These days, marketing is highly complicated. This is contrast to several decades ago when a good gut feel was accepted standard marketing practice. The more accurate your gut feeling was, the bigger your annual bonus would be. Now, to come up with a winning marketing strategy, it comes down precise analysis of data. But, in today’s age of big data where we have tools at our disposal that can collect an amazing amount of data from customers and potential customers, analyzing that data has become a science on its own.
Just look at all the tools you need to work with in order to organize and compile your marketing data. If it’s an email campaign, you need to work with an email marketing tool. If you use Google Adwords, you need an Adwords account. For web analytics, you have Google Analytics and a host of other commercial solutions. Business dashboards can assist with tracking social media marketing campaigns.
Get it? There are so many different tools to track different facets of your marketing campaign. You could spend a whole day just logging into different accounts to check reports and gain insights. To avoid this, it is best to use an integrated marketing dashboard that consolidates all your metrics into one dashboard. There are many commercial solutions that do this and you can even build your own custom solution.
But, even doing this is only solving half the problem. To maximize the benefits of your marketing dashboard, you need to first organize it. You need to decide what should go into it and what shouldn’t.
The following are five steps you should follow in order to build a powerful digital marketing dashboard.
1. Identify the Reports Needed
People process and communicate information differently. There are people who are good with words and completely terrible with numbers and vice versa. So consider who the audience will be. Identify the story that needs to be told and numbers needed to tell the story. Decide on the type of reports needed, for example; an executive summary, an awareness report, an engagement report or even ROI report. Once you know what kind of reports are needed, the marketing dashboard will be much easier to organize.
2. Focus on KPIs Only
There are many metrics you can include on a marketing dashboard but the only one’s that you should include are those that relate to key performance indicators. When choosing KPIs, consider the following questions:
• What objectives does the marketing team want to meet?
• What metrics demonstrate progress towards these objectives?
• How is campaign success of failure measured?
• How will the reports be enhanced by this metric?
• Does the metric relate to a key business question?
3. Integrate all your Analytics Applications
To get the entire picture of your marketing campaigns integrate all of your analytics accounts into one dashboard. As mentioned earlier, there are many commercial applications that already do this or you can hire a developer to have one custom built for you. Having all your marketing analytics, Google, social media, Mozetc in one place will save you a lot of time. The only heavy lifting you will do is at set-up but once you set it, you will be able get a big picture view of your entire marketing campaign. No more having to log into several different applications to see the analytics.
4. Make Use of Visuals
One of the greatest strengths of marketing dashboards is that they are meant to be visually appealing. Graphs, charts, images and infographics are much easier to digest than rows of data on a spreadsheet. Everyone appreciates visuals so you can’t go wrong.
5. Make it Interactive & Accessible
Don’t build a static dashboard. Users should be able to select the data, filter it, sort it, arrange it and manipulate it as much as possible so that they can get further insights. The dashboard should come with this functionality built-in. For example, a user should be able to change the view from daily, to weekly, monthly or whatever other time period they want. Also, the marketing dashboard should be accessible using different types of hardware, that is, tablets, smartphones, computers and anything else that people are using on a large scale.
Data analytics is integral to the success of businesses today. In the absence of analytics, it would be a herculean task deciphering what today’s discerning customers want and need, and the decision one needs to make in order to better utilize scarce marketing resources to meet business objectives.