Great businesses have a clear mission, one that all members of the team understand and believe in fully. But how to achieve that vision and grow the business relies on a number of strategic decisions within each function of the business.
While companies succeed when leaders all work together, a little tension between team members can be a good thing. Different people bring different perspectives, experiences, and ideas to the table.
Marketing, in their efforts to grow the business, are interested in strategies that are naturally more risky than other areas of the company. Marketers want to grow their reach through new ad channels, new regions and audiences, and new conversion techniques. This often involves a lot of testing, spending money on things with no proven track record of success within the business.
Finance, in their efforts to grow the business, are interested in creating a more efficient operation. CFO are, by nature, more risk-averse. They succeed by streamlining activities and saving money.
Because of the difference in approach for these two departments, a common conflict will emerge between marketing and finance. This is not a bad thing, when handled in the right way.
CEOs, or corporate boards, must manage this relationship, mediating and ultimately making the final decision when two strategies are at odds.
Great finance teams keep marketers in check by forcing them to operate more efficiently. And great marketers force finance to become more comfortable taking risks when they can show results.