The following is an excerpt from “CYA with ROI,” one of two presentations that I will be teaching at the New York Credit Union Association Annual Conference later this week.

“Our digital campaign gets 200,000 impressions per month with 1,000 clicks.”

So what?!?!

Without clearly defined objectives, statistics are just numbers … NOT results!

So, you get 200,000 impressions and 1,000 clicks…

  • Do you need to raise name awareness?
  • Do the 1,000 clicks convert to leads? Do the leads convert to sales?
  • How targeted is your audience? Maybe 200,000 is too large. Or not nearly large enough.
  • What do the trends look like? Are clicks growing?
  • What is the cost-per-click? How is it trending?

Any time you sit down to plan a new initiative, start with defining what will make it successful.

Here’s another example:

These are the results of an A/B tested direct mail program. Which was more successful? Which would you run next time?
Direct Mail Results. Offer vs No Offer

  • The CFO might say: “With no offer, we had a higher ROI … do that one!”
  • The CLO might say: “With an offer, we booked more loans. This is a no-brainer.”
  • The CMO might say: “With an offer, we get a better response rate.”

Do you go off straight ROI? Do you take the increased booked loans? Do you choose the highest profit? Do you go with the least costly program?

This case doesn’t have the issue, but what if the booked loan-to-application ratio was much lower with an offer. You drive more bad paper with the “bribe,” but the end result is still more booked loans?

Or this example:

You’re having awareness issues. You run a campaign in three separate markets and conduct a pre- and post- campaign survey to gauge awareness and likeliness to “give you a try.” Here’s what you find:

Pre and Post results comparing 3 markets

  • The only market that hit it’s required sales lift was Market C, but B came really close. So never run in Market A again, right?
  • But Market A had the largest move in awareness and a 5% jump in likelihood to try.
  • What happened in Market B?!?! Awareness doubled, but likelihood to try DECLINED!

In marketing, there are a million tactics you CAN use. Smart strategy defines the handful that you SHOULD.

In strategy, there are a million things you CAN measure. Smart objectives define the handful that you SHOULD.

When it comes to ROI, you can avoid Analysis Paralysis by clearly defining 2-3 objectives upfront and staying laser-focused on their measurement throughout the program.  Keep in mind, the goal of success measurement is to determine:

  • Should we proceed with a program?
  • What mid-course corrections might be needed to stay on our ROI track?
  • Was a program successful?
  • Was it worth the investment?
  • Should we do a program again?
  • How can we make a program better?

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