Mirror mirror on the wall, which marketing metrics are the fairest of them all? The answer is simple. The most effective metrics are those that measure meaningful results, not just results that give you a false sense of security.
Vanity metrics are results that might make you look good to the powers that be, but they don’t really measure anything that leads to growth or necessary change. In most cases, they don’t even matter to the success of your marketing, let alone that success of your credit union. Consider the following.
It may surprise you to see new members categorized as a vanity metric. Obviously, growth is important to every credit union. But new members who only have a share account are generally not the kind of growth you need. Those are the members costing you money. The key metric is how successful your credit union is at deepening its relationship with those members. Measure the number of new members against your credit union’s onboarding efforts. How many of the products and services being marketed to them are they actually using? That is your measure of new member success.
Social Media “Likes”
Your credit union has 2,000 likes on Facebook. What happens now? You go for 2,001? Is your credit union any better or worse for the number of people liking or following you? Maybe, but you can’t possibly know that by measuring your likes on social media. How many of those followers are buying what you are selling? How many of them are you regularly engaging in conversation? How many of them are even members of your credit union? The point of social media is to get your members’ (and non-members’) attention by engaging them in conversation. It takes time, but the results of those conversations should deepen relationships with current members or get non-members to join your credit union. If you are not measuring that, your likes don’t matter.
Number of App Downloads
You probably know how many members have downloaded your mobile app. How many of them are active users and how does your credit union define an active user? Daily use? Weekly use? Active usage is your bread and butter measurement. Equally important if you can measure it is what those active users are doing when they use your app. Remember, the more tied they are to your credit union and the more they depend on your products and services, the more deeply loyal they are.
Peer benchmarking has its place, but you have to be careful with the way you use it, especially for marketing purposes. Comparing your credit union to other financial institutions with a similar asset size gives you a baseline of where you stand from a financial performance standpoint. From a marketing standpoint, that might not mean a whole lot. If loans are down compared to other credit unions, it may or may not be a marketing issue. Certainly look at that, but also consider using peer group data to gain a competitive advantage. Analyze the deposit market share of each of your branches and compare that to the branches of the competitors in your peer group. Also research your competitors’ websites to see which areas of business they are currently marketing. Use that information to position your products and services differently.
Vanity metrics might make your credit union marketing efforts look successful, but they aren’t helping you measure your marketing effectiveness. As the old saying goes, looks can be deceiving. Don’t fall into the trap of being deceived by your own metrics.