Marketing ROI: The Bermuda Triangle for financial services

Category: Marketing attribution

It’s an embarrassing fact, but companies in the financial sector just can’t add up when it comes to the return from their marketing spend. However, there’s good news — the answers are within easy reach.

If anyone knows how to crunch big numbers, it’s the financial industry. But many loan companies, mortgage advisers, insurers, accountancy firms and others go fuzzy on the figures when it comes to the payback they’re getting from their own marketing.

Don’t just take our word for it. A recent study from Experian revealed that 51% of financial businesses are relying on outdated methods of marketing attribution. Even worse, some aren’t bothering to try.

This matters because getting it wrong is expensive: If you haven’t a clue which marketing campaign is paying off or spluttering badly, then how can you tell which activity to back next time?

Should you spend thousands on a local radio commercial, go with pay-per-click, invest in social media, use bus-stop posters or try something else completely?

Why it’s complicated

We all crave simplicity. But figuring out which marketing activity is delivering the best results can be a subtle business — and it’s even more nuanced in the financial sector.

Here’s what we mean…

Research shows that the average sale isn’t down to one thing, such as the final step a customer makes when reaching out to you. In fact, a typical purchase requires six to eight touch-points.

Let’s imagine an average customer looking for a loan. We’ll call her Emma.

For Emma, the journey might be something like this…

Emma’s journey

Path to purchase diagram.

Alternatively, all of this might happen in a different order.

And there are other potential marketing touch-points too, such as radio spots, TV advertising, print ads, flyers, direct mail, email, helpful ebooks and much more. Any of these kinds of things might crop up in Emma’s journey.

What’s clear is that each marketing activity had an important role to play in the story. It wasn’t just the initial PPC ad or the final phonecall that clinched the deal.

So what are you trying to prove?

At this point, it might seem as if charting the full journey behind a single sale is too complex to think about. But that’s not the case. Bear with us.

With the right tools and data, it’s possible to follow customer journeys across all your sales automatically. If you add specific phone numbers to the mix, you can track some of your offline activities too — and see how they interplay with online marketing.

Then it’s possible to see the true value of each activity. Here’s a very simplified view of what we mean, but it bears out the principle…

Attribution: Which campaign is paying off the best? (Jan 2019-April 2019)
Marketing activity ebook shared on social media Video boosted on social media Pay-per-click ads Advert in industry magazine Promotion at trade show Web banner on reviews website
Share of budget going to this activity 5% 15% 25% 10% 35% 10%
Percentage of sales where this activity played a part 45% 20% 30% 5% 10% 15%

When you get this kind of information at your fingertips, it’s far easier to see where to spend your budget next quarter…

A few more ebooks promoted on social media would make obvious sense. Another video would be a good idea. And spare funds could be well spent on PPC and web banners. But you may think twice about that £12,000 package which the trade show organisers keep pestering you about.

Want to see it action?

With the right partner, it’s possible to see the real story behind the sales of your financial products and services. The multi-touch attribution model is a proven way to discover which marketing activity needs canning and which need to be expanded.

Why not take a closer look at how it works? Our team will be glad to show you a demonstration.

About the author - Natalia Selby

Marketing Executive at Mediahawk, with 20 years experience in analytics and content management.