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I was speaking recently for a bank marketing association and what occurred to me was that I made a big discovery.

I asked them how they move net interest margin. And I got that “huh?” look.

Video: Single Most Important KPI for ROI in Marketing

Then I dug a little bit deeper to ask them, “Well, tell me what net interest margin is and how you, as a marketing department, tie into a net interest margin?” Blank stares. Nobody knew.

Not one person in an entire association knew probably the most important KPI for their department.

Now, if that’s happening in almost every bank within this country, I wonder whose fault it is? I’m not so sure it’s the marketing managers.

Perhaps we as executives have to better inform them about how their job moves the net interest margin needle.

Arguably, I don’t think there’s anything more important than improving your net interest margin while you’re decreasing risk and growing at the same time. That’s the ultimate game.

Some say it can’t be done, and they’re being left in the dust by those who are doing it every single day, who know what they need to do to move things ahead.

In the Breakthrough Banking Blueprint book, I talk a little bit about the backbone of banking being that steady-eddie of net interest margin. Yet the problem is that, for many banks, when the stock market dipped after the COVID thing happened and the market dipped by 25%, community banks dipped at the same time by 40%, and those hit the hardest were those with the lowest net interest margin.

Why? Because they’re not perceived as being as valuable.

You see, net interest margin is what pays for all of your sins and helps you through difficult times.

It’s the gift that keeps giving. It’s the money that comes in on a regular basis.

When we get customers to know we’re worth more now and to pay us that extra additional amount now, we are in a much better place when the fly-by-nights are coming through—and they will be coming through soon—offering your best customers some hideous rates.

When you’ve already taught your customers you’re worth more; you’re in a good place. It’s not only the marketing department, but marketing must understand their role and what to do. It’s now imperative.


– Roxanne Emmerich

Please watch the video above and share it with your exec team and board.

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