Marketing dashboards are some of the most essential business intelligence tools.
They have the power to inform business decisions and help visualize the health of the business at a glance.
Consider your car’s dashboard. In a moment, you can deduce all the most important aspects of your vehicle and how you’re using it
Now imagine if you had to look at four different places to find each of these data points. Not only would that be unsafe, but it’d be woefully inefficient.
This is the whole point of a marketing dashboard. As a car dashboard aggregates all your most essential information in one spot, so does your marketing dashboard.
The idea is that anyone, regardless of their expertise or position in the organization, can quickly get an idea of the overall health and efficacy of all marketing efforts.
In this article, we will discuss the following:
- What a marketing dashboard is
- How it can help your business
- Marketing dashboard examples
What is a marketing dashboard?
Marketing dashboards are powerful business intelligence tools that help marketers monitor key marketing metrics, key performance indicators, and analytics using data visualizations.
The purpose of a marketing dashboard is to help business owners assess and understand how well particular tactics and strategies are working in real-time.
More often than not, marketing dashboards are updated frequently (or in real-time) and report data using graphs, tables, and charts to organize and visualize information in an easy-to-understand format.
The primary metrics visualized within a marketing dashboard are determined in advance by marketers based on their importance to the decision-making process and organizational growth.
Arguably the most important distinguishing factor of dashboards from other business intelligence tools is that everything is concisely organized in one place.
Moreover, today’s marketing dashboards are often interactive, allowing users to drill down into data sets, change timeframes, or compare data sets side-by-side.
Interactive marketing dashboards make it easy for even the most non-technical users to find the answers they are looking for without relying on IT departments or analysts.
How do marketing dashboards help eCommerce businesses?
Marketing dashboards have transformed every industry, and eCommerce is no exception.
The eCommerce landscape is constantly changing and evolving, making it difficult for even the most experienced marketers to keep up.
Data-driven marketing dashboards help eCommerce businesses by providing real-time insights into what’s working and what isn’t.
This allows businesses to make informed decisions about where to allocate their resources (time, money, and effort) to get the biggest return on investment.
Marketing dashboards can help eCommerce businesses in a number of ways, including:
Tracking marketing campaign performance
eCommerce businesses can use marketing dashboards to track the performance of their marketing campaigns in real time.
This includes tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, conversion rate, and cost per acquisition.
Monitoring social media metrics
Social media is a critical component of any eCommerce business’s marketing strategy.
Marketing dashboards can help businesses track social media metrics such as engagement, reach, and click-through rate.
Analyzing customer behavior
eCommerce businesses can use marketing dashboards to track and analyze customer behavior data.
This includes data such as customer lifetime value, customer acquisition cost, and customer churn rate.
Forecasting sales and revenue
Determining and understanding the patterns in sales data can identify gaps and unlock specific trends.
From production to sales and revenue, forecasting has a significant impact on every organization. Without successful forecasting, your business is essentially flying blind at the whims of cruel and unpredictable market forces.
The advantage of marketing dashboards is that it provides you with better insights into customer buying patterns.
This way, you can plan and predict goals accurately with actual historical customer information. You can also measure these goals in real-time to validate actions or recalibrate any sales or marketing strategies.
Improving inventory management
Inventory management is simply getting the right things to the right place at the right time and in the right condition.
This is no easy task for eCommerce businesses, who are required to update their inventory and ensure warehouse control constantly.
Thanks to a marketing dashboard, you can make inventory less painful. This is because a marketing dashboard allows you to track stock in-real time to know which products are selling and which locations are driving more business.
Through this process, you can optimize your supply and allocation throughout multiple locations and minimize the risk of running out of stock.
Promoting data-driven decision-making
Data-driven decisions help eCommerce businesses produce actionable insights to generate new opportunities and optimize existing operations.
Powerful marketing dashboards empower eCommerce business owners to evaluate data quickly and comprehensively.
When you can make large amounts of data more understandable and relevant to each business decision, you can reduce errors resulting from gut-feeling guesses and make the right decision every time.
Top marketing dashboard examples
Now that we’ve established what a marketing dashboard is and its ability to help eCommerce businesses, you might ask how you would know if a particular dashboard is powerful enough to meet your needs.
In this section, we will discuss examples of the best marketing dashboards for helping marketers address bottlenecks and supercharge their operations for continuous business growth.
1: Email marketing dashboard
An email marketing dashboard displays all the most critical data about your email marketing efforts in one centralized location.
Using a combination of charts, graphs, and other visual aids provides you with a comprehensive overview of how well or poorly your campaigns are performing.
Most email marketing dashboards are updated in real-time. In other words, you can ensure that you will always have the latest information at your fingertips.
This can be especially vital in detecting and addressing operational issues quickly, as well as identifying and acting on short-term market changes.
Some of the most important KPIs on an email marketing dashboard are:
- Open rate
- Click-through rate
- Unsubscribe rate
- Bounce rate
- Email deliverability
2: Social media dashboard
A social media dashboard tracks the performance of your business on multiple social media channels. It uses social media performance metrics such as audience insights, subscriber or follower accounts, and overall engagement.
Combining all your social media accounts into one platform enables you to quickly identify what’s happening across the board.
In doing so, you can determine the necessary adjustments you need to make to engage with your audience and ensure that your stories resonate with your target market.
