Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 2 years ago

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


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 Uri from the moment of person sees and add or some type of other communication that we're promoting to the time atlane closes most loss don't make this process very easy to follow. That's a great question, Brad, in one that will answer for you on today's episode of banking on digital growth. You're listening to banking on 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 times more 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 sales questions he gets from the digital growth community. Have a question you want to get answers to on a future episode? visit www dot go ask jrcom to submit 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 banking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the inside digital growth series and I'll be answering a question from Brad, who's the vice president of digital marketing for a financial brand out in California. Brad asked how can we track oury from the moment a person sees and add or some other type of communication that we're promoting to the time the loan closes? Most Los is don't make this process very easy to follow the consumer journey. Well, thanks for the question, Brad. It is a good one. In fact, this question is one we often help financial brand marking teams focus on answering first when diagnosing and 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 brand and, as a result, they begin to transform marketing from being traditionally viewed as a cost center or, as I spoken about in the past, or, worse, kids that just play with Payton crayons. So what I'm going to do for you today is take some time to walk through one of the primary processes that we recommend when diagnosing and advising financial brands that want to maximize their digital growth potential. In fact, this process has already generated hundreds of millions of dollars in deposits and loans and leads for financial brands that have deployed this thinking. So stick with me. We're going to get a little technical, but not too much. Take good notes and, most importantly, don't be afraid to bookmark this episode so that you can reference it again in the future and listen to it or even share it internally with someone else on your marketing team, even on your cells team, because there's an opportunity for marketing it sells alignment here, specifically around operations and maybe even your it team from the technicalities of this. So, to begin answering your question, Brad, I want to first address the pain point. You noted that most online account opening and Los Platforms currently make this process of tracking channel attribution as part of the digital consumer journey very difficult, if not almost impossible. This is, in fact, one of the biggest complaints I hear from marketing teams when advising them, and I truly do feel the pain here, because when we don't know where people are coming from, when...

...we don't know where the leads are converting for loans and new accounts, it's like we are flying blind, and when we fly blind, sooner or later we are going to crash and someone's going 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 at the same time really gaining a sense of clarity and understanding of what digital marketing channels are not working. And because of this, marketing teams end up having to fall back on reporting vanity metrics for ad campaigns, for email campaigns, for social campaigns, like reach, clicks, likes, and a lot of times these vanity metrics make marketing teams feel good. But the problem is these vanity metrics only tell half the story. Now, to be clear, there's nothing wrong with these top of the funnel metrics. In fact, they are very important, and I do compare them to the instrument readings on an airplane, as vanity metrics, reach clicks likes, etc. Do provide some type of leading indicator as well as context that can help us to determine whether are not our marketing activities or either gaining altitude or losing altitude. But, as I noted before, these metrics, reach clicks likes, etc. Only tell half the story and they don't provide the deeper insight that others within our financial brand are looking for. Truth be told, Bank and Credit Union CEOS don't really care 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 pull from 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 the dark truth that many financial brand marketing teams are not aware of because they lack the mission critical conversion capability, and that is the fact that the vast majority of financial brand marketing teams that we have worked with over the years to diagnose their 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 digital marketing agencies accountable and responsible, because they should take responsibility for the success and 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 able to 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 media firms 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 would protect 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 cover on a future podcast, because add fraud is something that we're seeing more and more and more of, but digital ad agencies don't want to address it because this 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 found on at least five different cases, with this digital media brand was driving traffic to a financial brands website that was outside of this particular financial institutions desired Geo targeting location. So, for example, let's say the financial brand we were advising was located in Houston, Texas. In the specific diagnostic study we found that 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 the IP activity of the traffic that this digital media brand was driving. So what do we do? We alerted the client of these findings and the client reached out to this digital media brand feeling very frustrated. They wanted answers. They were like, what's going on? Why is this happening? Here's the data and the data just doesn't lie. And every single time this wellknown digital media brand, they had a rep the came back to the client and and the Rep always claimed this was the first time that they had ever seen something of this magnitude of add fraud. And now this would make sense on the first time. The excuse would work on the first time, but not the second, not the third, not the fourth, not the fifth. So I just wanted to start off by addressing some of the challenges and the frustrations that we see in here from banking credit in marketing teams who were continuing to combat the issues rooted in a lack of capability to consistently track conversion and attribution activities for deposit and loans down to a specific channel. And it's this lack of clarities, this lack of understanding, which is what reinforces the false fact that marketing is viewed as a cost and an expense at the vast majority of banking credit units. Now, with all of this said, I have some good news because if you're listening and you're struggling right now with channel attribution, the good news is that you do not have to keep flying blind. You can gain improved performance insights into conversions, for leads, for loans, for deposits, for new accounts, and I'm seeing more and more marketing teams work to solve these strategic mission critical problems. Some have already taken a proactive step to set up activity and goal tracking within Google analytics, and that is a step in the right direction. This gives insight into channel attribution and down to specific areas of performance like clicks on a call to action to apply. And while this is a step down the right path because they are getting clarity and attribution into tracking call to Action Clicks back to specific digital marketing ad campaigns or channels like email and social media, the problem is the fact that online account opening and loan applications have an abandoned application rate on average of around eighty five to ninety two percent. So what does that...

