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Mariah Holmes, Financial Marketing Intern

“Houston, we have a problem… A marketing problem… I know, not again... We’re really finding it hard to pick a marketing platform that works for our customer base... Yeah, I don’t know what we’re going to do…”  

Does this conversation sound familiar to you? If so, you’re not alone. According to data gathered at the 2014 Financial Brand Forum:

  • 46 percent of the financial institutions polled said they “struggle to quantify the results and impact” of their marketing
  • 18 percent of those polled said they “use guesswork as often as we use hard data” to measure marketing efforts
  • Only 15 percent said they have a “good idea of how much we get from our marketing investments”

 Additionally, the “majority of marketers (51 percent) in an Experian survey use simplistic or inaccurate forms of marketing attribution… or use none at all,” writes Jeffrey Pilcher, CEO/President and Publisher of the Financial Brand.   This is a huge problem for marketing departments within financial institutions. How can you expect to deliver out-of-this-world results to prove your worth if you don’t know how?  

Proving the value of your marketing doesn’t have to be difficult  

So how do you figure out which marketing channels provide the best return on investment for your institution?   Two words: marketing attribution.  

What is that? It is the process of assigning values to certain events and touchpoints throughout the marketing process. From seeing how many times a landing page converted to identifying increases in website traffic during certain times of the year, marketing attribution helps you to pick out those events in order to capitalize on them.  

Marketing attribution serves as a method to see which tools of the trade are beneficial, and which are simply cutting into your budget.  As Chris Ratcliff of Econsultancy puts it, “[Marketing attribution] is far more accurate than just attributing a sale to the last click…it can help businesses figure out which channels are the best for driving conversions and which either need further development or just aren’t worth the investment.”  

Being aware of the best marketing channels for your institution is an easy way to ensure the most productive use of limited marketing resources. Part of the job of a marketer is making the tough decisions on who to target, the best way to target them, and just how much you’re willing to spend on them. Why would you keep putting money into a platform that isn’t bringing anyone in the doors?  

Work smarter, not harder  

Here’s a good way to illustrate marketing attribution’s effectiveness. Imagine a cloud above your head, containing all of the marketing channels that your institution could possibly utilize. Every time something happens on one of those marketing channels, that little bit of data falls down like little rain drops. But what if you have so many marketing platforms, and they are all gathering data, and it becomes a steady downpour of information that you can’t see through it all?  

That’s where marketing attribution comes in. It’s like a fancy umbrella that lets in just enough rain drops to keep you cool on a summer day, but still keeps you from getting bogged down and overwhelmed.  

When marketing attribution is applied in your institution it helps to filter through the important exchanges and keeps you focused on the platforms that bring in the highest return.  Implementing marketing attribution practices and testing the productivity of your current marketing department will allow you to find the best tools and practices for your institution.  

Being able to quantify and accurately describe the effect that a campaign had on your bottom line will benefit your marketing department and your institution as a whole. Additionally, the ability to see and understand where your marketing efforts are having their greatest impact gives you the opportunity to maximize your budget in channels that you know are providing the best ROI.  

This not only helps your institution, but proves the worth of the work you and your colleagues are doing in the eyes of your executives. And that’s never a bad thing.  

Jeffry Pilcher, CEO/President and Publisher of The Financial Brand

Chris Ratcliff, Deputy Editor at Econsultancy  


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