MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.–More community financial institutions, including credit unions, should be bringing their digital marketing talent in-house, according to one person.
“The way today’s marketers are educated – whether through university degree programs or corporate training schools – has created a new segment of individuals with highly valuable, blended skill sets,” said Rahul Nawab, founder of IQR Consulting, in remarks before the Analytics and Financial Innovation (AXFI) Conference attendees this week. “As they gain expertise in IT, analytics and creative strategies, contemporary marketing professionals have what it takes to lead the kind of data-driven digital campaigns that trigger positive behaviors from target consumers.”
Nawab clarified that expertise alone does not drive success with digital marketing, saying that instead three key ingredients are needed before positive outcomes from digital campaigns can be achieved:
1. Discipline to consistently define and measure return on spend within a channel.
2. Tools to track digital user experiences and activities.
3. Technology (either in-house or vendor-sourced) to quickly implement changes.
For financial institutions new to digital marketing, Nawab advised they start somewhere easy.
“In the beginning, it’s all about developing a culture of data-driven campaigns and analytical adaptations to make the next campaign better,” Nawab said. “Often, individuals will want to understand, for example, how their online activities translate into branch visits. That requires fairly advanced analytics that even larger institutions haven’t truly figured out. Start small by measuring things you can readily access, such as email sign-ups or online account openings. Once you get your hands around what it takes to measure and adapt a campaign to simple results, you can begin to increase the complexity of your analytics.”
According to Nawab, the ultimate goal is to get to the point marketing teams are performing both descriptive and prescriptive analytics on their digital marketing campaign results. Descriptive analytics, which answer questions such as what happened and why, can be described as using hindsight to set strategy for upcoming campaigns. Predictive analytics, on the other hand, answer questions such as what will happen and how can we either ensure or prevent it from happening.
This type of foresight-focused analysis is the sweet spot for credit unions and community banks, according to Nawab.
“Digital marketing campaigns provide a terrific opportunity to begin developing a data-centric culture. In fact, marketers can be the catalyst for helping to develop an enterprise-wide appreciation for the power of analytics. Before long, managers from sales to operations will be asking, ‘How can we use analytics to improve our performance, too?’”