Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 1 year ago

16) #InsideDigitalGrowth: No More Vanity Metrics. Here’s How to Track Conversion

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Do you know when and where your leads are converting?

If you don’t, it’s like you’re flying blind. 

And when you fly blind, sooner or later, you’re going to crash.

But, don’t worry, there’s a way to light the path ahead.

On today’s Digital Growth Series, I field a question from Brad, Vice President for a Financial Brand in California.

How do we track ROI from the moment a person first sees an ad to when the loan closes?

You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Brad ask how can we track Urifrom the moment of person sees and add or some type of other communication thatwe're promoting to the time atlane closes most loss don't make this process very easyto follow. That's a great question, Brad, in one that will answerfor you on today's episode of banking on digital growth. You're listening to bankingon digital growth with James Robert Lay, a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating ten timesmore loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the inside digital growth series, where James Robert shares answers to some of the biggest digital marketing and salesquestions he gets from the digital growth community. Have a question you want to getanswers to on a future episode? visit www dot go ask jrcom tosubmit your question today. Now let's go inside digital growth. Greetings in Hello, I am James Robert Lay and welcome to the sixteen episode of the bankingon digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the inside digital growth seriesand I'll be answering a question from Brad, who's the vice president of digital marketingfor a financial brand out in California. Brad asked how can we track ouryfrom the moment a person sees and add or some other type of communicationthat we're promoting to the time the loan closes? Most Los is don't makethis process very easy to follow the consumer journey. Well, thanks for thequestion, Brad. It is a good one. In fact, this questionis one we often help financial brand marking teams focus on answering first when diagnosingand assessing their unique situation, because whenever we do help them answer this question, marketing teams quickly increased the perceived value they create internally at their financial brandand, as a result, they begin to transform marketing from being traditionally viewedas a cost center or, as I spoken about in the past, or, worse, kids that just play with Payton crayons. So what I'm goingto do for you today is take some time to walk through one of theprimary processes that we recommend when diagnosing and advising financial brands that want to maximizetheir digital growth potential. In fact, this process has already generated hundreds ofmillions of dollars in deposits and loans and leads for financial brands that have deployedthis thinking. So stick with me. We're going to get a little technical, but not too much. Take good notes and, most importantly, don'tbe afraid to bookmark this episode so that you can reference it again in thefuture and listen to it or even share it internally with someone else on yourmarketing team, even on your cells team, because there's an opportunity for marketing itsells alignment here, specifically around operations and maybe even your it team fromthe technicalities of this. So, to begin answering your question, Brad,I want to first address the pain point. You noted that most online account openingand Los Platforms currently make this process of tracking channel attribution as part ofthe digital consumer journey very difficult, if not almost impossible. This is,in fact, one of the biggest complaints I hear from marketing teams when advisingthem, and I truly do feel the pain here, because when we don'tknow where people are coming from, when...

...we don't know where the leads areconverting for loans and new accounts, it's like we are flying blind, andwhen we fly blind, sooner or later we are going to crash and someone'sgoing to get hurt. Furthermore, these blind spots make it feel like,and on is impossible task to determine what digital marketing channels are working well atthe same time really gaining a sense of clarity and understanding of what digital marketingchannels are not working. And because of this, marketing teams end up havingto fall back on reporting vanity metrics for ad campaigns, for email campaigns,for social campaigns, like reach, clicks, likes, and a lot of timesthese vanity metrics make marketing teams feel good. But the problem is thesevanity metrics only tell half the story. Now, to be clear, there'snothing wrong with these top of the funnel metrics. In fact, they arevery important, and I do compare them to the instrument readings on an airplane, as vanity metrics, reach clicks likes, etc. Do provide some type ofleading indicator as well as context that can help us to determine whether arenot our marketing activities or either gaining altitude or losing altitude. But, asI noted before, these metrics, reach clicks likes, etc. Only tellhalf the story and they don't provide the deeper insight that others within our financialbrand are looking for. Truth be told, Bank and Credit Union CEOS don't reallycare how many cliques your ad Gat. Clos are not interested in reach,and I've seen a lot of CFO eyes glaze over when marketing teams pullfrom the acronym alphabet soup and they start sharing things like CPM, CPC CTR. I also think it's important to take a moment to just briefly address thedark truth that many financial brand marketing teams are not aware of because they lackthe mission critical conversion capability, and that is the fact that the vast majorityof financial brand marketing teams that we have worked with over the years to diagnosetheir situation, or in many times, for lack of a better word,are getting screwed by their digital marketing agencies. And I'm going to hold these digitalmarketing agencies accountable and responsible, because they should take responsibility for the successand performance of the digital ads they place. But for one reason or another,they don't take the responsibility and end up taking advantage of financial brands,some who are paying millions of dollars and add placement, because they're not ableto attribute the digital ads they place all all the way down to conversion.There have been multiple cases in our findings, in our recommendations from our diagnostic studies, where we have had to call out digital ad agencies and digital mediafirms who have been taking advantage of the financial brands we advise because the banking, credit and marketing teams just simply lack the conversion and attribution capabilities that wouldprotect them from these ad agencies, that would protect them from add fraud,which add fraud is a topic that I...

