I once had a boss, the CEO of a cable network, who'd stop by my office on a regular basis, and ask, "Dave, how much money did you make me today?"
As head of consumer marketing within an advertising sales-driven organization, my response was always, "Not a penny, Larry."
He'd smile, and go on his way.
While Larry's question was, on the surface, designed to be humorous, there was also a subtle underlying threat and reminder that marketing is perceived as the department who "spends" money, and sales is the area of the company that "makes" the company money.
So, it was my pleasure when Larry the CEO stopped by my office the day after I had "spent" close to $1 million on the network's launch party, and asked his usual question--"Dave, how much money did you make me today?"
On that day I was able to cheerfully respond: "Well Larry, I spent a million dollars of your money on a party, and the sales team signed $6 million worth of deals at the event last night. So, I guess I made you $5 million."
Larry's smile was a bit bigger that day.