Whether you’re building a marketing dashboard for your own company, or you’re creating a marketing dashboard for your clients, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
There are so many metrics to consider, and you have to hone in on the ones that most important within your business or the business of your client to provide you the best and most relevant, actionable insights.
You have a few big, overarching goals with a marketing dashboard and dashboards aren’t the same as a report.
You want a dashboard to measure certain goals over time, and you want to be able to go to a dashboard and see everything quickly and easily.
You should be able to look at the dashboard and then determine what’s worth looking into further. A report drills down further and is even more actionable, and reports can answer very specific questions.
The following offers some of the things to keep in mind when you’re creating a dashboard and determining the metrics to measure.
Who is Your Audience?
Whether you’re designing a dashboard for a client or you’re doing it for other stakeholders in your organization, you need to determine your audience and build it around them.
You will usually have multiple marketing dashboards, and each should tell its own story that’s designed from the framework of what the audience needs and wants to know and how they want to receive information.
A dashboard is a way to tell a story, and that’s sometimes what people tend to miss when they’re creating them.
A dashboard doesn’t just show data—it helps the person viewing it see the connections between the various data points in a succinct way.
Along with understanding your audience and how to best tell them a story, have a very clear purpose in mind.
Choosing Your Metrics
The first step of creating a dashboard is determining the metrics you’re going to focus on.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to choose metrics that are directly related to your business and also align with your marketing objectives.
Don’t try to measure too many metrics in one dashboard. It’s confusing and overwhelming, and your story is lost.
You never want unnecessary metrics to serve as a distraction.
Think only about your marketing goal for that particular dashboard and the most relevant KPIs that track and measure progress related to that goal.
When you know the metrics you’re going to measure, you’re then better prepared to start implementing the charts that will serve as visual representations.
Here, you’re going to again have to go back to your audience.
Your audience is the number one driver of the types of graphs and visual elements you’ll include in a marketing dashboard.
You also have to think not just about the audience, but also the data itself. Some types of graphs and charts work better for certain types of data than others.
As an example, if your goal is to show general trends over time, you’re probably going to want to integrate line charts.
A good marketing dashboard isn’t going to have data or visuals that exist in a vacuum.
The goal is to use the elements included in the dashboard to create context.
For example, think about ways the design of your marketing dashboard can show potential obstructions in the sales funnel.
Sometimes in order to create context, you want to bring together data from different areas. This doesn’t mean that you include unnecessary data, but you might want to link your marketing and sales data into one dashboard so that it tells a cohesive and contextual story.
Elements That You Might Include in a Marketing Dashboard
While every dashboard is going to be different, there are certain things you might consider including.
Form submissions or leads are something good to include. When a potential customer submits a website form, and you can track those, then it helps you understand more about the performance of your ads and calls-to-action.
The calls you receive can be included in a marketing dashboard, as can SEO traffic which is also known as organic traffic.
Reviews aren’t as often included in marketing dashboards but can be extremely valuable because they show what the customer perception is and how willing people are to go the extra mile and leave you a review.
These are just a tiny fraction of what you can include, but they give you ideas as far as a starting point.