Integrating ROI into Everyday Marketing

BY BRUCE A. CLAPP

Return on investment (ROI) isn’t something your credit union examines willy nilly. Ideally, it should be used every single day. For marketing purposes, your CU should be calculating ROI at three distant intervals. Read on to find out what these key timeframes are and how they can help your CU better manage and plan.

We all know about the importance of ROI (return on investment). It plays a central role in budgeting, planning, execution and evaluation. It is vital for marketing and for ensuring that our “investment” of marketing funds generates the highest possible impact for the credit union..

However, the toughest part of ROI is using it every day.

You know the calculations: the return (or benefit) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment, and the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio. For marketing, you should be using ROI calculations at three distinct intervals:

• Pre-program: to ensure the expenditure you are contemplating will yield sufficient results
• Mid-program: to ensure you are tracking with your projections
• Post-program: to ensure you have captured the true program performance

Each interval tells us important information that helps us manage and plan.

Pre-Program
When resources are scarce and every dollar counts, assessing a program’s value prior to launch and using the projected ROI to determine the path forward will maximize your budget and impact. I encourage you to set an “ROI floor” that is your go/no-go level. Anything below does not move forward; anything above continues through the assessment process. However, there will be times when a projected ROI does not meet a standard, yet you will move forward with the program due to its role in brand awareness, etc. This will apply to only a small number of programs, but they are potentially important ones.


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