Does this sound familiar? You walk into the office with a lot on your mind.
Not only are you facing multiple projects of your own, programming executives that demand audiences, a development department that has higher goals than ever – what’s a marketing pro to do?
Simply start at the beginning and realize that you are not alone.
There are only two departments in any non-profit organization that has their finger in every pie in the building: marketing and finance. Marketing lives at the beginning of the business cycle and finance at the end. Other than the Executive Director, no-one other than marketing and finance lives, works and breathes all facets of the business every day.
Of course there couldn’t be any two more dissimilar entities between types of individual or personality traits – yet strangely these two departments usually get along pretty well because they can converse on the many levels of the org and after all, opposites do attract.
But that’s not to say they have too much in common…
Marketing is about the creative. Marketers get paid for thinking broad thoughts, the more creative, funny or outlandish, the better it is for your org. We marketers live in the grey.
Accounting is about black and white. It’s about what is and what isn’t. What happened and what did not. There’s usually not a lot of why or why not here, it’s “just the fact’s ma’am.”
It’s both a blessing and a curse as the successful marketer has to have knowledge about all aspects of the operation in order to tell the story to their audience and to make it resonate. You also have to be able to tell what’s working, what’s not and also determine how and when to make a change to the message or media to make marketing more effective.
While accounting faces mountains of detail work that would drive most creative types insane, there’s a certain beauty in the numbers and the stories they tell.
Why do I write this?
As marketing continues to evolve, the days of simply running ads or making phone calls are quickly morphing into the quantification of every post, tweet and video into data that can be evaluated, crunched and analyzed. The two worlds of marketing and finance are starting to come together, so a successful marketer must respect the numbers and learn to make decisions based on them.
You may have gotten into marketing because of the freedom and the creativity, but the well-rounded marketing pro is going to have to be a lot more like the accountant in the future than it even does now.
It seems funny to say, but you have a lot more in common with the finance suite than you ever thought you might.