There’s a lot of tech behind the scenes in any marketing plan worth its salt. Though selecting the right software for your data dashboard can be tricky. You need to know what you’re looking for, what data can help you, and have an understanding of how to properly analyze that data to best inform your future marketing decisions.
Essential considerations before building a marketing data dashboard
You’ll want to be able to capture leads from all sources. It seems obvious, but it’s something people often overlook. You’ll also want to make sure that attribution is set up properly and that all potential marketing touchpoints are linked to a goal or form that you can measure. This allows you to start consolidating your data in one place.
Tracking the full customer journey, from website through sales, is key. To do so requires the integration of multiple martech platforms, including web and CRM metrics. Once you’re able to consolidate all stages of the buyer journey into one platform, whether it’s your CRM or a standalone data warehousing/reporting solution, establish that as your source of truth for all reporting moving forward.
It’s also essential to model your marketing and sales funnel. Consolidating both marketing and sales processes into a single funnel will help weight attribution and make decisions to optimize account velocity easier.
Another thing to consider is what business questions will you need to answer and can you filter your dashboards accordingly. Can you filter by both channel and source to answer whether there’s a return on campaign spend or that organic traffic is growing as a result of SEO optimizations? Can you filter data by account attributes, such as industry, size, and budget to qualify and inform your target account list?
Thinking holistically means going beyond monthly and looking at overall reporting trends. Your dashboards should be flexible in allowing you to view reports on a monthly, quarterly, or even annual basis. This allows you to look for the influence of seasonality and outside events, giving you visibility on all factors, from micro marketing optimizations to macro industry shifts, that affect your pipeline.
Naturally, you’ll be tracking your goals too. Beyond just understanding which marketing efforts are more effective in reaching said goals, goal pacing lets you communicate wins effectively to executive leadership and make the shift to making proactive tuning marketing strategy as opposed to acting reactively.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure you’re prioritizing revenue and ROAS. To do that, you can make advancements in your reporting and dashboards that move you closer to being able to accurately report on these numbers to your leadership teams.
Developing the Martech stack
First, you need to determine what software platform you’ll be reporting from. To do that, think about a few things:
- Are you using a web-based tool like Looker?
- Does your organization already license a local data visualization tool like Tableau or Domo?
- Is your organization reporting directly from their CRM?
Whatever your answer, you need to consider where you’ll be integrating all your Martech solutions to capture the full account journey. An incomplete picture can adversely impact signals and messaging.
Next, you’ll need to know the frequency at which your data is fully synchronized in the destination platform.
- Is the data in real-time?
- When is it refreshing? At night? Weekly?
Whatever it is, you’ll need to make sure your reporting cadence aligns with this frequency and that users know when changes will take effect.
Know your audience
All the data in the world won’t help you if you aren’t focussing on your audience. One way to make sure you’re focused on them is to organize your dashboard’s KPIs and visualizations into logical stories relevant to varying audiences.
For example, have one strategic dashboard that communicates goal progress and financial outlook for executive leadership. Then have another tactical dashboard that compares accounts reached per campaign for your marketing specialists to base their optimizations on.
All-in-all developing a marketing data dashboard is a tall order. There’s a lot of thought that goes into building it right. That said, you can always add or change elements as time goes on and you find more ways to optimize. Routinely QA your dashboards w/ various teams and incorporate their feedback into future versions.
If you’re looking to develop your own martech stack or data dashboard, we know how to navigate these challenges and are here to help.