Author Archives: Nitant Narang, Procurify

Can Spend Actually Influence Revenue? Here’s Why Your CPO Will Be Your Next CFO

In 2017, Parsa Saljoughian, vice president of Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), set about the monumental task of analyzing each and every shareholder letter that Jeff Bezos had published since Amazon went public in 1997. In the course of studying the 20 letters, Saljoughian made a curious discovery: Bezos doesn’t seem particularly fond of the word “revenue.” In the course of those 20 years, Amazon increased its revenue by 120,000%, and yet “revenue” is mentioned only 12 times in those 66 pages of letters. Instead, writes Saljoughian, Bezos used these shareholder letters to talk at length about the company’s “inputs,” referring to aspect of the company's business that were controllable, such as spend management.

Why Marketing Contributes to a Terrible Spend Culture

marketing spend

Notwithstanding the obvious differences in personality, the mutual look of incomprehension when the CMO and CFO try to explain to each other what they actually do, marketing and finance have never been particularly pally. It’s not just the stark difference in their background, it’s not even the daunting task of proving ROI on an ingenious marketing campaign to a number-crunching CFO, or the danger in committing company funds to some radical idea based on a marketer’s sudden, Steve Jobsian flash of insight into the minds of customers. The things that can cause an ugly spat between marketing and finance are actually much more prosaic.