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Finance

Getting Executive Buy-In: How to Prove Marketing ROI in a Bank or Credit Union

Posted by Justin Smorawske on Jul 7, 2016 10:04:12 AM

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As a bank or credit union marketing manager, you've got a lot of great ideas. From revamping your retail space to rebranding for a new demographic to the next great product or service, you've got plans.

There's just one small problem - how on earth are you going to get your executive team to agree to it? Read on for a few key elements to keep in mind when trying to prove ROI to your institution's leadership.

Tie in financials

This one's arguably the most important. Your average financial institution exec is going to be first and foremost concerned with expenditures and financial return on investment. That's why doing your homework is so key to gaining his or her buy-in - don't go into a presentation cold without a mapped out strategy for maximizing revenue. It can be difficult to assign measurable success to what execs might consider "soft" marketing, such as branding, but arm yourself with results that you can forecast, as well as case studies that include financial successes in other institutions. If you lose them on this front from the get-go, you're probably doomed when it comes to getting an approval.

Remember specificity

Finance executives tend to be meticulous when it comes to detail. And while you want to remember to be respectful of their valuable time in a meeting, don't scrimp on the specifics. The more you show your leadership that you've thought this out considerably and put effort toward optimizing your strategies and tactics, the more they'll believe in your pitch. Even if it means offering up a takeaway piece that goes into full detail while keeping the in-person presentation brief, you should at least give them the opportunity to dig deeper into your rationale.

Get a consultant

It can be a frustrating moment for a finance marketing professional, but sometimes the best remedy for a skeptical exec is to bring in an outside party. Whether it's a freelance consultant, an expert from another firm or company or simply a seminar from a noted speaker in the field that justifies your decisions, this lends credibility to your pitch if you feel you don't have the full confidence of the leadership team in your own expertise.

Check in often

One of the worst things you can do to your pitch is ambush an exec with it once it's fully cooked. Don't keep it secret and then unleash it once you've already fully formed it. Break up your process into pieces and check in with the exec team on occasion (within reason) to ensure the paths you're taking aren't hard and fast nos. It'll save you a great deal of time, and it'll show your leadership that you value their input.

Include them... in moderation

Speaking of which, if your exec crew feels like it's a part of the process, from developing strategies, to settling on messaging and look and feel, it might make them more likely to sign off on it. Sure, you don't want them so in the weeds that they're dictating specific colors and word choices - you're the marketing expert after all - but macro decisions might serve as great opportunities to involve your higher-ups to help them feel ownership of the project.


Executive buy-in goes a long way toward the success of your project from conception to completion. Don't let your great idea die on the vine by missing this important element.

9 Marketing Tactics Your Financial Instituion Needs to Try E-Book