Aviva: Marketers need to “hold hands” with finance chiefs

The Annual: Marketers must talk to board members in language they understand to demonstrate the effectiveness of marketing spending and secure future investment, according to Aviva’s marketing chief.

Speaking at Marketing Week’s The Annual conference on smart thinking, working and engagement, Aviva CMO Amanda Mackenzie, says that marketers need to talk the language of the boardroom but also spell out outcomes in language finance chiefs understand.

“It is about finding something you can hold hands on with finance, finding metrics you agree on.”

Mackenzie says that she presents the chief executive with an equation, for example 1% lapse improvement equates to £1bn cash generation, when discussing marketing plans.

“It’s about being useful and proving that what you have done has been of benefit.”

Mackenzie’s comments follow those of WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell yesterday (29 September) who said that the value of marketing was beginning to be seen in the boardroom.