Marketing professionals often view their organization’s finance department as the “Ministry of No Way,” while finance professionals view the marketing department as the “Ministry of Fluff.” Thunderbird Professor Richard Ettenson, Ph.D., has seen the often fractious relationship that results when the two sides try to coexist. Despite his background as the Thelma H. Kieckhefer Research Fellow in Global Brand Marketing at Thunderbird, he lays much of the blame on his own colleagues who manage brands and generate leads for their organizations.
“Marketing professionals are the ones who must step up and demonstrate they create business value,” Ettenson told finance professionals gathered Feb. 3, 2011, at the CFO Alliance Breakfast Roundtable in Phoenix, Arizona. “All too often we have not helped our own cause.”
Ettenson said marketing professionals must back their creative ideas with solid research, and they must learn to articulate the scientific foundation for their ideas in language that resonates with the financial officers watching the bottom line.
“I remain a firm believer that executives with a strategic marketing mindset and strong brand focus can play a key leadership role in value creation at the world’s best companies,” Ettenson said. “In doing so, they must demonstrate the business impact that strategic marketing and branding can deliver to the organization.”
The CFO Alliance Breakfast Roundtable Series allows members in about 10 U.S. markets to network, identify issues, analyze problems and explore solutions. Thunderbird School of Global Management serves as the academic partner for the Phoenix group and provides discussion leaders at the bimonthly forums.
Thunderbird Professor Gregory Unruh, Ph.D., led a discussion Dec. 3, 2010, on corporate social responsibility and sustainability. And Thunderbird Professor Paul Kinsinger led a discussion Oct. 7, 2010, on market intelligence gathering.