Marketing and the Yardstick 15 July, 2010

Why should anyone measure marketing? The 'why measure' answer is pretty obvious, but the fact that marketing is being measured is interesting. Marketing costs a lot. Brand health + marketing = the company's reputation. Finally, the customer is usually the source of all cash for the company.

It's important to ask how the customer's needs are changing, how the firm can be loyal to the customer, and how marketing effectiveness can be measured in terms of the bottom line.

One way to create and understand measurements is by using a dashboard. A dashboard is simply a set of indicators that can be glanced at and absorbed quickly. There are several points to be made when talking about dashboards. Not a lot of explanation is needed. Use the following list as a dashboard creation guide, and the result will be above average.

  • Don't overload it with too much information.
  • Include operational, financial, customer, and quality metrics.
  • Include driver, pipeline, resource, and talent information.
  • Include innovation information.
  • Show how the entire company as a whole is doing.
  • Visualizations should be simple and easy to digest.
  • Use a combination of historical data and leading indicators.
  • Focus on leading indicators.
  • Metrics should be as real time as possible.
  • Only show controllable metrics.
  • Use baselines to allow the flagging of extraordinary results.
  • Echo corporate strategy in the metrics.
  • Measure short and long term goal metrics.
  • Create standard definitions for metrics.
  • Verify metrics are absolutely correct.
  • Allow for an audit trail to see the details.
  • Casual (cause and effect) measurements should be used.
  • Verify that the metrics matter.
  • Measurement methods must be consistent across the company.
  • Results should be shared.
  • Results should be acted upon.
  • Metrics should expose inadequacies.

There's the list.

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