Source: Forbes 

The “2016 Guide to Financial Marketing” published by the Digital Banking Report doesn’t actually say banks should give up on marketing analytics, but in showing how bad they are at it, the report inadvertently makes a pretty strong case for dumping sophisticated customer data analysis and trying something else.

Perhaps get out of the office to talk with customers directly, or through social media, or have marketers man the phones in call centers occasionally. It’s been years since Management By Walking Around was first promoted by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman in their book In “Search of Excellence,” but an occasional stroll may provide a useful break from staring at charts on computer screens. A corporate flaneur, possibly?

The 56-page report is full of stats and bar charts broken down by large banks, community banks and credit unions, but marketing ignorance is a recurring theme. Banks lag in personalized digital marketing, and few banks — even fewer than in previous years — are measuring results.

In part that is because experience has shown results are hard to measure, and are usually credited to whichever channel had the first or last contact. So a customer who has seen billboards, received emails, been exposed to ads on Facebook FB +0.20% but finally signs a home equity loan in a branch will probably be credited to the branch alone.

“Multichannel attribution is the key to good marketing optimization, yet too many financial marketers still rely on a first or last touch attribution measurement system. This misses the intricacies of the overall consumer purchase journey. A bigger challenge is that most financial marketers aren’t measuring results at all.”

How much worse off would banks be if they stopped trying analytics and talked with customers?

Publisher Jim Marous in his introduction notes that: “Unfortunately, the financial services industry as been slow to adjust their marketing investments and strategies to respond to the new digital landscape.”