How to Build a Marketing KPI Dashboard
Data gives marketers the insights and information they need to build a successful marketing strategy. With 64% of marketing executives strongly agreeing that data-driven marketing is crucial in the economy, accessing and tracking these metrics accurately are challenges for many businesses.
Marketing key performance indicator (KPI) dashboards such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems and digital tracking tools are key solutions to this. Yet even if you have one of these in place, it’s important to know which KPIs to track to get the insight you need.
This article will explain how to best leverage marketing KPI dashboards for your strategy.
3rd Edition of Digital Marketing Strategy OUT NOW
Digital Marketing Handbook
What is a Marketing KPI Dashboard?
A marketing KPI dashboard is a platform that collects, tracks and presents data. By connecting information systems from across the business into one place, these tools make it easier for marketers and sales teams to gather insights from their information. This helps them to track the performance and make data-backed decisions about their marketing strategy.
A survey from Databox found that all of their respondents use at least one marketing dashboard to:
- Monitor their activities in real-time with interactive data tools
- Track the performance of key metrics over time
- Generate easy-to-understand visualisations and reports
- View correlations between different business databases
- Forecast or gain insight into future activities
In short, by having these tools in place and using them effectively businesses can bring huge benefits to their marketing strategy.
What are the benefits of KPI dashboards?
By having the right marketing KPI dashboards in place, marketing and sales teams can enjoy various advantages.
Set relevant business objectives
For targets or goals to be fulfilled successfully, they need to be achievable. To drive growth and progress, objectives also need to be relevant to the business’s needs and areas for improvement. Having the right data tracking in place will help teams to gain these insights.
For example, it will help to identify if there is a sticking point in the customer conversion journey and give insights into why this problem might be happening. Using this information, leaders can establish a strategy for resolving this issue and set trackable benchmarks for progress.
Track progress and growth
As well as helping to set specific target metrics, dashboards make it easy for teams to track this data over time. With easy-to-understand visualisations and tools that allow you to adjust data views in real-time, colleagues can track performance over the short and long term.
For example, with a dashboard, you can spot seasonal trends such as an increase in toy sales in December and a boost in holiday searches in May. Then, by viewing 13-month rolling data, you gain an overview across the year. In short, a dashboard will give you both valuable month-on-month changes and a 13-month view that allows year-on-year comparisons.
In some cases, it’s possible to set targets directly within the dashboard system. The tool will then track and monitor these specific metrics automatically. Certain software will also automatically send email alerts to inform users of any progress or offer personalised recommendations for improving performance.
Draws all data into one place
Particularly in the case of CRM systems, it’s possible to connect datasets from across the business together into a centralised platform. This means users have complete visibility over the performance of conversion journeys and other marketing activities in one place.
This may mean connecting several different marketing KPI tools together. This may require some investment and technical expertise to get any pixels or plugins running smoothly. However, once in place, it will help colleagues gain insights and make data-backed decisions much more efficiently.
Makes data more accessible
Marketing KPI dashboards balance the benefits of increased security with ease of data accessibility. Depending on the type of software, users can share relevant datasets via URL links, downloadable reports or by adjusting account settings.
This means teams can maintain control over a business’s internal information. So intellectual property stays protected while key data insights can be easily shared.
Connects activities to outcomes
Again, CRM or more advanced marketing KPI dashboards can track the performance of specific activities. Whether it’s the results of an A/B test, the open rate of a specific email or the entire conversion journeys of specific customers.
By tying results directly to specific tasks, marketing KPI dashboards make it possible for teams to monitor their return on investment. This is invaluable when it comes to planning, forecasting or allocating marketing budgets.
What KPIs can be tracked on dashboards?
Though each business will prioritise specific KPIs based on the particular activities or performance they want to track, these are some of the most commonly-monitored metrics.
Reach or impressions
A metric most commonly used across social media, this relates to the amount of individuals who have viewed your marketing activity. Whether it’s an Instagram post, a Google Ad or a YouTube video, it’s important to keep in mind that this figure is related to the number of users or accounts that have seen your content.
Platforms are updating their algorithms constantly to get as accurate a figure as possible. Yet the prevalence of bots and fake users means this metric is more of an indication of the volume of interest in your content than a highly accurate data point. However, it can be useful if you’re researching a potential new business landscape or working on an attraction campaign.