...would like to come back and coveron a future podcast, because add fraud is something that we're seeing more andmore and more of, but digital ad agencies don't want to address it becausethis add fraud is a direct threat to obviously, their core business model.Without naming names, there is a wellknown digital media brand that we have foundon at least five different cases, with this digital media brand was driving trafficto a financial brands website that was outside of this particular financial institutions desired Geotargeting location. So, for example, let's say the financial brand we wereadvising was located in Houston, Texas. In the specific diagnostic study we foundthat sixty to eighty percent of the traffic was coming outside of the Houston market, with a vast majority of that traffic being fraudulent when we started analyzing theIP activity of the traffic that this digital media brand was driving. So whatdo we do? We alerted the client of these findings and the client reachedout to this digital media brand feeling very frustrated. They wanted answers. Theywere like, what's going on? Why is this happening? Here's the dataand the data just doesn't lie. And every single time this wellknown digital mediabrand, they had a rep the came back to the client and and theRep always claimed this was the first time that they had ever seen something ofthis magnitude of add fraud. And now this would make sense on the firsttime. The excuse would work on the first time, but not the second, not the third, not the fourth, not the fifth. So I justwanted to start off by addressing some of the challenges and the frustrations thatwe see in here from banking credit in marketing teams who were continuing to combatthe issues rooted in a lack of capability to consistently track conversion and attribution activitiesfor deposit and loans down to a specific channel. And it's this lack ofclarities, this lack of understanding, which is what reinforces the false fact thatmarketing is viewed as a cost and an expense at the vast majority of bankingcredit units. Now, with all of this said, I have some goodnews because if you're listening and you're struggling right now with channel attribution, thegood news is that you do not have to keep flying blind. You cangain improved performance insights into conversions, for leads, for loans, for deposits, for new accounts, and I'm seeing more and more marketing teams work tosolve these strategic mission critical problems. Some have already taken a proactive step toset up activity and goal tracking within Google analytics, and that is a stepin the right direction. This gives insight into channel attribution and down to specificareas of performance like clicks on a call to action to apply. And whilethis is a step down the right path because they are getting clarity and attributioninto tracking call to Action Clicks back to specific digital marketing ad campaigns or channelslike email and social media, the problem is the fact that online account openingand loan applications have an abandoned application rate on average of around eighty five toninety two percent. So what does that...

