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BirdsEye View

campaign management

Many claim that marketing is an art form, not a science. While they may be right, measurement is still a central element to the success of any business activity. Campaign management by the numbers (and qualitative factors as well) is essential to effective management of the marketing function.

First, the metrics. Every marketing campaign should have its own goals. They might be volume-driven, such as core deposits, commercial loans or wealth management fee revenue. In addition, other numbers such as cross-sell ratio or total households might be included. One metric that should always be included is performance against budget, which also includes unit acquisition cost. The key to effective measurement is to count only the "lift" - changes that took place above the normal run-rate. Too often the credit is taken for the entire volume generated during the campaign, instead of only the incremental lift generated above the usual run rate.

In addition to managing the campaign by the numbers, there are several aspects that should be considered:

  1. Best practices. Those might range from highly tactical items such as frequent communications or referral cards to strategic components such as consistency with corporate culture or information sharing across business lines. Best practices are the golden nuggets to be carried from one campaign to the next, proven practices that work for you. They are as valuable as the actual campaign results, so don't forget to collect them.
  2. What could we have done better?Mistakes are tuition that should not be squandered. Typical campaign mistakes include not enough lead time and lack of clarity of expectations at the individual contributor level (instead of total campaign expectations). Other perennials include better training and focus. Too often campaigns are too long, or they overlap, thereby creating battle fatigue and confusion.
  3. A-ha moments. Every campaign brings with it discoveries that go beyond best practices and ordinary learning. These are the "a-ha" moments. They might include the impact of silos on campaign success, or the importance of personal friendships to successful selling. One typical A-ha is the power of inertia. It is a force that should not be underestimated. People might hate their bank fiercely but still won't leave it due to inertia.
  4. What should we have done differently? All too often campaigns lack a specific mission statement or quantitative goals. Those enhance success. Also, sharing results and progress during the campaign is also important. The more recognition you offer, the greater the motivation to do more. Recognition is a powerful tool that is underutilized by most managers. This is an excellent opportunity to use it extensively. Last, DO NOT HAVE OVERLAPPING CAMPAIGNS. They cause confusion and dilute the effort.
  5. Surprises. All plans have unexpected consequences. Examine those for lessons learned. Did you get broad participation as anticipated? If not, what is the lesson learned? Did the campaign have a unifying effect on the bank or did it divide the silos even further? Those are some of the surprises you might encounter.
  6. Lessons learned. While all the above fall into this category, there might be additional lessons, often more global ones, that can be learned. For example, we often underestimate the lead time required to prepare an effective campaign, especially for market disruptions (e.g. acquisitions, troubled banks etc.).

Campaigns should be managed like any other business activity. They should have a beginning and an end, lessons learned and best practices, and, most of all, clear accountability.