Case Study: How an Emphasis on Profits Helped First Tennessee Bank Improve its Marketing Metrics

Marketers rely heavily on metrics such as awareness, share-of-voice and customer satisfaction, particularly in service-oriented industries such as banking. The challenge with these metrics is that they are not always reliable predictors of future success. Worse, they sometimes can lead marketers to make assumptions about value drivers that don't really drive value.

For example, a common assumption is that increasing awareness will grow revenue. While these two things may occur, one doesn't necessarily drive the other. As the marketing team at First Tennessee bank discovered, metrics such as awareness are actually pretty poor indicators of future financial performance. That's why in 2009, the company focused its marketing objectives around a more tangible metric: profits.

CMO Dan Marks felt that existing metrics were missing the mark because they were not linked tightly enough to profitability and return-on-equity In other words, the marketing team was spending too much time focusing on intermediate metrics that didn't really matter.