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Putting your money where your mouth is

It is not often that marketing professionals pay any attention to current accountancy practices, but occasionally we should. We know as both agencies and clients that marketing budgets are usually the first thing to go when there is any pressure on a company's costs. And in B2B this is greater exacerbated because recognition of the importance of marketing is much lower generally than in consumer markets. Hence, B2B marketing budgets are correspondingly more vulnerable.

It has always been a mantra of savvy marketers that they should be able to speak the language of finance directors, and be in a better position to fight our corner when budget discussions start to veer towards how much to cut the marketing spend. However, we have usually failed in our task because most people who work in marketing are not interested in accountancy and most accountants do not see the value of marketing.

In essence, the problem is that financial reporting standards have in the past demanded that we account for the performance of our companies by measuring the things that are easily calculated and tangible. The assets of a company are assessed at the lower cost or net realisable value, but marketing value is often intangible. We often add value to a company through building its brand.