Marketing and Finance Leaders Seek Collaboration to Make Smarter Investments, Says CMO Council and KPMG

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Wise Marketer Staff

Posted on September 19, 2023

New Research Finds Only 10% of CMOs Strongly Believe Their Marketing Investments Position Them Ahead of the Competition

SAN JOSE, Calif. (September 19, 2023) -- Economic headwinds have arrived, and chances are marketers aren’t prepared. Only 10% of marketing leaders strongly believe their marketing investments, whose reins are often held by finance, position them to emerge from economic turmoil ahead of the competition, according to a new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council report, produced in collaboration with KPMG LLP.

The report, “Marketing & Finance: Fueling Innovation Or Falling Behind?,” examines the marketing and finance relationship and how marketing leaders can achieve a higher level of confidence in their investments.

The report found that challenges to deeper marketing-finance collaboration include differences in metrics and goals, priorities and incentives, risk assessment, timetables, etc. What’s needed are stronger connections between budget and marketing planning, execution and performance, which will give greater visibility across marketing and finance teams.

Download “Marketing & Finance: Fueling Innovation Or Falling Behind?” at:

Key findings include:

  • Only 10% of marketers strongly believe their marketing investments position them to emerge from economic turmoil ahead of the competition
  • Nearly 4 in 5 CMO-CFO partnerships aren’t very willing to collaborate on investments, goals and metrics
  • Among CMO-CFO partnerships that are indifferent or hesitant to collaborate, only 27% are satisfied with their ability to innovate

“If marketing and finance wish to successfully navigate economic headwinds, they’ll need to redefine their working relationship and align on financially responsible growth strategies that prioritize smart, realizable, innovative investments,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council.

Unlocking innovation in marketing strategy requires alignment and collaboration between marketing, finance and other C-suite peers. To strengthen the CMO-CFO partnership, CMOs should:

  • Show how investment in their marketing strategy will drive value for all functions of the business
  • Integrate customer data across marketing, sales and finance and leverage customer data as a common language
  • Identify and prioritize steps to improve four core capabilities: innovation, agility, collaboration, performance

“A strong relationship between marketing and finance has become even more crucial in the current socioeconomic environment to ensure an organization’s effective targeting, clear ROI, and transparent budgeting,” said Jason Galloway, Customer Advisory Lead and Marketing Consulting Practice Lead, KPMG LLP. “A clear view into the marketing plans and a deeper understanding of current performance, allows for better overall buy-in from the finance team that ultimately has the final say on budget. Smarter and timely marketing investments can lead to greater profitability and allow organizations to stay ahead from the competition.”


The report is based on a survey of over 275 marketing leaders across industries and geographies. Additionally, we conducted in-depth interviews with marketing executives from Fiserv, Vitamin Shoppe, Schneider Electric, Agios Pharmaceuticals, and others.

About CMO Council

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is the only global network of executives specifically dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries. The CMO Council's 16,000-plus members control approximately $1 trillion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 65,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. For more information, visit


KPMG LLP is the U.S. firm of the KPMG global organization of independent professional services firms providing audit, tax and advisory services. The KPMG global organization operates in 143 countries and territories and has more than 265,000 people working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.

KPMG is widely recognized for being a great place to work and build a career. Our people share a sense of purpose in the work we do, and a strong commitment to community service, inclusion and diversity and eradicating childhood illiteracy. Learn more at