Last week I posted about hosting a meeting on the Influence Scorecard. The post was testing the water to determine the level of interest such an event might generate, and I was answered by dozens of emails, direct twitters, comments and even some direct editing of the post itself, as I'd hoped! (MarCom Professional allows an author to permit others to edit a post, wiki-style.)
I even received tentative enquiries about sponsorship, so it looks like we are on to something here...
Moreover, the interest was split almost 50:50 between Europe and North America, and it was spread fairly evenly amongst each of the required participant groups.
What is clear from all the queries and interest is that we now need to put some meat on the bones. Here are a few top line thoughts on 'influence', 'scorecard' and what we hope to achieve. Your thoughts are welcome.
Organisations want to influence the opinion and behaviour of their stakeholders. They do this via the various marketing and communications disciplines and approaches - PR, advertising, branding, community building, conversational marketing, direct marketing, events, product placement, public affairs, sponsorship etc..
Of course, stakeholders also influence each other and some will want to influence an organisation - how ready an organisation is for this dialogue is another matter.
The 'scorecard' is inspired by the Balanced Scorecard, one of the most widely adopted organisational performance management methodologies (generally known as "business performance management" or just plain BPM). According to the Balanced Scorecard Institute:
"The Balanced Scorecard transforms an organization’s strategic plan from an attractive but passive document into the 'marching orders' for the organization on a daily basis. It provides a framework that not only provides performance measurements, but helps planners identify what should be done and measured. It enables executives to truly execute their strategies.
"It is a management system (not only a measurement system) that enables organizations to clarify their vision and strategy and translate them into action."
Balanced Scorecards usually consist of four perspectives: financial, learning and growth, customer and internal processes.
The Influence Scorecard
So, my thinking is that influence could be an additional perspective of the Balanced Scorecard and other BPM approaches. Possibly. But it might also be a filter across or augmentation to current perspectives.
The Influence Scorecard:
- Translates influence (marketing and PR) objectives into operational goals
- Helps to communicate the objectives and cascade them down to specific groups and individuals
- Guides the selection of measurement criteria
- Defines the ways in which these measurements can be made and presented for incorporation into the BPM process, reports and dashboards
- Informs the mechanism for learning from these measures and the adjustment of the influence strategy then required.
Steps 3 and 4 are, I believe, the most difficult to accomplish traditionally and where SWA steps up. They also represent the core part of the Influence Scorecard that sets it apart from attempts to incorporate traditional marketing into BPM to date, imho.
The Influence Scorecard plugs the converged 'Influence Department' (or the more traditional marketing and communications departments) directly into organisational performance management. It gives all marketing and communications disciplines board level authority, responsibility and accountability in planning, implementing, measuring and reporting influence.
We've started to take a look at running the event mooted in my previous post, and the more we look at it the more it has become apparent that we need an interim step to crystallise the purpose and approach so that we can then put something up to shoot at and build upon in a more widely attended event. So we're going to convene a smaller group first up during the next couple of months followed as closely as we can by the wider event.
I look forward to your ongoing feedback, and of course the list of interested organisations and individuals remains editable here.
Watch this space!