Using Marketing Dashboards to Visualize Success

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

Workstation, web analytics information and development website sMarketing dashboards are a way of visualizing how your company is performing. Of course, data itself is a static entity, and that doesn’t make for an exciting picture.

When deciding what you need in marketing dashboards, think about the relationships between different pieces of data, says Martin Kihn, research vice president, Gartner.

Visualizations should tell a simple story, he said at Gartner’s Digital Marketing Conference in San Diego this week. “But are you really telling a story with a dashboard? That depends on how you define ‘story’.”

Think of the story you tell with a dashboard as a simple story, that goes from point A to point B, or “X happened. Then Y. And so Z,” Kihn said.

Ask yourself if your current marketing dashboards clearly answer the questions you need to answer to successfully run your business. And remember that a dashboard is a tool for action, not curiosity.

Marketers must clearly define the scope of their dashboard for it to have meaningful results. Who is it for? Know your user, and what questions they want answered:

  • Your business team wants to see the marketing impact on sales
  • Customer-facing marketers want to know if the ecommerce site is easy to use
  • Operations needs to know much of the market initiatives are reaching

Once you know the scope of what you want to accomplish, develop the metrics and map them to your key questions. Then define your context, and provide benchmarks or other comparisons to provide understanding.

Metrics will vary for different parts of your organization, said Kihn. Your business team will be focused on marketing-driven revenue, customer lifetime value and funnel metrics like awareness, while customer-facing teams will look at things like customer satisfacation, social sentiment and Net Promoter score.

Kihn shared Gartner’s “Eight Commandments of Dashboard Design”:

  1. Summary in the upper left
  2. Time goes left to right
  3. No more than 6-9 metrics
  4. Include only numbers that change
  5. Always have a comparison
  6. Always label and give a ource
  7. Maximum three fonts and three colors
  8. No green and red arrows

Related Articles:

9 Tips for Building Better Dashboards

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