E-Trade doesn't 'agonize over' measuring social ROI: DMA All for One

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Despite using social media networks such as Facebook and YouTube to broaden the reach of its “Talking Baby” campaign, E-Trade is not worried about measuring the channels' ROI, said Nicholas Utton, EVP and CMO of the company, on June 20.

“100,000 Facebook fans - I'm not sure how to measure that,” said Utton, speaking at the Direct Marketing Association's “All For One Summit” in New York. “We've gone to MIT, Harvard and Stanford, [and] we've asked them, ‘How do you measure this?'…But what I do know how to measure is every day how many new accounts [are created], how many people exit, and how many people we cross-sell.”

Utton was responding to a question from the audience about a point he made earlier about taking the “Talking Baby” campaign online. He had said E-Trade bolstered the campaign by creating “BabyMail,” an online platform for consumers to send customized video messages acted out by the E-Trade Baby, noting that one of the effort's challenges was measurement.

“We don't sit and agonize over the ROI of that,” he said. “We see that 3.5 million people shared it. The word got out…And the hope is that a subset of those consumers will come back and sign up for E-Trade.”

The value of leveraging the “Talking Baby” campaign online, said Utton, is “getting E-Trade front and center and hoping that consumers are going to bring their assets and open up new accounts.”

He said the average E-Trade customer opens an account with $20,000 and that he would “rather get fewer, richer, higher-transacting customers than just a gazillion investors coming through the front door or through the mouse.”

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