The Top 5: AR Metrics Mistakes

AR Metrics & MeasurementOrganizations that use the Balanced Scorecard to report the effectiveness of their interactions with influencers often make their lives more difficult and the Scorecard less useful by picking the wrong items to measure. This Top 5 looks at issues surrounding the selection of metrics to put into the Balanced Scorecard.

5) Not picking items whose data collection can be out-tasked. Because data collection can be burdensome, managers should pick some items for the Scorecard whose data collection can be out-tasked (e.g., a clipping service for analyst quotes or a consulting firm for AR effectiveness surveys).

4) Picking items to measure that are too granular and thus too difficult to gather. A classic problem is picking metrics that require a significant amount of work to collect, analyze and report. This leads to the Balanced Scorecard being dropped from the regular activity list.

3) Not picking items that dovetail with corporate and departmental goals. A Balanced Scorecard can lose its relevance quickly if the metrics reported do not relate to the goals of the department and the company as a whole. This is not just a problem when initiating a Balanced Scorecard.  It can also impact an ongoing Scorecard that has remained static in measurement even as corporate and departmental goals have changed.

2) Not balancing operational and performance metrics. Only picking operational metrics (e.g., number of mentions in the press or reports) provides a skewed view of the influencer efforts. There needs to be a mix that includes performance (e.g., auditing the spoken word and sales impact) metrics.

…and the number one worst practice is

1) Picking items to measure that you cannot affect. There is the temptation to pick a metric (e.g., stock price) that is important. The problem is that it is very difficult to isolate what contribution AR actually made in impacting this metric.

Clients of SageCircle can get more information and a balanced scorecard template from the Online SageContent Library.



  1. Duncan,
    We certainly did not mean that these are the only mistakes that people make regarding metrics and certainly each AR program needs to determine how and what they should measure.
    We believe that if you don’t measure something it cannot be managed. Performance metrics, the most difficult to measure, are the most important. These should be matched to your corporate goals and oriented toward generating revenue.
    Thus, placing a focus on your competitors and on mentions in research are probably not good performance metrics as they miss the more impactful advice from analysts that is provided verbally. Good performance metrics go beyond spoken word audits, but do look to how analysts impact sales deals.

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