An analyst's advice for marketing: how to be credible with a CFO

It has long been asserted that for marketers to progress to the boardroom, they need to speak the right language. Commercial acumen is in ever-greater demand as marketers strive to demonstrate credibility for driving growth as many companies have struggled with sluggish results across the world. With that in mind we interviewed financial analyst and MLP speaker Martin Deboo, about what marketers need to do to be credible with investors and finance teams.

As Senior Vice President and consumer goods analyst at Jefferies investment bank, Martin hears a lot of presentations from CEOs and CFOs, and he knows what makes them tick. He also understands marketers. Not only will CMOs need to present to analysts, but also he started his career in advertising at BMP and Publicis. Here’s the 2-minute version of his advice. 

The good news: organic profitable growth is investment gold, and marketing is the driver of organic profitable growth. For analysts on The Street or in the City, growing existing brands is more profitable than acquisitions and more profitable than new brand launches, and for most marketers this is their daily concern.

The even better news: yes it helps if you know your DCF from your NPV as you fight your corner in ZBB, but simple concepts like breakeven are powerful. Tell a CFO what you need to sell to break even, and justify your confidence in hitting that figure. It can have more sway than projecting what you will sell which is usually harder to do anyway, and open to greater debate.

But, and of course there is a but, you need to master your data to be able to link marketing concepts like awareness, consideration and advocacy to the concepts that count with finance and investors: profit and revenue.

If you want to learn more, do check out the Marketing Leaders Programme in London and Singapore

For further interviews from the 2018 MLP event, watch a video from Shell's Roger Moulding on the key marketing skills and behaviors for the future.


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