Professors Bruce Clark and Tim Ambler wrote a paper titled Managing the Marketing Metrics Portfolio. “Different strategies demand different metrics on the dashboard.”

“While using just one “silver metric” to measure marketing is clearly wrong, using a hundred is just as bad.”

“A forest of metrics can also provide places for less scrupulous managers to hide. One of the criticisms of non-financial metrics of marketing is that with enough measures, managers can always find one on which they look good.”

“The cost of collecting and reporting marketing metrics is not only financial… Nobody enjoys collecting and reporting data, and for many it is a distraction from their profit-generating role. Furthermore, managers cannot effectively attend to fifty or a hundred measures.”

“Can we make the right comparisons? Metrics help an organization only when they are placed in context. Serving up metrics without comparative figures is like serving spaghetti without a plate: messy and inconclusive. Common comparison standards include prior period, plan, competitor, or market. Financial metrics generally need to be compared with plan and prior period to understand the trajectory of firm performance. (Companies should consider whether variation from plan says something about the quality of performance or the quality of the plan.) Customer and end-user metrics, on the other hand, are usually more informative when they have a competitive or market referent. For example, it is much more important to know if customers view us as superior to current competition than it is to know if we have improved on last year.”

“Efficiency only matters when effectiveness has been secured.”

Useful learning occurs when measurement tells an executive something he or she can act upon to improve the firm’s fortunes.”


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