...mean? It means if you're currently tracking digital marketing performance, for digital ad campaigns, for social media campaigns, for email marketing campaigns, down two clicks on a CTA button on a landing page, you could, but now with a hundred percent confidence, consider projecting conversions 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 percent abandonment rate, we can take an estimated eight to fifteen percent conversion rate on those 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 and buy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch, if they walk into a branch at all. But your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits. We get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any the financial brand marketing and sales leader. But it doesn't have to, because James Robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey. Visit wwwagit growthcom 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. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands, and it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show. Let's say we get a thousand clicks on a CTA to apply. Looking at the math, we could assume hypothetically eight hundred and fifty of those clicks abandon the application process and a hundred and fifty of them pull through all the way to conversion. But even then that doesn't give us insight into out of the hundred fifty that complete the application, how many are actually funded. And a lot of this might be hopeful thinking. And here's the thing. There's an even better path forward that I'd like to unpack for you, because this is going to add a tremendous amount of additional insight. But I have to warn you it's also going to add some complexity because it this recommendation involves a couple of different systems and processes and also working across some multiple departments. So this is where I want you to stick with me and why I recommend bookmarking this episode and sharing this internally, because I don't want to walk you through a step by step process to tracking and measuring conversions and channel attribution for your marketing team. And to do this I'm going to set the stage and frame this up to where we're going to make a couple of assumptions from the general findings that we discover in our diagnostics. Number one, we're going to assume that you're running a digital ad campaign. Now, in this exercise I'm not so interested in determining where you're running this ad campaign. It could be PPC, it could be display, it could really be remarketing. All I care about is that you're running some type of a digital ad campaign. And the number two this ad campaign is driving traffic to a specific landing page and not the general product page of your website. That is an optimization opportunity. If you are 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 to a campaign specific landing page. And that brings me to to the point number three for this example, that the landing page primary call to action is for a product that's being promoted, linking off to a third party application, whether that be for a deposit application or loan application. And then the fourth assumption that we're going to make here is that we're running google analytics and up to this point, historically you have been able to track links on this call to action. So you do have some historical data that we can make some assumptions around. So, with this framing, with this narrative, there are two possible paths that you can consider to apply to optimize this very common digital marketing campaign 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 work with your third party online account opening or loan APP provider to integrate what is called cross domain tracking. This is where things are going to get a little bit technical here. Cross domain tracking solves one of the biggest digital marketing challenges because whenever we take someone from our financial brands website to a third party website for a loan or for a deposited account, for the application, we lose all analytical tracking capability. But I want to be very clear. Cross domain tracking is a fairly advanced subject matter that takes time to first and foremost teach, second to apply and third, to optimize. And most importantly, once again I'm going to stress this, cross domain tracking requires the support of your third 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 another strategic recommendation, a second path, and that's where you can start looking for a 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 and if you've got a quote unquote partner, and at this point they're really nothing more 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 the common pain points that we're seeing time and time and time again when it comes to the most important part of the digital consumer buying journey, which is the application. Once again, that conversation is for another day, because what I want to do is come back on track and continue the example where we're going to assume at this point that we have run into this common road block and your third party application provider does not want to play Nice. Does this mean that you're stuck? Does this mean that you're resigned to continue to fly blind when it comes to your conversion and channel attribution performance? Absolutely not. This is the third path. This is the third way, a path that we discovered five years ago because we knew the...

