Departments within an organization must work together to solve problems. Marketing departments rely on financial data to evaluate how campaigns are performing and to adjust strategy accordingly.
When companies use the out-of-the-box reporting tools available in accounting software, they may not get the flexibility and efficiency they need for marketing departments to collaborate with finance and gain insights from shared data. Accounting software and report modules seldom support integration with external data sets, such as marketing data. Although marketing departments can supplement out-of-the-box reporting with Excel, creating spreadsheets involves time-consuming manual labor.
While marketing teams have their own reporting tools, usually provided by a third-party vendor, they have limited access to financial data. With a flexible reporting platform, marketing departments can overcome data silos and enhance reporting by:
- Integrating marketing data with financial data
- Improving efficiency
- Collaborating with finance
Integrating Marketing and Financial Data
Marketing often uses multiple channels to reach prospects. Because marketing teams use a variety of tools, data isn’t kept in one place. Marketing must merge this data to get a full picture of campaign performance.
Marketing budget information comes through finance. If a company is using out-of-the-box reporting tools, they need a way to extract relevant financial data and merge it with marketing data. While marketing departments can use Excel spreadsheets to integrate data sets, the process must be conducted manually.
When companies build their own adaptable reporting platform, the marketing department no longer needs to extract financial data. Instead, the marketing department can merge financial data with information about its lead generation efforts. Merging the data broadens reporting capabilities and deepens insights, allowing marketing departments to forecast their spending to make better decisions.
Marketing departments need access to timely financial data to make decisions about how to adapt and optimize lead generation efforts. When marketing departments supplement out-of-the-box reporting tools with Excel spreadsheets, the process of extracting and merging data slows down. Creating spreadsheets is a time-consuming and error-prone process. Manually merging data and creating formulas is a process that could take up to a week.
By building a flexible reporting platform, companies speed up marketing processes by eliminating steps and replacing manual processes with automation. The reporting platform makes data available, eliminating the need to extract data. Marketing departments no longer need to spend time and effort creating their own formulas.
An adaptable reporting platform empowers marketing departments to automate processes, generating insights more quickly and ensuring that these insights are actionable. The reporting platform allows marketing departments to merge financial data with marketing data automatically.
Collaborating and Sharing Data
Sharing data and collaborating with finance is inherently challenging for the marketing department. Financial data is sensitive and can be hard to disperse for this reason.
With an adaptable reporting platform, companies can segment financial data so that marketing managers have visibility into their own slice of data. The reporting platform can ensure that data is accessed and shared according to security requirements.
Collaboration is an essential part of marketing. Data must be shared downstream with marketing team members so they can adjust lead-generation efforts.
To decide what adjustments to make, the marketing department compares campaign budgets with actuals. Through this comparison, marketing can see how campaigns are performing.
Marketing departments are also challenged by the need to compare the cost of conversions in different campaigns. To do this, they must compare 2 data sets.
For example, when advertising and marketing on behalf of different geographical locations, a company may need to segment its marketing campaigns according to region. If the company has created a mail-order campaign, order responses can be used to track the performance in different areas and compare the money invested in the campaign to the actuals to calculate return on investment.
When a company uses an adaptable reporting platform, the reports needed to make these comparisons are already built, and the marketing department can view and comment on them.
CONCLUSION: Building a Flexible Reporting Platform for Marketing
To help your finance and marketing departments collaborate using shared data, your company needs the help of a partner with the expertise needed to build a flexible reporting platform. A technology partner can uncover opportunities for customizing reports and automating processes related to marketing.
dbSeer has considerable experience in the field of financial and marketing technology. We know how to create a modern architecture in the cloud that accelerates data integration. With our help, a data integration project can be accomplished in a matter of weeks. We have the know-how required to speed up the process.
Learn more about how a flexible reporting platform helps departments at your business collaborate. Reach out to dbSeer.