How to Use a Marketing Scorecard to Improve Performance


Oct 28, 2022

Are you effectively measuring your marketing efforts? Have you been able to calculate your ROI? If so, you may be among the top marketers who regularly and properly measure their marketing profitability. Ideally, you’re using the right data and analysis to drive strategy and increase marketing effectiveness and ROI. Of course, to be certain of this, you might want to consider employing a marketing scorecard.

What is a marketing scorecard?

A marketing scorecard is a performance measurement tool that compares strategic goals with results. It can help you identify which specific elements are aligning your marketing activities with your business strategy. With it, you can track progress toward your goals and identify improvements that you can implement to aid your marketing efforts. More than two-thirds of businesses use a balanced scorecard to manage their strategic goals.

Marketing scorecard vs. marketing dashboard

Sometimes confused with a marketing dashboard, a scorecard examines a predetermined time period and tracks progress toward goals over that time. A dashboard is a more simplistic way to track relevant information not necessarily connected to any strategic direction. The dashboard is simply a collection of graphs and charts used to present a flyover view of organizational performance. While a dashboard monitors, a scorecard helps manage your business’ performance. See the marketing scorecard example below that illustrates how it can work to influence your business outcome.

©Balanced scorecard example via Canva.com

Examples of High-Performing Marketing Scorecards

Most often, scorecards take the form of a spreadsheet because they interpret sizable sets of data tracked over a specific period of time. There are various software solutions that are also available for creating scorecards, but with Excel, PowerPoint, Google Docs, Word, or other graphical-enabled tools, you can easily create your own marketing scorecard. 

Marketing scorecard templates and instructions are available online at sites like Canva and Template.net. You can also view detailed instructions from experts on YouTube. 

While scorecards can be created in any imaginable shape and size, they should all contain the following basic elements:

  • Key performance indicators (KPIs): measurements used to quantify a company’s long-term progress.
  • Benchmarks and goals for each KPI: a benchmark compares a company’s operations, processes, and products with other companies or industry standards. Goals are the overarching objectives you have for your business, such as increasing profit margin or doubling revenues.
  • Leading indicators: any measurable or observable variables that forecast a change or movement in a separate data set or process before it occurs.
  • Performance broken down by a specific time period (over the last week, month, quarter, etc.) 

What Marketing Scorecards Do for Your Business

Creating and maintaining a marketing scorecard can provide a host of benefits as you work to reach your marketing goals. A marketing scorecard will provide you with an at-a-glance report to review regularly with your staff to enable more precise strategic planning and ensure you are on track to meet your marketing objectives. 

You and your staff will be better informed to make decisions that will align with your company’s goals. By tracking and evaluating your company’s performance and following performance metrics that you set, which inform strategic decisions you make, you will increase the efficiency of the marketing efforts of your business and the success of your business itself.

Highlight areas that need improving

All businesses have areas that are strong and others that are weak by comparison. Even areas of strength may have a weak component within them. A critical step in creating your marketing scorecard is determining precisely how you want your business to improve and how you want to measure your success and find your marketing score. There are a variety of activities you can choose to measure in your scorecard, and considering how to measure each will be as important as identifying the activities themselves. 

A balanced scorecard is typically divided into four key segments: 

  1. Customer
  2. Financial
  3. Process
  4. Learning

Are you meeting your revenue goals? Is client satisfaction on the rise? Is productivity keeping pace with expectations? Which marketing efforts are providing you with the most or best leads? These and various other quantifiable activities you want to improve can be part of what you measure with your scorecard.

Measure growth and engagement

While you can include multiple items to score, you will need to choose a primary marketing objective to pursue. For example, if you decide to focus on brand awareness, you will want to measure your social media presence and the number of people you are reaching with your content. If you select sales as your primary marketing goal, you may want to examine your process for converting qualified leads by measuring your website’s sale page, email campaigns, and sales process.

Key Takeaways

A well-developed, balanced scorecard will serve as your framework for future business growth. It is a strategic planning and management system where you can continually view the performance of critical business aspects: your customers, your financial results, your internal business processes, and your company’s education and growth.

Now that you have this introduction to what a marketing scorecard is and what it can do for you and your business, there are some key takeaways you should consider as you move forward and build your own marketing scorecard.

  • Identify strategic objectives. Pick a primary objective for your marketing scorecard. You don’t have to focus on improving every single KPI to support your primary objective. You would be better served if you focus on improving just a few, to begin with because any improvements to a single objective will no doubt positively impact one or more of the other objectives.
  • Establish clearly defined goals. Qualify and quantify your objectives into metrics. List the measures for each objective and identify both the current metric and the future goal.

Once you have your marketing scorecard ready, you can start filling in the blanks. And once it is in place and operational, you and the members of your organization will be focused on achieving clearly stated goals and delivering outcomes that will help you track your performance and identify the strengths and weaknesses to keep your company on a path to becoming, and staying, a well-disciplined team.

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