...critical strategic importance of empowering financial brand marketing teams to gain clarity into conversion and channel attribution insights. We call this third path the digital growth pre application process. It's this process is really first of its kind in the banking industry and something that we have continued to recommend over 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 already generated hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and deposits for financial brands that we advise. 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 that we can come back and discuss in future episodes. So I do want to make that caveat before we go further. What I'm about to talk through does require a marketing automation platform, and so, with that in mind, you're probably going to fall into one of two camps at this point when it comes to marketing automation. Number one, you already have a marketing automation platform in the good news for you is what I'm about to recommend. Like the majority of the recommendations I make when advising financial brands, is that this recommendation is platform agnostic, and that means you can apply this thinking regardless if you run sells 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 the fact that you already have it. You can apply this thinking on the flip side, side you don't have marketing automation and you might feel a little bit behind, as marketing automation is one of the four gears we recommend for financial brands who are building a digital growth engine, and if this is you, the recommendation I'm about to share can help to fund your marketing automation investment and really 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 eighty percent of financial brands who have not adopted some type of marketing automation platform as of yet. So let's get into it and continue forward together. In brief review, coming back to the common digital marketing campaign example, that you're driving traffic from a digital add to a specific landing page. It's on this landing page 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 with a form that you develop in your marketing automation platform, and on this form you will collect some basic contact information, name, email, phone. That's it, nothing more, nothing less, because when someone completes this form on the landing page, you'll then link them off to the third party application whether they'll continue on with the process for the loan or for the new account once this 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 page on your website, and this is really...

...where you can begin to optimize the entire 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 what closes the loop and will provide you insight into the completed application conversions that you'll be able to go into your marketing automation platform to pull a people or to pull a list of people that hit the conversion page, and then you can scrub that list against those that started the digital growth pre application process. So you can take this thinking even further, because now you can scrub both the conversion and attribution data against those loans that are funded and those that started the digital growth pre application process. As a bone as you're getting some additional data and insight into people's digital activities that you can further deploy to take action on in the future. For example, those that abandon the process and and never hit that conversion page back on your website. There's a whole slew of activity that you can do to follow up with and pull them through, and in some instances we've seen implementing abandoned application processes increases the conversion rate for those that abandoned by about fifteen to twenty percent, which has huge implementations on the bottom line 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 remember as we come back to Brad's question about how to track Roy from the moment of person sees and ad or some other type of communication digitally to the time the loane closes, because most loss make it difficult to follow the consumer journey at this level. Number One, if you are struggling with quantifying conversion and channel attribution, I want you to know that you're not alone and I feel your pain. Number two, I want you to consider the cost of continuing to lie blind and the toll that this takes on you on your marketing team, on your lending team and on your financial brand, specifically in relation to add fraud. Number three, I want you to have confidence knowing that there 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, with applying the digital growth pre application process, which is already generated hundreds of millions of dollars and loans and deposits and even leads over the past five years for the banks and credit nuns that we have advised and guided. And the number four, share this episode with someone you know at your financial brand that might also find these insights helpful because, as I started today's conversation, deploying this thinking, deploying these recommendations, takes not just the marketing team, but the marketing team and the lending team or the marketing team in the deposit team. It leadership, all working hand in hand together. Finally, as we wrap up, do you have a question? Do you have a question, like Brad, that you want to get answers too, because I want to hear from you, I want to help you and I'd like for you to take a minute to ask a question that you'd like to get answered. On a future podcast over at www dot go ask...

...jrcom. Hop over there www dot go ask jrcom, ask your question and I look forward to helping you on a future episode of inside digital growth. As always, remember there are no bad questions and the only bad question is the question that goes unasked. Until next time, be well, do good and wash your hands. Thank you for 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 a review 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 preview of James Roberts best selling book banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around twelve key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Until next time, be well and do good.

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