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A Guide To Understanding Collaborative Benefits of Marketing and Finance

Marketing and finance are often thought of as opposing forces. People in marketing have green hair and mad photoshop skills. People in finance wear suits and don’t have a soul. It’s art and science, creativity and reason, right brain vs left brain – right?


That guy who is an RMIT Master of Marketing graduate might just be in it for the analytics, while that lady who studied finance might have done so in order to examine customer trends in spending and find innovative solutions for businesses to improve their metrics. Marketing and finance are three dimensional disciplines that have a lot of middle-ground in the venn-diagram of their collaboration.

Let’s take a look at the world of data behind marketing, and the passion behind numbers, and moreover – how they come together to meet their goals.

Humans Being Humans

People are strange, but we’re also adorable when you think about it. Something incredibly endearing is the way we set a purpose by things. We find an interest and we pursue it, often with some kind of perception as to the joie de vivre that the interest in question grants them; it’s a sense of magic, if you will.

With over 8 billion people in the world it’s guaranteed that there’s going to be some really out there interests, however something that is frequently perplexing to others is the study of numbers. Mathematics is famous for confounding people throughout school, but some careers demand numerical expertise such as science, medicine, and engineering. The world of finance is typically characterised by the cold and logical pursuit of profit above all else, lending to its stereotype as a soulless profession for soulless people.

On the flip side, art at school is usually seen as a bludge or “fun” subject, one that is easy to coast in but that certain students just inject a huge amount of love and effort into. When design students in school grow up to become marketers, it seems almost like a no-brainer, as though their artistic soul left them pre-determined to be a marketer.

But finance isn’t always just about the numbers, and design isn’t the only job open to marketers. What happens to the number-crunching kid that wants to go into marketing? What about the kid that loves people that wants to work in finance?

The Humanity in Numbers

A successful financial career depends on a person’s ability to understand people, and this is usually done through data that comes in numerics. Finance is essential to successful business not just to calculate net worth against outgoings, tax, and bills, but to recognise the trends and buying behaviours in the customers that engage with a business.

A financial advisor has to know how to approach people and businesses and has to be in tune with a cultural zeitgeist that favours certain attitudes and commodities above others. People in finance must have an understanding of the community they operate in, and in some cases even possess insight to the attitudes of global markets.

This approach to finance relies on an inherently humanist worldview, and demands more emotional intelligence than we typically credit financiers with.

The Numbers in Humanity

Marketing is so much more than making things look pretty. That eye-catching billboard you saw on your way to work? That wasn’t just mocked up by some 1st-year design undergraduate on a lazy afternoon. That was heavily researched. People looked at the data around sales for whatever item that billboard was offering. They examined the demographics that gathered around that brand or item, they picked it apart to the most minute detail.

Then they wrote a report and developed a concept of what they thought would work. They handed that concept to a designer and boom – billboard.

Marketing is controlled by numbers. Nothing gets designed out of thin air, it’s all thoroughly researched and then the results of that research are moulded into an extant form that provides the right blend of entertainment, information, and pleasing aesthetics. Every advertisement you’ve ever seen, laughed at, or made a purchase from has been the result of countless hours of study; and in turn has been studied for future advertisements too.

Bringing The Two Together

Marketing is the practice of using data and analytics to observe the failings of a business, and weigh them against a customer’s projected interests; then using that data to design a campaign of advertising media to appeal to those interests in order to elevate the business’ profit.

Finance then explores and examines the success or failure of that campaign, through analysing the cost of the campaign and the profits seen by the business during its inception; thus providing the final word on whether the campaign was “worth it.”

One cannot exist without the other, and to label one as inherently creative and the other as inherently cold does a disservice to the nuance within either vocation. There is just as much room for creativity and heart in finance as there is the need for numbers in marketing. They compliment each other in their collaboration, rather than contrast.

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