Portfolio Management Measuring Techniques

The instability of the global economy, fierce global competition, and rapid technological changes has heightened the importance of marketing measurement and analytics. A firm’s ability to utilize the right metrics and take action on the collected insights is a challenge according to Michael et al (2016). MAK’s marketing dashboards is a collection of relevant data about the company’s marketing efforts towards its products. It benefits all stakeholders by giving them at glance view of the company status.

The strategic value of marketing dashboards lies in their ability to provide marketers “a better understanding of the marketing processes that are relevant for their business”. This information enables a firm to determine plausible connections and relationships and improve decisions according to Pauwels et al (2009).

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As a marketing-technology resource, marketing dashboards are a valuable tool in advancing toward market performance. Marketing dashboards combine marketing and financial data and analytical tools. Pauwels et al (2009).

The metrics that could be used to measure the performance of MAK’s products portfolio of MAK’s products portfolio are: Return on investment, Sales revenues and Net Promoter Score are: Return on investment, Sales revenues and Net Promoter Score.
a.1: Return on investment dashboard:

 Figure-1

The data represented in the above dashboard reflect the different marketing activities that conducted in the last year 2017. Each marketing activity has affected the growth of Kyton and represented in a form of cash as showed on the dashboard.

As previously mentioned (section 1b) Kyton is star product which requires investment to guarantee the growth and increases its market share. As most of the companies in Sudan have restricted budget for marketing activities so does MAK, so by using return on investment dashboard it help marketing department to integrate marketing activities with the rest of the business. And at the same time is able to report on the performance of the product eg Kyton ROI provides insights that clarify the effectiveness of each marketing campaigns and what of the marketing activities conducted has the greatest impact.

Hence this through this metric the marketing department is able to make strategic decision in terms of marketing and campaign development. For eg the metrics will enable marketing department to decide what mode of advertising to concentrate on whether TV or online, and be able to justify the need of a budget spent. ROI is able to identify gaps within the product and is able to decide whether the product is valuable for the organization in terms of profitability or it will be cost effective to cannibalize the product. In addition to that this will also enable MAK to see whether R& D is key in terms of innovation. Hence ROI plays a key role in reporting the performance of the product portfolio.  

Figure-2

This dashboard represents the sales revenues of Toca and Kyton for 2017. It allows the company to make accurate decisions regarding business strategy and know how the business is performing. Also it shows where to invest and by linking it with the ROI dashboard MAK could know what activity should be continued and what marketing strategy should be followed because it through is direct feedback on what the customers of the company target market valued.

The dashboard demonstrates higher sales revenues of Kyton in comparison to Toca this is mainly due to life cycle of each product (Kyton is star product while Toca is cash cow). Also it demonstrates that the sales revenues was at the maximum for the two products at June (Ramadan) the holy Muslims month in which the consumption of tea and coffee is at maximum and the company seasonal marketing activities are at the peak to grantee best sales revenues.

The drop in July and August is due to the over stock of the distribution channels and retails during the seasonal period. Sales revenue could also help in management of the cash flow for example at the sales drop months MAK could arrange to update and maintain its operation and purchase raw materials to get ready for the rest of the year.

Based on the sales revenue analysis the company may decide either to expand the products lines or to stop them.

Figure-3

Net promoter score measure the loyalty of MAK’s customers to its brands. As shown on the figure above the products have healthy trend since there are more promoters among the customers.

No matter the results were they must be shared with the entire company to encourage every department to be customer centric and improve customer’s experience.

The NPS alone could not improve the customer’s experience, taking it alongside other reports could guide MAK to perform meaningful actions to improve customers satisfaction. 

This dashboard gives an overview of the situation but the rest of the report which explains why the detractors are having concerns, the passives are not recommending the brands and why the promoters love them. The common answers could be taken to solve the problem with the passive and detractors’ in order to turn the passive to promoters and to keep the promoters advocating the brands.

B: Pre and post deployment tests of the dashboards:

For the dashboard to be effective the audience must be defined (MAK’s departments’ supervisors and managers). It is also crucial before making the dashboard to know what data needs to be presented in which visual tool. So a focus group of cross functional team from all departments of MAK should be surveyed to know the appropriate data and ways to present it.
To test the effectiveness of the dashboard a random sample from the senior management team could be surveyed and asked open question about their understanding of the dashboard and the data presented to ensure that everyone can digest, analyze, create and consume the data presented. 

The dashboard should align with the objectives of MAK; for example it should contains the financial, and detailed marketing data to represent to the senior management team the sufficient information  to help them taking the right decision to achieve the objectives and insure clear linkage to the strategy. The data could be collected from the sales and marketing team for example (the sales versus target reports, the NPS reports, the customer’s data reports).

The issue that may face the data collection may be the lack of the advance technological software which is unavailable in Sudan because of the American sanctions. Or the lack of commitment in reporting the required data from the respective field forces. The dashboard configuration with the CRM system should be tested to ensure regular updates of the data presented.

