• Mo Dezyanian

Breaking the CMO-CFO Language Barrier: what the C-Suite thinks about budgeting for marketing

Written by Mo Dezyanian, Senior Advisor, Media Buying.



Determining and justifying marketing budgets is one of the most critical tasks of a CMO. A task that brings them closer to the CFO than any other time during the business cycle.

Historically, there has been a stigma of division between CMOs and CFOs. One focuses on long-term brand and reputation, while the other focuses on revenue and costs. In some ways, the abundance of data in marketing has helped close this gap between marketing and finance, as it made marketing more measurable. But the challenge of abundant data is in how it is used. Everyone in the organization looks at the data through their own unique lens.

In order to uncover how these roles work together, 28 Canadian CMOs and CFOs were asked a series of questions about how they set budgets, how they approve them or seek approvals.


The results are overwhelmingly positive. The majority of the CMOs and CFOs find the collaboration between marketing and finance is easy in the budget request and approval process. In fact, both sides of the table agree that marketing budgets are set by finance and marketing teams together.


However, some details in the budgeting process are lost in translation, when we take a closer look. Unsurprisingly, this is exasperated by a crisis like COVID-19. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Thankfully, CMOs and CFOs agree on the organisational skills needed to bridge these gaps.


To download the full copy of the study, click https://empathyinc.ca/