...mean? It means if you're currentlytracking digital marketing performance, for digital ad campaigns, for social media campaigns,for email marketing campaigns, down two clicks on a CTA button on a landingpage, you could, but now with a hundred percent confidence, consider projectingconversions by taking around eight to fifteen percent of clicks on the call to action. Now this isn't science, but considering an eighty five to ninety two percentabandonment rate, we can take an estimated eight to fifteen percent conversion rate onthose CTAS for those that go through and complete the entire loan application process.Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumer shop for andbuy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk intoa branch, if they walk into a branch at all. But your financialbrand still wants to grow loans and deposits. We get it. Digital growth canfeel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any the financial brand marketing and salesleader. But it doesn't have to, because James Robert wrote the book thatguides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey. Visit wwwagitgrowthcom to get a preview of his best selling book banking on digital growth,or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Insideyou'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands, andit is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start using today toconfidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show. Let'ssay we get a thousand clicks on a CTA to apply. Looking atthe math, we could assume hypothetically eight hundred and fifty of those clicks abandonthe application process and a hundred and fifty of them pull through all the wayto conversion. But even then that doesn't give us insight into out of thehundred fifty that complete the application, how many are actually funded. And alot of this might be hopeful thinking. And here's the thing. There's aneven better path forward that I'd like to unpack for you, because this isgoing to add a tremendous amount of additional insight. But I have to warnyou it's also going to add some complexity because it this recommendation involves a coupleof different systems and processes and also working across some multiple departments. So thisis where I want you to stick with me and why I recommend bookmarking thisepisode and sharing this internally, because I don't want to walk you through astep by step process to tracking and measuring conversions and channel attribution for your marketingteam. And to do this I'm going to set the stage and frame thisup to where we're going to make a couple of assumptions from the general findingsthat we discover in our diagnostics. Number one, we're going to assume thatyou're running a digital ad campaign. Now, in this exercise I'm not so interestedin determining where you're running this ad campaign. It could be PPC,it could be display, it could really be remarketing. All I care aboutis that you're running some type of a digital ad campaign. And the numbertwo this ad campaign is driving traffic to a specific landing page and not thegeneral product page of your website. That is an optimization opportunity. If youare running traffic digital, add traffic to...

...a product page on your website.There's an even better approach to drive traffic not to the product page but toa campaign specific landing page. And that brings me to to the point numberthree for this example, that the landing page primary call to action is fora product that's being promoted, linking off to a third party application, whetherthat be for a deposit application or loan application. And then the fourth assumptionthat we're going to make here is that we're running google analytics and up tothis point, historically you have been able to track links on this call toaction. So you do have some historical data that we can make some assumptionsaround. So, with this framing, with this narrative, there are twopossible paths that you can consider to apply to optimize this very common digital marketingcampaign implementation strategy. The first path is going to be a little bit harder, even if not impossible, because this is going to require you to workwith your third party online account opening or loan APP provider to integrate what iscalled cross domain tracking. This is where things are going to get a littlebit technical here. Cross domain tracking solves one of the biggest digital marketing challengesbecause whenever we take someone from our financial brands website to a third party websitefor a loan or for a deposited account, for the application, we lose allanalytical tracking capability. But I want to be very clear. Cross domaintracking is a fairly advanced subject matter that takes time to first and foremost teach, second to apply and third, to optimize. And most importantly, onceagain I'm going to stress this, cross domain tracking requires the support of yourthird party online account opening or loan application provider, which I've seen many times. They are simply not willing to play nicely on for one reason or another. So that challenge right there in and of itself really leads me to anotherstrategic recommendation, a second path, and that's where you can start looking fora new online account opening or loan application partner willing to work with you.Never Forget it is you, your financial brand, that writes the checks andif you've got a quote unquote partner, and at this point they're really nothingmore than a vendor that's not willing to play Nice, start researching other platforms, because there are so many more that are popping up now because of thecommon pain points that we're seeing time and time and time again when it comesto the most important part of the digital consumer buying journey, which is theapplication. Once again, that conversation is for another day, because what Iwant to do is come back on track and continue the example where we're goingto assume at this point that we have run into this common road block andyour third party application provider does not want to play Nice. Does this meanthat you're stuck? Does this mean that you're resigned to continue to fly blindwhen it comes to your conversion and channel attribution performance? Absolutely not. Thisis the third path. This is the third way, a path that wediscovered five years ago because we knew the...

