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How CMOs can limit marketing-finance complexity

Streamline marketing-finance operations to drive revenue growth

As CMOs face mounting pressure to drive business growth with limited resources, they must also contend with budget pressure, heightened resource demands, and the difficulty of tracking spend across multiple channels. In this article we present a step-by-step path for CMOs to address the impact of marketing-finance complexity.

Step 1: Limit channel complexity

Using simple, yet robust solutions to manage channel complexity, front-office teams can focus on building marketing and sales performance rather than repetitive administrative tasks that drain productivity. This can be achieved by taking the following steps:

  • Consolidate data streams from multiple sources and make it available to all relevant stakeholders.
  • Establish standardized financial management workflows to simplify spend tracking across channels.
  • Provide real-time insights to front-office teams to help them make informed decisions about spend allocation by channel, campaign, or audience segment.

Step 2: Ensure data visibility

Maintaining fresh, shareable data streams on strategy performance is critical to optimizing marketing-finance management processes. By ensuring data visibility, CMOs can enable spend and resource benchmarking across the entire organization, leading to better decision-making and more efficient use of resources. CMOs can achieve this by taking the following steps:

  • Establish a centralized data repository that all stakeholders beyond the front office can access.
  • Ensure that data is updated in real-time to enable customer service teams to make agile decisions.
  • Provide stakeholders with a user-friendly analytics dashboard that allows them to access data quickly.

Step 3: Optimize resource allocation

Creating a scalable model for marketing process efficiency based on real-time insights and the practicalities of front-office workflows can help marketers direct spend where it will produce the best results. By optimizing marketing processes, CMOs can help their teams work more efficiently, reduce redundancies, and increase productivity. CMOs can achieve this by taking the following steps:

  • Identify and remove process bottlenecks that limit front-office productivity.
  • Implement automation to streamline repetitive tasks and free front-office teams to focus on higher value activities.
  • Use real-time insights to make data-driven decisions that optimize marketing processes.  

Step 4: Build a system of interconnected processes designed to streamline financial management

The financial ecosystem is built on interconnected processes designed to streamline transactions, limit user experience inconsistencies, and enable commerce to scale efficiently. Creating a “micro-ecosystem” that manages insights, ERM, measurement, and workflows through a single solution can help CMOs meet revenue benchmarks in a cost-efficient manner.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Use a stress-tested suite of solutions to manage marketing-finance complexity: select tools that amplify the value of existing resources by improving their efficiency across multiple use cases.
  2. Manage all marketing spend through a platform or services suite that allows seamless interconnectivity between AP/AR platforms, vendor onboarding services, and spend management tools.
  3. Develop a supply chain approach to marketing productivity. Enhance investments in tools that improve efficiency, performance monitoring, and workflow simplicity while leveraging automation to reduce “wear and tear” on human resources.
  4. Implement technologies that promote visibility over critical marketing-finance processes such as budget monitoring, programmatic ad tech buys, or consumer-facing embedded finance offers that may impact revenue flows.

The process to limit marketing spend management complexity starts with the front office. Here are three characteristics that we have discovered among companies that have successfully optimized their marketing-finance management processes:



Front-office teams’ workflows are optimized using the technology and tools necessary to achieve visibility over spend and performance while optimizing resource use at scale.



Marketing and corporate strategy are aligned and focused on long-term revenue goals, with granular insights guiding day-to-day decision-making.



The integration of new technologies is structured based on relevant use cases. It proceeds with caution, focusing on immediate improvements on legacy systems and minimizing disruptions to workflows during the legacy sunset process.

As you focus on the challenges ahead, KPMG Customer Advisory can help you improve the ROI of your marketing investments by informing strategies for marketing technology, marketing operations, and talent management with connected insights. If you have identified front-office challenges within your organization, reach out to one of our Customer Advisory contacts below.

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Meet our team

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Jason Galloway
Principal, US Customer Advisory COE Lead and US Customer Advisory Leader, Commercial Industries, KPMG US
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Bret Sanford-Chung
Managing Director, Customer Advisory, Marketing Consulting, KPMG US

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