This measures the number of users or accounts that have directly interacted with your activity. Again, this can be disrupted by the presence of unhuman users. Though as it usually relates directly to real actions, such as likes, comments or opens, it is generally a more accurate data point than reach.
A helpful indication of what content is and isn’t chiming with your audience, monitoring engagement rates across different platforms also indicates where they’re interacting with your business. If you’re starting out in tracking your customer conversion journeys, comparing the engagement rates of different channels can be valuable.
A key metric for any business, linking all of your datasets into one platform will help you track all your conversions and the touchpoints that lead to them. If you run your marketing activity through a CRM system, this makes customer journey analysis even easier as any actions your leads take will automatically be tracked.
Then, by analysing groups of new customers or clicking into individual profiles you’ll be able to see which activities were most effective at driving conversion. This insight can feed into any future campaign plans or activity investments.
Also called marketing or sales-qualified leads, tracking and assessing this metric is essential for an effective handoff between both teams. By qualifying leads based on the actions they take, the content they’ve engaged with or the interactions they’ve had with you, you can be sure they’re ‘hot’ enough to pass on to salespeople for closing conversations.
Again, in CRM systems, it’s possible to set up automatic lead-scoring models. Here you can assign certain numbers of points to particular actions. For example, making an enquiry would be worth +50 points while unsubscribing to emails would be worth -20. Once leads reach a certain score, they’ll be automatically passed onto the sales team, meaning no opportunities are lost.
Return on investment
One of the most challenging metrics for marketing teams to track and analyse, data dashboards make it possible for marketers to see exactly what return they got on their investment. Whether it’s in Google, social media ads or retargeting activities, marketing KPI tools can give users direct insights into how many pounds were gained for every one invested.
As well as doing this for individual activities, linking datasets together in one platform enables marketers to compare the ROI of different tactics. This can then inform future strategies and investments.
Customer value and cost
Comparing a customer’s lifetime value vs. cost and tracking this over the long term can help businesses optimise their activities to be as profitable as possible. It’s also a great benchmark metric to use for wider business objectives around customer service, engagement and delivery.
To measure this accurately, businesses need to ensure all their datasets are linked to one platform. Plus, they’ll need to wait a few months for enough data insights to be collected to work out an average for both value and cost.
KPI dashboard platforms and how they work
The type of marketing KPI dashboard a business chooses will depend on the type of datasets they want to monitor, the insights they want to gather and how much investment they’re prepared to make. Here are some of the most popular tools for marketers.
Google Analytics 4
This is the latest update to the Google Analytics platform, this is an essential tool for any website that wants to rank well on the search engine or business directory. Unlike previous versions of the tool, GA4 will focus on measuring event-based rather than session-based data.
This means it will give invaluable insights into how prospects and customers are interacting with your website. The tool will also integrate with apps, so you can track how your leads are engaging with you across multiple platforms.
To start using the tool, you need to set up a GA4 property using the setup assistant tool. Once this is in place, you’ll be able to log in using a Gmail account to view your website performance data.
HubSpot has been designed as a CRM system for small to medium businesses. With a range of membership options available, it’s possible to run marketing activities such as a website, email and social media through the platform.
To track data through HubSpot, you need to link any contact management and marketing software you use into the platform. The specific setup required for this varies depending on the platform, though it should be straightforward for most major tools such as Mailchimp, Salesforce and social media channels.
Once this tracking is in place, the HubSpot dashboard will show you data about where each contact has been interacting with you. With some memberships, it’s possible to automate lead nurturing or scoring activities directly in the platform. This doesn’t just make reports, but marketing strategy optimisations easy too.
A specifically designed KPI dashboard, Geckoboard has been created to help businesses optimise and drive their team’s performance. It does this by giving them access to all the data they need to make informed decisions.
To set up Geckoboard for your business, you need to:
- Set up an account with the platform
- Integrate any data sources into this account
- Pull in any additional information from spreadsheets or databases
Once your account is set up, it’s possible to filter data and build specific visualisations directly within the tool. These can be shared with teams via email or Slack, making it easy for everyone to stay on track with their marketing activity.
Use your data to drive progress
Choosing the right KPIs and tracking them effectively in a marketing dashboard is just the beginning. Once you have all the data to hand and any analysis tools in place, you need to know how to make the most of it in your marketing strategy.
With experience in delivering data-backed plans for a range of different businesses, the SK Agency team can help you turn your numbers into effective activity. Contact us to find out more about how we can help.