How much did we make on the newspaper ad? Did that direct-mail campaign make any money? Who are our most profitable customers? How long do top customers stay with us? Which of our products are loss leaders? Do we do better with older customers or younger ones?

Such questions are problematic and all too familiar for bank marketing managers, who have long struggled with finding an honest way to measure the value of marketing programs. The dark mysteries of marketing are even more troublesome for bank chief executives, who typically are schooled in a disciplined approach to banking, based on sound financial analysis. Numbers, as we all know, don't lie.

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