this research to provide evidence that marketing leaders can bring to the budgetary discussion table to reframe the fear-based B2B brand-building and creative marketing narratives held by CFOs.

In short, we want to set the record straight, bring the two misaligned parties together, and help facilitate creative integrity and brand buy-in at an organisational level. To help senior marketing leaders confidently champion their brand-building activities. And to ultimately aid in securing greater brand-building investment.

Explore our findings and download your copy of the report here!