Data Standardization Worksheet
This worksheet begins with the standardization of your performance data. We’ll walk you through how to combine these mismatched data sets in a step-by-step process so that every metric is speaking the same, common language. With all of your data standardized, it’s easier to locate the strengths of each platform and hone in on ways to optimize campaign performance.
Marketing Agency Dashboard
Marketing agencies frequently have dashboard systems for marketers to keep track of important metrics. But what is different between a marketing agency dashboard and a regular advertising dashboard? Why do marketing companies need to have dashboards? And what would you usually find on a marketing agency dashboard?
A marketing agency dashboard commonly tracks key performance indicators (KPIs). These are metrics that are most important to an organization. For example, a startup SaaS companies will care most about Active Users, whereas an established construction company might care most about new contract submissions.
Additionally, the dashboard will usually have in-depth information about the marketing campaign’s spend. How much has it spent on paid ads? How much revenue has been returned?
A marketing agency dashboard differs from a regular marketing dashboard insofar as it is intended to be used by multiple people at once. It needs to have information that is applicable across a broad spectrum of positions, providing actionable and detailed information to every employee involved.
Further, a marketing agency dashboard is going to consolidate all the data across multiple sales departments, channels, and revenue-generating campaigns. Altogether, that creates a solution that can be used at-a-glance by individuals and teams that want to keep abreast of marketing developments.
Because marketing data is so critically important to advertising decisions, the marketing dashboard can’t just be a real-time dashboard — it also has to be an accurate dashboard. It may need to be integrated into multiple solutions and sales channels and the data may need to be validated as it is synced. Without the right marketing reports, the company won’t be able to make good decisions. But the more marketing data there is, the better informed and faster the decisions will be.
Marketing Dashboard Examples
Let’s look at some marketing dashboard examples. The most popular marketing KPI dashboard out there today is Salesforce. Salesforce isn’t just a digital marketing solution. In fact, it’s more tailored toward sales professionals who call and talk to leads in person. Salesforce is both a marketing solution and a customer relationship management suite. But the important part of Salesforce is that it makes it possible for people to track leads on the fly.
The importance of a marketing dashboard is that it brings all the marketers together. Marketers can quickly see whether their campaigns are working, how they’re improving, what’s influencing their metrics, and what’s working best. From there, they can make educated decisions in real-time, improving upon their revenue generation.
But tracking leads through marketing campaigns isn’t everything. Because campaigns today are highly digital, some marketers are having to consolidate tremendous amounts of information. Old marketing dashboards just needed to collect major touch points, such as first contacts and purchasing. Advanced solutions can even track the weather of the place that the customer is in.
Digital marketing means there’s far more information. But it also means there’s more noise. And this is what needs to be considered when looking into agency and marketing dashboards.
Digital Agency Dashboard
What type of dashboard does a digital agency need? There are two things they need to look for specifically.
First, their dashboard has to support all their marketing channels and campaigns. This doesn’t always have to be built in. If the marketing solution has an API or makes it easy to integrate other solutions, then it may not need to be fully developed; you may be able to integrate it on your own. But there has to be the possibility that the dashboard can connect to every service.
Second, the dashboard has to be able to consolidate this data in an intelligent way. If one platform calls traffic “hits” and another platform calls it “touch points,” the system needs to be able to understand that these are the same two metrics. If the system cannot connect this data, then it isn’t going to be able to yield the right results.
A digital agency dashboard should be able to consolidate this information in real-time or during scheduled syncs, so the marketers always know that the information they’re looking for is immediately valid. From there, marketers can make educated decisions.
Digital Marketing Dashboard
The most popular digital marketing dashboard is Google Analytics. Many companies use either Google Analytics to view their website performance, track paid and organic traffic, time on page, bounce rate and other important statistics. For paid advertising campaigns, many companies rely on the platform specific ad reporting available from Facebook and Google.
Google is a popular dashboard because it can be used to track both paid advertising and SEO campaigns. Facebook is a popular dashboard because Facebook advertising is one of the most popular social media channels. Both these digital marketing platforms have two things in common: they are very robust but they are only used for their own platform.
This can lead to companies checking multiple dashboards throughout the day to determine their activity. Even worse, it means that companies are not able to compare data. They can’t see how their Google campaign is interacting with their Facebook campaign or the reverse.
What companies need is a consolidated dashboard that will bring all their information into a single space. But companies often don’t have access to a consolidated dashboard or don’t think about it. To create consolidated reports, a company may instead bring all their information into Excel, or try to manually collect the data into a database.
Marketing Dashboard Excel
What happens when organizations use Excel to create their dashboards?
Excel can be used to consolidate information. There are many templates for marketing dashboard Excel sheets. You can export your information from numerous marketing channels as a CSV and then insert it into Excel. From there, you can build reports. This is the answer to consolidation for many companies. But while it may look accurate, that doesn’t mean it is accurate.
There are three major problems with using Excel as a marketing dashboard. First, it’s error prone. Data isn’t always brought across correctly. Most spreadsheets will contain errors because there’s no way to validate the spreadsheets. Second, it’s not secure. You can encrypt Excel, but because it includes all your marketing data, it can be very vulnerable. Third, it takes time. It’s an inefficient way of creating a dashboard because it takes so much time to bring the information in and verify it.
While Excel can be used safely for many small reports, making a consolidated dashboard with it creates some logistical problems. Additionally, the amount of time and energy it takes to make this type of dashboard will ultimately cost the company, as the company won’t have real-time data to work with and make decisions based upon.
Marketing Dashboard Software
Rather than trying to use a system such as Excel, more brands should consider investing in marketing dashboard software.
A marketing dashboard solution will automatically sync data for the company. This data will be analyzed, consolidated, and verified as it’s brought in. The marketing dashboard will be able to sync data more readily, so the company and its marketers will always have the right data to work with. Additionally, it will make it easier for the company to analyze the data.
A marketing dashboard software solution can be customized to the company’s needs, tracking specific KPIs throughout multiple channels. In so doing, it can glean insights about how these channels are interacting with each other, which channels have the best ROI/ROAS, and which channels may need more work.
With companies now tracking so many channels throughout both digital and traditional marketing campaigns, it’s become a necessity for marketers to be able to view the performance of all their campaigns at-a-glance. A marketing dashboard software solution is the way to do this. And not only does it connect all that information, but it also protects the information. and reduces the overall administrative burden.
Best Marketing Dashboards
What features do the best marketing dashboards offer?
- Both digital and traditional campaigns. Most companies are going to be interacting both in-person (through mailers and calls) as well as through digital marketing (SEO, content marketing, and paid advertising). There’s a huge advantage to being able to track all these channels.
- Multiple campaign channels. Even digitally, a company may be running Facebook, Twitter, email, and Instagram campaigns. The marketing dashboard should be able to support all the channels the company is using.
- Advertising Intelligence. For paid advertising, Advertising Intelligence ensures that the data is being compared correctly, with apples-to-apples comparisons even if KPIs and metrics are named differently or collected differently. Lumenad’s Advertising Intelligence is able to ensure that data is being compared fairly.
- Real-time or scheduled data syncing. If the data isn’t both accurate and timely, marketers won’t be able to make the connections they need to make when they need to make them. The more prompt and automated the service is, the better.
In short, marketing dashboards need to provide complete data consolidation. Without complete data consolidation, the company won’t be able to rely on a single dashboard for all their information — and won’t be able to make decisions about their advertising spend quickly.