How to Use Data to Drive the Right Marketing Decisions

You have access to more digital marketing choices than ever – SEO, PPC, email, social, earned and owned media, and more third-party tools and analytics than you know what to do with. Navigating the digital landscape takes more than just intuition or following the buzziest trends.

In fact, Business 2 Community reports that businesses that employ data-driven personalization earn 5-8x ROI on every dollar spent on marketing. Without this data, you’re basically just throwing money at ghosts and hoping something hits.

Today’s digital marketing initiatives leverage complex algorithms to analyze large volumes of data from multiple sources. When data is organized, repeatable processes are created and automation can be implemented. At the heart of it all is the key performance indicator (KPI) dashboard.

Elements of a Data-Driven KPI Dashboard

A KPI dashboard provides a visual overview, along with detailed reporting and analytics, in one centralized platform by pulling data from a variety of outside sources. This gives marketing and executive leadership an easy way to strategize, forecast, and allocate resources on different channels based on individual performance.

The dashboard can be personalized to show whatever data is necessary to calculate the performance of each individual channel at a glance. Your KPI dashboard should have three key elements to be successful.

1. Focus on the Right KPIs

Michael Lewis changed the world with his book Moneyball, which showed how Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane focused on different KPIs, called sabermetrics, to build a winning team. The business spent $44 million on talent recruitment while remaining competitive with teams having budgets like the $125 million spent by the rival Yankees.

Like Beane, your dashboard should focus only on the handful of numbers that matter. Filling it with data for the sake of data detracts from the point and makes it harder to understand what’s driving revenue growth.

2. Aggregate Data by Channel

Popular marketing dashboards like Google Analytics have some great overview reports that help you understand how to organize data. Instead of hitting you with a wall of data, the Customer Acquisition Report, for example, shows sessions, bounce rates, and other high-level data based on four main channels: organic search, direct, social, and referral.

Starting your KPI dashboard on a high level like this gives you a quick glance at how all channels are performing by group. If you want to dig into the specifics of each social channel, that information can be contained in a separate report. Organizing data in this manner makes it easier to navigate while also structuring it for automation.

3. Update Data in Real Time

Not only do you have access to more data than ever but it’s available right now, enabling real-time predictive analysis. SAS Customer Intelligence Global Director Wilson Raj points out that “real-time analytics give businesses an instant edge for improving marketing performance and reducing costs.”

Using real-time analytics in combination with automation, you can create timely and personalized, trigger-based marketing actions. For instance, if Facebook goes down for an hour, you can reallocate ad spend across other channels like email to keep branded messages reaching your customers.

These three ingredients create a solid foundation for the top sheet of your KPI dashboard. Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch. Plenty of pre-made dashboard templates are available online.

Useful KPI Dashboard Templates

After you’ve gathered the data sources, it’s time to create a dashboard. These digital tools will help you map out attribution reporting across all channels and sources.

1. HubSpot

HubSpot is a suite of marketing tools that include KPI dashboard templates your company can export to Excel, Google Drive, and PowerPoint. This allows you to easily import data tables in .XLS format from all your other analytics dashboards into one centralized document that can be shared with executive management.

 2. Smartsheet

Smartsheet offers a variety of downloadable marketing KPI dashboard templates for Excel for free on its website. It includes big-picture omnichannel reports as well as individualized reports for social, SEO, email, PPC, and other initiatives. Programming these reports to feed off each other can streamline processes throughout your supply chain.

3. Klipfolio

Klipfolio offers marketing dashboard templates covering metrics across a broad spectrum of KPIs. You can personalize reporting to show the information you want for each stakeholder, as well as export to other business units. Both historic data analysis and forecasting can be accomplished with these dashboards.

Using any of these dashboard templates (or a combination of them) gives you a powerful way to analyze data beyond each individual platform. Google, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube may all drive qualified leads through your marketing funnel, but comparing leads among them was impossible until now.

Getting Started with Dashboards

Marketing KPI dashboards are driving technological innovation in the industry. Emarketer reports that data-driven personalization is the key to success in the modern connected world. Automating the marketing experience means including both the customer-facing and operational sides of marketing.

Though platforms like Google and Pinterest have in-house analytics, comparing data between them is difficult without a centralized dashboard. These dashboards pull the most important information from the hundreds of thousands of reporting options available in these platforms into one centralized data repository.

Using KPI dashboards, your business units can easily leverage and share real-time reporting to keep everyone working more efficiently.

If you’re still not getting the results you want, we can help. Contact one of our digital marketing specialists to learn how Fastmarkit can help you make more data-driven marketing decisions today.

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