...critical strategic importance of empowering financial brandmarketing teams to gain clarity into conversion and channel attribution insights. We call thisthird path the digital growth pre application process. It's this process is really first ofits kind in the banking industry and something that we have continued to recommendover and over and over again for the financial brands that we work with.And, as a result, the digital growth pre application process has already alreadygenerated hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and deposits for financial brands that weadvise. Now there's a quick caveat before unpacking the digital growth pre application process. This process does require a marketing automation platform, and that's a good thing, because a marketing automation platform opens up an entirely bigger world of opportunity thatwe can come back and discuss in future episodes. So I do want tomake that caveat before we go further. What I'm about to talk through doesrequire a marketing automation platform, and so, with that in mind, you're probablygoing to fall into one of two camps at this point when it comesto marketing automation. Number one, you already have a marketing automation platform inthe good news for you is what I'm about to recommend. Like the majorityof the recommendations I make when advising financial brands, is that this recommendation isplatform agnostic, and that means you can apply this thinking regardless if you runsells force, par dot total expert Marquetto hub spot act on sharp spring.I'm not so interested in the marketing automation technology that you have. It's thefact that you already have it. You can apply this thinking on the flipside, side you don't have marketing automation and you might feel a little bitbehind, as marketing automation is one of the four gears we recommend for financialbrands who are building a digital growth engine, and if this is you, therecommendation I'm about to share can help to fund your marketing automation investment andreally begin to transform your marketing team beyond the cost center into a growth engine. I think it's also important to take comfort knowing that there's still about eightypercent of financial brands who have not adopted some type of marketing automation platform asof yet. So let's get into it and continue forward together. In briefreview, coming back to the common digital marketing campaign example, that you're drivingtraffic from a digital add to a specific landing page. It's on this landingpage that you can remove the CTA that links off to the third party application, because when you remove the CTA, you're going to replace that Ceta witha form that you develop in your marketing automation platform, and on this formyou will collect some basic contact information, name, email, phone. That'sit, nothing more, nothing less, because when someone completes this form onthe landing page, you'll then link them off to the third party application whetherthey'll continue on with the process for the loan or for the new account oncethis person completes the third party application. This is very important to also deploy. You'll then link them back to the completion page, or a completion pageon your website, and this is really...

...where you can begin to optimize theentire journey, because no longer is is it going to be a generic message. You can have a specific completion page for every single one of your products, defining what happens next. Furthermore, it's this completion page that is whatcloses the loop and will provide you insight into the completed application conversions that you'llbe able to go into your marketing automation platform to pull a people or topull a list of people that hit the conversion page, and then you canscrub that list against those that started the digital growth pre application process. Soyou can take this thinking even further, because now you can scrub both theconversion and attribution data against those loans that are funded and those that started thedigital growth pre application process. As a bone as you're getting some additional dataand insight into people's digital activities that you can further deploy to take action onin the future. For example, those that abandon the process and and neverhit that conversion page back on your website. There's a whole slew of activity thatyou can do to follow up with and pull them through, and insome instances we've seen implementing abandoned application processes increases the conversion rate for those thatabandoned by about fifteen to twenty percent, which has huge implementations on the bottomline without having to spend any more marketing dollars at the top of the funnel. So, as we wrap up today, there are four key things to rememberas we come back to Brad's question about how to track Roy from themoment of person sees and ad or some other type of communication digitally to thetime the loane closes, because most loss make it difficult to follow the consumerjourney at this level. Number One, if you are struggling with quantifying conversionand channel attribution, I want you to know that you're not alone and Ifeel your pain. Number two, I want you to consider the cost ofcontinuing to lie blind and the toll that this takes on you on your marketingteam, on your lending team and on your financial brand, specifically in relationto add fraud. Number three, I want you to have confidence knowing thatthere are really three different paths forward that you can apply to close the loop, with cross site tracking, with looking for a new los are, withapplying the digital growth pre application process, which is already generated hundreds of millionsof dollars and loans and deposits and even leads over the past five years forthe banks and credit nuns that we have advised and guided. And the numberfour, share this episode with someone you know at your financial brand that mightalso find these insights helpful because, as I started today's conversation, deploying thisthinking, deploying these recommendations, takes not just the marketing team, but themarketing team and the lending team or the marketing team in the deposit team.It leadership, all working hand in hand together. Finally, as we wrapup, do you have a question? Do you have a question, likeBrad, that you want to get answers too, because I want to hearfrom you, I want to help you and I'd like for you to takea minute to ask a question that you'd like to get answered. On afuture podcast over at www dot go ask...

...jrcom. Hop over there www dotgo ask jrcom, ask your question and I look forward to helping you ona future episode of inside digital growth. As always, remember there are nobad questions and the only bad question is the question that goes unasked. Untilnext time, be well, do good and wash your hands. Thank youfor listening to another episode of banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Laigh.Like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us areview on apple podcast, Google podcast or spotify and subscribe while you're there.To get even more practical, improven insights, visit wwwigital growthcom to grab a previewof James Roberts best selling book banking on digital growth, or order acopy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find astrategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around twelve key areas of focus that empower youto confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Until next time, bewell and do good.

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