The marketing scorecard: what is it and how to design it?

When it comes to running a business, there are key tools to help us make the right decisions at the right time. Control models that will support the achievement of the objectives set. Among the most commonly used tools, especially in management areas, is the scorecard.

The strong potential of this tool has meant, for many companies, the need to have dashboards in each of their departments. In the case of the marketing area, it was not going to be less.

When we design a Marketing PlanThe objectives, with their corresponding external and internal analysis, are set out in a series of objectives that, based on specific strategies and actions, are intended to be achieved in a given period of time. However, this is not the end of the story. To reach the goal, it is necessary to to have a model that supports the control of critical variables and facilitates the achievement of these objectives. This is where the scorecard comes into play.

In the course of this post, we will try to define what a scorecard is and how to design an effective marketing scorecard.

What is a scorecard?

The dashboard, known as the balanced scorecard or BSCis a tool that dates back to the 1990s, specifically to 1992. This model was unveiled in the magazine Harvard Business Reivewby the authors Robert Kaplan and David Norton. At that time, the tool was mainly focused on business management, showing a global view of business performance. Today, the model has been updated and can be applied to any business area, such as the commercial area.

It is a business monitoring and control system, consisting of a set of key indicators, whose main function is to reflect the company's performance, guiding decision-making to ensure that objectives are met.

The scorecard within a marketing planThe model reflects in an orderly way the objectives we want to achieve, showing a specific vision of each goal and its evolution over time. In addition to the above, this model offers the possibility of controlling possible critical situations that may arise and acting to solve them.

How do you develop a marketing scorecard?

For design a marketing scorecard, or CMMIn the first place, it is necessary to define different perspectives related to the marketing department. In this case, the main areas of the MWC will revolve around the 4 P's of marketing or marketing mix (product, price, promotion and distribution).

Once the main perspectives have been determined, we will start to translate objectives, actions and metrics into the marketing scorecard. For its design, we will simply use an Excel spreadsheet. In the image below, you can see a design of the Marketing Scorecard. The CMM will be developed through the following steps:

  1. It establishes the broad generic areas of action (marketing mix). An example could be the product/service area.
  2. Indicates the objectives set out in the Marketing Plan. Continuing with the example above, we will set the objective at "increase sales by 10 %". For each objective, you should describe:
    1. Strategy to be followed. For our stated objective, the strategy determined could be "loyalty".
    2. Actions necessary for compliance. If we want to achieve this objective, it will be necessary to carry out actions such as launching special promotions for customers who subscribe to our newsletter: "20 % discounts".
    3. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are those metrics that help us to determine the performance of that action. In this case, one of the key metrics would be the number of "online sales using the promotion code".
    4. In this field, the time established for the fulfilment of the objective must be indicated. For our example, the periodicity will be "monthly".
  3. Delegates each action or set of actions in one or more responsible persons of the department.
  4. Mark a Contingency Plan for each case. The Marketing Contingency Plan is nothing more than the "Plan B" to be used in the event that circumstances do not occur as planned. Therefore, it is a predictive plan necessary to control an emergency situation in order to minimise the negative impact. Among the negative contingencies that may arise are a drop in turnover, loss of qualified personnel or increases in costs, among others.
  5. Add a text field for possible remarks to be taken into account.

marketing scorecard table

As you have been able to see, through a simple scorecard we will have under control the performance of the activities carried out within the marketing department, in order to avoid resorting to a contingency plan.

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