Marketing and finance departments must align metrics, says Adroll CMO

Too many marketers fail to align their key performance indicators (KPIs) with those of their finance department, resulting in the KPIs being seen as a cost centre of the business.

Adam Berke

Adam Berke: “There is a disconnect between marketing and finance”

Speaking at the Mumbrella360 conference last week, Adam Berke, president and CMO of adtech company, Adroll, challenged a room full of marketers to put their hands up if they wrote their metric in concert with finance.

“How many people develop their marketing KPIs with their finance team?,” said Berke. “Okay, one brave soul put their hand up.

“If your marketing metrics aren’t aligned with finance it is not going to be surprising that you have really awkward budget conversations.”

adam berke m360 adroll

Berke: “Finance is looking at revenue, at your margin, the cost of acquisition, churn and life-time value”

Berke argued this fundamental disconnect was the cause of many of the problems marketing faces with finance and procurement departments.

“(Finance) don’t know what you are driving for; they don’t understand how those metrics tie back to the actual business results,” he said.

“Finance, at the end of the day, is the source of truth for how the business is doing and if you don’t have that conversation with them then they will view marketing as a cost centre rather than as a strategic driver of the results they are looking at.”

Berke cited a slide showcasing the very different metrics used by the two departments.

IMG_9251“The problem is that we speak two different languages,” he said. “Marketers are interested in CPMs (cost per metric) and CPCs (cost per click) and CPAs (cost per action) – anything that starts with a ‘C’, basically.

“Finance on the other hand are looking at revenue, they are looking at your margin, the cost of acquisition, churn and life-time value.

“What we need to do is figure out how the metrics we are driving as marketers tie to the metrics that the finance team cares about.

“At the end of the day when they see the results (marketing) needs to be able to connect the dots.”


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