The missing link: what the online loan and deposit provider doesn’t tell you

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Melanie Coleman

Data continues to play an increasingly important role in marketing. C-suites and boards of directors are beginning to realize that vanity metrics like clicks and impressions speak only partly.

Our challenge as marketers is to continue to dig deeper, anticipate emerging issues, and effectively illustrate the added value of each effort. The problem most marketers face is when they dig into an online application and get stuck in front of a virtual black hole, begging internal teams to provide application completion reports and manually link the data together. Not exactly what most marketing teams have the bandwidth to handle. But why does a black hole even exist?

The game of the guilty

Until recently, online applications were viewed as checkboxes. The banks had to have something in order to remain competitive, but they did not really think about their activities. However, performance is where the bank’s path to growth and marketing success lies.

Case in point: if your control campaign is generating 700 clicks per month to “open now!” but you only get 11 completed applications, there is a problem. Of course, not all clicks are valid, but there is also a clear discrepancy between “open now” and completion. So who’s to blame? If you’ve pointed the finger at marketing, you’re not alone. But more often than not, this blame is misplaced, and ignoring the real culprit will still lead to business loss and slower growth for your bank.

Coming together

The good news is that online app providers of all sizes are starting to allow analytics to be tracked in their consumer online loans and deposits. This is a huge win for marketers and banks as it provides a clear picture of the overall user experience with the organization. For example: if you advertise that you are a technologically advanced bank, but your online application is 12 pages long and is not easy to get on a mobile device, then you are refuting your message. Getting this new data-driven insight into the performance of your online application is critical to understanding completion and termination rates and which marketing channels are actually converting to completed applications.

Learning to speak data

Data seems to be the latest buzzword in marketing – and for good reason. Adding a simple snippet of code can provide marketing teams with a wealth of insights into user behavior. Understanding what your website does and how users interact with your resources (yes, this also includes social media feeds) is an important first step before understanding cross-domain attribution. Not currently analyzing data? It’s time to start! Make sure to post the appropriate analytics tag, or better yet, find a qualified partner to tag your entire site and create a report with a focus on KPIs and your audience.

Taking the next step

As marketing becomes more of a science, it is imperative that marketing teams and marketers understand the data that underlies the entire user journey. The online application is a critical component for this, as this is where users become customers. Word to the wise: the results may not be to your liking. It can make you come to terms with some unpleasant truths, such as a 95 percent bounce rate (yes, we’ve seen that) or that your marketing efforts aren’t working. So, what will you do: maintain the status quo or start the path to true growth?

Melanie Coleman – Media and Strategy Manager at Pannos Marketingbased in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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