In this fourth column on the changes to marketing processes enabled by new technology, I am shifting my focus from creative and analytical to financial processes. Traditionally, one of the areas that marketers enjoy the least is working with the financial team to establish financial estimates for marketing activities and evaluating completed programs to determine the actual return. But these processes are changing as well with the introduction of new marketing and analytical technology.

With changes in technology, changes in relationships are also occurring. Formerly, marketing and finance had a sometimes antagonistic relationship – the marketers feeling that finance was holding them back from true creativity and finance feeling that marketers were spending irresponsibly. After all, didn’t someone say, “Only half my advertising spending works; the problem is, I don’t know which half?” Now, marketers are finding finance to be their allies in continually revising budgets and forecasts to take advantage of the real-time program results available today. The end result will be a closer alliance between the two groups. As marketing drives an increasing share of company performance, budgets and metrics become not an interim activity, but a way of life.

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