For many years, I’ve argued that performance management is not just limited to finance but instead has many flavors, including workforce, operational, and IT performance management. Most people now seem to agree and there’s even talk of pervasive performance management. However, a critical analysis of the current situation suggests that marketing organizations are still early on in their adoption cycle of performance management. As a recent Gartner report commented,
Marketing may be one of the largest budgetary items in most organizations, but it is still viewed as a cost center. Developing a marketing performance management framework can improve measurability, make marketing more accountable and align its activities with corporate objectives.
I’m not talking about marketing metrics – there are plenty of those – but rather explicit definitions of strategy and objectives. Nowhere is the disconnect between metrics and strategy more obvious than for the Web site. We are awash with solutions that measure Web site performance but very few that connect these measurements to Web strategy. We need Web channel performance management.
Admittedly, this isn’t a new idea for me. In my previous job, we built a product that applied the Balanced Scorecard methodology to Web site strategy. Rather than exclusively focus on Web site traffic metrics, we provided libraries of objectives for typical Web channel business models, including brand/awareness building, lead generation, and customer support. This is what a typical strategy map might look like:
It was a good idea and a solid product but ahead of its time. Despite favorable reviews, the product never really took off.
Fast forward four years. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that someone calling him/herself Webscorecard had started a blog that describes how to apply the Balanced Scorecard methodology to Web site strategy. One of the early posts provides the following advice on how to build a Web scorecard:
- Define your Mission and Vision
- Define your business strategy for the internet
- Define your limits (your values, what you think is important)
- Define your stakeholder goals (what is the ultimate direct measure for success?)
- Define you view on what your customers want from you on the internet
- Define the processes you need to have do deliver to these customers
- Define what you need for continued success in the future.
It’s good advice: focus on strategy before metrics. When you do get around to monitoring your Web objectives, it might look something like this:
Webscorecard: These are the visuals I promised you. Good luck pursuing Web channel performance management. I hope you’re more successful than I was.