The security walls should be tested against hacking and to display appropriate information for each user. The backups of the dashboard should also be tested to ensure the safety of the database of the dashboard. 

Dashboards sit at the crossroads of strategy, implementation, data-capture and decision-making – a busy intersection! Properly designed, developed, and deployed strategic dashboards can cut through clutter and provide incisive strategic insight, improve decision-making, accelerate response time and enhance both alignment and implementation performance according to Allio (2012).

Post deployment test should include the testing of the features of the dashboard for example the graphs, colors and data presentations. The analysts should recheck the data accuracy and the best interpretation of it to ensure the understanding of the final users. The user interface should be tested by input the data required by each user and the output for the other users should be shown to provide greater visibility for cross analysis. And to know the visual alerts for example color changes when the data below or exceed the threshold.

MAK cannot use highly sophisticated visualization techniques because of the American sanctions on Sudan block the applications as mentioned previously. But the dashboard used provide sufficient simple format for the stakeholders because the goal is to understand the data better. Provide insights and connections between various elements. Using the available simple available visualizing techniques could provide sufficient results for example (comparing different values and demonstrating trends).

C: Evaluation of the metrics:

c.1 ROI metric for Kyton allows MAK to focus on the profitability of the product since it is in Star stage in which cost efficiency is required. The ROI is based on accounting and sales records that provide concrete outputs, these records are officially documented and easily collected from the departments.

ROI allows comparisons of profitability and performance of several products and campaigns in the company, When there are more than one campaign proposals the priority is given to one that justify its cost for; example in (figure 1) if there is a comparison between TV advertising and sales promotion the priory would be given to the TV advertising because of its bigger return result.

The ROI could be used to make strategic decision for example MAK has two products in different life stages, the ROI results could help MAK to reallocate the resources to focus on the activities of high return of the cash cow product and invest more on the star product to improve the performance of the overall portfolio.

c.2 The NPS metric could be useful for MAK’s portfolio because it is easily measured and give a direct feedback about what the customers prefers or not prefere about the product which may reflect on better understanding of the customer’s needs and expectations.

The NPS could also be useful for MAK by filtering the customers who are most likely to repeat buying the products. A plan of action could be created to increase the percentage of the satisfied customers. The promoters are having high level of satisfaction so by targeting them they could do voluntary testimonial.

The detractors could give the company an alert regarding the customers experience with the portfolio and areas of improvement for early avoidance of negative reviews and word of mouth. This may allow the company to early action towards improving this experience.

MAK could use the NPS data for prospective action; NPS helps the company to identify which touch point has the positive or negative impact on the customer and improve it accordingly. Also the promoters’ feedback could be used to enhance the detractors and passive experience.

By informing the customers about the progress the company is making regarding the feedback they shared could create positive impression.

c.3 Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): CLV is a multi-period evaluation of a customer’s value to the firm, and it assists managers to allocate resources optimally and develop customer-level marketing strategies according to Kumar, V. (2007).

The customers were asked for their feedback on which of the current features and experiences are most valuable to them, and what new ones might entice them continue using MAK’s products, the collected feedback will be reviewed by the managers to know  which new features, or experiences will help keep customers engaged and increase their CLV and expected growth.

After MAK acquires the customers they start to generate revenues, as the relationships get stronger, the customers get more exposed to the products and the sales grows with time. The profits should be accelerated and the cost should be reduced because the company has the insights on how to retain the existent customers and what to do to acquire new ones and build new long lasting relationships. Also the customers may show more acceptances to cross selling or up selling activities. 

c.4 Sales revenues give MAK’s managers insights about the company performance, for example if the company experienced peak top-line growth, it could mean that the performance in that period was positive. Measuring revenue allows MAK to identify the profitability of the business by calculating the profit ratio.

The sales data presented could help the managers to set targets and forecast future sales performance according to the current and previous sales behaviors. Also help to improve the sales by linking it to other metrics in the same time to increase the performance in the short and long terms for example MAK senior managers could set revenue target for the sales director while setting NPS percentage goal for the marketing team to increase customers experience and a sales productivity goal for the key account management team.

Sales revenue dashboard also could allow the company to notice trends of its products during every month of the year to for example develop plans to maximize the sales during the seasons by pre preparing the production and sales logistics. And to study the factors that make one product perform well while the other experiences drop. Also could give a hint regarding other sales KPIs such as sales growth and achievements versus targets.

c.5 The qualified lead could show if the prospects are ready to become customers or not by collaboration between the marketing and the sales team. Because the leads are the prospected customers for the company, converting the leads to loyal customers is what it takes by MAK to achieve the desired growth. By specifying lead goal marketing department would have higher probability to achieve general company’s goals and reflects quality information to the sales team to generate the desired sales.

The qualified lead metric support the company to achieve cooperation between the marketing and sales team to avoid overlooked or dropped leads using agreed criteria. The marketing department then may pass the leads information to the sales team if the leads reach the agreed lead score threshold and their need; budget and purchasing capabilities were defined. This would give a hint of how to improve the acquisition methods to bring better opportunities with fewer efforts.



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