marketing scorecard

The Perfect Ways to Create a Marketing Scorecard

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Before the internet age, it was challenging for marketers to accurately assess the performance of their marketing efforts. Not only that, but most marketing campaigns were also designed to target the masses and lacked the personalized touch that today’s marketing efforts usually have. This isn’t altogether surprising, however, as consumers in the past needed to rely on marketers to find information.

Enter the modern-day, and things have changed dramatically. Today’s customers can conduct their own research with lighting speed and efficiency due to the proliferation of media devices and the massive amounts of information that is readily available online. While of course, it is marketers who create much of the content that is consumed, pretty much anyone can put information online, which means that almost anyone can be an influencer.

What is Marketing Scorecard?

A marketing scorecard is a marketing measuring tool designed to help you and your team identify and articulate your marketing goals and check your performance against those goals. These scorecards are data-driven and designed to align with your business strategy.

Scorecards are different from dashboards in that a dashboard provides a snapshot of your performance at a single moment in time and is not necessarily aligned with a specific objective. 

Designing the Perfect Marketing Scorecard for your Business

The creation of a marketing scorecard is essential to marketing success, as marketers now have so many more options for reaching their customers, and they need to be in so many more places than before.

Follow these steps to create a marketing scorecard that will help you to effectively and efficiently measure your efforts.

Align your scorecard to your objectives

The most important feature of your scorecard is to be aligned with your business objectives. Start by bucketing various metrics against a single objective. Many marketers choose to bucket their metrics against the stages of the buyer’s journey – awareness, consideration, decision, purchase, and loyalty. SMART goals can help make your scorecard even stronger – SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

Read more>> Short-Term Business Goals

Be transparent and consistent

When you decide to implement a scorecard and plan to communicate those results across your organization, you need to ensure that first and foremost, you are honest about the results, even if it means you need to share bad news. You also need to ensure that you are reporting consistently so that people can know what to expect, and when they can anticipate receipt of a status update. Not only should you be consistent in your timing, but you also need to make sure that you measure the same metrics with each scorecard so that you can provide a comparison against your baseline. Without consistency, it will be nearly impossible to decipher if your efforts are truly moving the needle forward. Consistency prevents the formation of bias and ensures that you are not cherry-picking which metrics to share. When you report on the same metrics each week, it will show that your marketing organization is aligned and dedicated to the objectives that you have established. If your scorecard is focused on marketing channels or campaign performance (as it should be), using the same or similar metrics across all channels will cement the approach of fairness.

Let your scorecard tell a story

Marketers are known to be excellent storytellers so why not ensure that your scorecard tells a story too? When someone in the organization reviews your scorecard, they should immediately be able to understand what you are trying to say, and why you have chosen the metrics that you have. Storytelling can be achieved by including trends or comparison data, and it is best to start with week-over-week or month-over-month comparisons. Once you have hit your scorecard’s anniversary, you can then start layering in year-over-year comparisons too. Remember to make your scorecard easy to read and pleasing to look at.

Consider scorecard automation

If your budget allows, consider building an automated scorecard that will enable you to update and populate it frequently and will let you visualize the data better. This type of function will allow you to drill down into the results so that you can better understand why a campaign is performing, or not. If you need to create your scorecard manually, it isn’t all that difficult to link to reports in tools such as Google Analytics, HubSpot, or other marketing analytics tools. These tools make it easy for you to understand performance along with the buyer’s journey. They will also allow you to create customized reports that can be delivered to key stakeholders via email. However you decide to create your scorecard, the key is that you can back up your metrics at a moment’s notice since you can conduct a deeper dive.

Review your scorecard and update it regularly

As mentioned before, consistency and timing as to the delivery of your scorecard are essential. If nobody sees your scorecard because you don’t deliver it often enough or it feels like an afterthought, then the entire exercise is pointless. Your scorecard should be shared often and widely both within your marketing team and across other critical teams such as sales, finance, and product development. Organizations that review scorecards weekly tend to experience optimal benefit. For example, if you are launching a campaign that will run for an entire quarter, but you wait until the end of the quarter to analyze its success, and the campaign doesn’t perform, it will be too late for you to make tweaks and adjustments.

On the flip side, if you check your scorecard weekly, you will be able to catch errors in the execution of the campaign, make changes, and then reassess in a week’s time to determine if the corrections have done what they were supposed to do.  If you genuinely want to ensure that your marketing team is aligned with metrics and performance, consider displaying the scorecard on a flat panel television screen on your office wall.  This approach will put your metrics and performance front and center every day. 

Take the Time to Scorecard Right

If you take the time to develop the right scorecard by following the above steps, not only will you establish better credibility for your marketing organization, but you will also provide the opportunity for yourself to generate better return-on-investment (ROI). Failure to scorecard your efforts will likely cost you marketing spend that could have been directed towards more profitable efforts. Any marketer knows that if their efforts don’t pay off, it is far less likely that they will be provided with the same budget in the quarters or years to come.

It can take time to establish the right goals and determine where to pull the information from and what you are going to include. Give yourself time to do it correctly, but make sure you don’t set yourself up for analysis paralysis. While this term will surely make some eyes roll, it’s a fact that we too often spend so much time working on getting something perfectly right that we fail to launch. Don’t put yourself in that situation. In the worst-case scenario, launch your scorecard and then augment it afterward. At least you’ll have some measurement to grow off instead of nothing at all.

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Written byEthan Perkins