A 2016 update to the Balanced Scorecard: The Digital Customer Core Measurement Group


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two rocks balanced on a rock scale

Robert Kaplan and David Norton’s Balanced Scorecard rose to fame in the early nineties in the wake of decision-support systems. We have all heard about it or studied it in depth, to eventually abandon it in the benefit of more flexible and practical approaches to performance management.

I believe it is high time we revisit some of the ideas behind it. It is all great to be Agile and Lean (and Emotionally Intelligent!), but every organization needs a way to measure the performance of its business units and team members (Andy Grove, anyone?).

In particular, I would like to put the focus on the one component of the Balanced Scorecard that I found most interesting a few years ago: The Customer Core Measurement Group. I certainly believe it is highly applicable to today’s confluence of sales and marketing data.

This is the original representation of the CCMG, as per Kaplan and Norton’s article (Harvard Business Review, January-February 1992):


Back in 2009 I took a shot at applying this logic to the Digital Customer, essentially representing the manner in which these pieces could be measured across owned, earned and paid media:

Digital Customer Scorecard

Of course, many of these indicators were extremely hard to feed in a highly-proprietary, pre-API world. But things have changed dramatically over the course of six years.

Thanks to the natural evolution of the marketing data ecosystem, we are now in a position to combine first-party, behavioral data with benchmarking metrics or contextual information in an effortless manner. We can connect the dots between them and our business outcomes. And even measure the impact of the very decisions inspired by such metrics (when Sweetspot is leveraged).

An easy example could be set by tapping into the following data sources: Adobe Analytics, Tealium DataAccess, Price Spider, Salesforce, Brandwatch, Opinator and CSVs. It would result in something along these lines (if limited to a Scorecard – KPIs only, no charts), automatically updated on a regular basis:

Sweetspot Intelligence's Customer Management Scorecard

I certainly believe the future is bright in the continuous improvement of Customer Centricity efforts through behavioral and other digital data points.

What do you think? Are you using any of these metrics in this context already? Is there room to bring The Balanced Scorecard back to life in 2016?

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Sergio Maldonado

Founder & Chairman at Sweetspot. Author, speaker on analytics, marketing technology, privacy compliance. JD, LLM (Internet law). Once a dually-admitted lawyer. Father of three. I love surfing and cooking.

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Francisco Alba Andres

This is an excellent blog Sergio! I agree with you on the importance of revisiting the Balance Scorecard, particularly, the Customer Core Measurement Group (CCMG). I like how you’ve applied the CCMG in 2009 to the Digital Customer Experience. Indeed, much has changed since then in the pre/post API world.

In the example you mentioned about tapping into Adobe Analytics and Tealium, etc., what I’ve learned are once a company deploys these vendor’s Analytics and Tracking tools, there’s a notion that they’re finished with it or it’s a one-time event; and/or a new team takes over and has not properly reviewed what’s in place or it’s outdated. Then, there is budget and resource issues when it comes to having to redo their TMS and/or completely switching Tracking & Analytics vendor(s) altogether, and putting a completely new Tag Management System and Strategy in place that has a significant impact to what/how they’re measuring and reporting on their customer’s experience and behaviors that rolls-up to KPIs –especially the ones that measure cost.

In an article written by Harry Chapman in Technology Transfer titled, “Ten Keys to a Successful Balanced Scorecard,” #9-Ensure the Scorecard is Used as the Basis for an Ongoing Process, Not a One Time Event. This reinforces your belief and blog closing remarks that “the future is bright in the continuous improvement of Customer Centricity efforts…” Cheers!

Published on , 12:14 am   

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