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Marketing in today’s financial industry is no mean feat. Financial marketers are confronted with the challenge of engaging customers on a personal level and educating consumers on more complex products and services at scale. This has led to them looking for new ways to become more efficient in their jobs, investing in new technology to assist in the implementation of marketing strategies as well as trying to leverage internal and external data to improve overall results.
But that’s not all. Assessing the contribution that marketing makes to revenue is also notoriously challenging. Despite efforts across the industry to break down internal silos and encourage inter-departmental collaboration, a recent survey of 3,435 marketing and digital professionals revealed that 62% of marketers believe marketing is only somewhat understood by their business as a whole. What’s more, the same survey found financial services to be the sector where the highest proportion of marketers (53%) believe marketing is viewed as a cost rather than an investment.
Measuring ROI of marketing activities has always been one of the top challenges for financial marketers, particularly because it goes hand-in-hand with making an argument to increase budget. CEOs and CFOs are feeling the pressure, and many financial marketers have been unable to demonstrate their programmes as an investment in their organisation’s future income stream.
With the ability to provide meaningful ROI metrics a vital requirement for financial organisations to succeed, marketing-generated dashboards are therefore a key component in demonstrating marketing’s value, highlighting key performance indicators (KPIs), and delivering the right insight to inform future marketing spend. Here are five ways dashboards can help financial marketers to maximise their data, assess ROI and elevate marketing’s profile with their stakeholders:
According to the Digital Banking Report: The 2017 Financial Marketing Trends report, the biggest challenge for financial marketers is the ability to measure performance and prove results. Centralising data provides one version of the truth for every marketing effort – critical to gaining a single view of operations to map performance, identifying trends and predicting future opportunities or requirements to change priorities. It also highlights any discrepancies in data collection before they become an issue.
An increasing number of professionals are subscribing to attribution marketing, where every single activity is tracked, and a corresponding ROI provided. With the right attribution model, financial marketers should be able to accurately find out the incremental benefit driven by the marketing spend. This includes how each channel contributes relative to its overall cost, whether spend is being optimised, and the differences in channel usage (and therefore marketing attribution) for different customer segments. However, for organisations with multiple marketing activities running simultaneously, it can be very difficult to track this data and use it inform marketing decisions.
According to research, the top three concerns for financial marketers in 2017 were how much should be allocated to digital marketing channels (63%), how much should be allocated to marketing technology (62%) and how to establish an ROI (60%). Instead of data languishing in disconnected data silos, dashboards aggregate and present all relevant campaign data in a clear, visual and engaging way, making obtaining ROI much less painful.
Dashboards help marketers integrate marketing activities with the rest of the business and better understand where to dedicate spend. Using a dashboard allows comparisons across all platforms rather than relying on individual representations that may result in skewed results. It can also help change the company mindset, so the entire organisation looks to the marketing department to answer questions such as:
Armed with this information, marketing strategies become more fact-based, driving certain aspects of the sales function instead of vice versa. The marketing department identifies new prospects, cross-sells, products, pricing and messaging.
Financial intuitions continuously need to provide data to their investors. When it comes to proving the marketing department’s value and the return on marketing investment for the institution to a CMO, providing a snapshot of performance on a marketing dashboard enables them to see their overall marketing strategy holistically, highlighting which campaigns are most effective.
Achieving GDPR readiness requires organisations to streamline all personal data held in various documents and emails held across disparate systems, network folders, and sometimes paper-based storage. To use existing data, marketing or otherwise, financial marketers must be satisfied that it meets the new standards and have a fully documented permission trail. This forces firms to consider where they hold personal data, and the legal basis for handling it, and dashboards can help. The GDPR also introduces a duty on all organisations to report certain types of data breach to the relevant authority and, in some cases to the individuals affected, within 72 hours of becoming aware of it. Using a dashboard means such a breach can be identified and reported immediately – something that is nearly impossible to do when dealing with siloed information.
Establishing a marketing dashboard is a crucial step to monitor a return on marketing investment. Financial marketers who embrace dashboards will find they can provide better support to demonstrate true ROI and justify decisions about how to move marketing efforts forward to the whole organisation. The bottom line? It means marketing is no longer a mean feat.