Social media dashboards also allow for collaboration with your team members since you can easily share your performance with the team.
This way, you can generate innovative ideas to improve social media content creation that would otherwise be non-existent without communication between marketing team members.
Some important KPIs to track on a social media dashboard is:
- Number of social media followers or subscribers
- Number of social media posts
- Social media engagement rate (likes, comments, shares)
3: Web analytics dashboard
A web analytics dashboard is an essential tool that webmasters and digital marketers use to visualize the health and performance of their websites.
While there are numerous free tools like Google Analytics that provide website owners access to a wide range of data, it is not always easy to present the most important data in an easy-to-understand format.
A great tool for aggregating web analytics is Google Data Studio, though it’s got a bit of a learning curve.
The advantage of a website analytics dashboard is it reports metrics like bounce rates, session duration, number of visitors, website conversions, and average time on page.
Through this process, webmasters and digital marketers can highlight how site visitors behave and interact once they are on their websites.
Also, these dashboards help reveal what content resonates most with visitors and can uncover any technical UI/UX issues on your website.
4: SEO analytics dashboard
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential focus for forward-thinking marketing teams.
Organic traffic continues to be one of the most powerful acquisition channels for many businesses.
An SEO analytics dashboard allows marketing teams to track the progress and performance of all of their SEO efforts in one centralized location.
This is valuable because it allows for quick identification of which SEO initiatives are working and which ones need to be tweaked or abandoned altogether.
With an SEO analytics dashboard, you can identify top-performing pages, top keywords, and areas of their websites that need to be optimized for search.
An SEO analytics dashboard can also display how your website is performing against your competitors to give you an idea of how to win the search engine ranking game.
Common SEO KPIs include:
- Organic traffic
- Click-through rate
- Keyword ranking
- Backlink profile
5: Paid advertising dashboard
A paid advertising dashboard is a tool used by digital marketers to track the performance of their paid advertising campaigns in one centralized location.
This is valuable because it allows for quick identification of which ads are performing well and which ones need to be tweaked or abandoned altogether.
With a paid advertising dashboard, you can track metrics like cost per click, conversion rate, and return on investment.
This way, you can quickly see which ads are generating the most leads or sales and adjust your campaigns accordingly.
Paid advertising dashboards also allow you to track your brand’s overall performance on each paid channel so you can determine where to allocate your budget for the best results.
Some common KPIs tracked on a paid advertising dashboard are:
- Cost per click
- Conversion rate
- Return on investment
6: Lead scoring dashboard
A lead scoring dashboard is a tool used by digital marketers to track and score leads in one centralized location.
This is valuable because it allows for quick identification of which leads are most interested in your product or service and which ones need to be nurtured further down the funnel.
With a lead scoring dashboard, you can assign points to leads based on their behavior and engagement.
This way, you can prioritize the hottest leads and focus your efforts on converting them into customers.
Lead scoring dashboards also allow you to segment your leads so you can create targeted marketing campaigns that speak to their specific needs and interests.
Some common KPIs tracked on a lead scoring dashboard are:
- Lead score
- Engagement level
- Number of interactions
There are a wide variety of paid advertising dashboards available, each with its own set of features.
Some popular options include Google Analytics, Kenshoo, and Adobe Advertising Cloud.
How to build a marketing dashboard
By now, you have a complete understanding of the benefits of marketing dashboards. Hopefully, you’re chomping at the bit to make one (or a few) yourself.
However, before you jump to your dashboard creation software of choice, we need to do some essential planning.
In this section, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to build a marketing dashboard that you can use to measure and improve your marketing initiatives.
1: Establish goals and objectives
If you want to build a marketing dashboard, chances are you want to solve existing issues and want to serve your customers better.
Therefore, establishing measurable goals and objectives is necessary before you can jumpstart the building process.
Evaluate your annual marketing reports and identify the pain points you want your dashboard to solve. When establishing your goals, make sure to consider your audience.
A well-crafted dashboard tells a compelling story that connects to actionable key performance indicators that are advantageous to the viewer.
You should remember that different audiences will require different dashboards. A social media marketer needs a dashboard that consolidates all metrics from social network platforms.
On the other hand, an executive will require a dashboard that provides an overview of business performance metrics.
By determining your audience, you can ensure that your marketing dashboard will turn out how it’s supposed to be and deliver the job you need it to do.
2: Identify your key performance indicators and data sources
Now that you have established your goals and determined your audience, the next step is to find out what metrics are either successful or valuable in this particular domain.
In other words, what metrics are most closely tied to business goals?
Once you’ve done that, your next move is to find the data sources you can reference and how you can put them in a centralized location.
Each of these data sources will have its set of key performance indicators, and combining them into a streamlined location allows you to measure marketing programs easily.
3: Choose your visualization tool
Data visualization is the process of transforming data into a graphical representation like charts, graphs, or maps.
The goal of data visualization is to help people understand complex information quickly and easily.
There are many different types of data visualizations, but some of the most common are bar charts, line graphs, and pie charts.
When it comes to choosing a visualization tool, there are many different options available. Some popular choices include Tableau and Google Data Studio.
Here are some other popular software tools in various categories:
Email marketing: Mailchimp, Constant Contact
Web analytics: Google Analytics, Mixpanel
Social media: Hootsuite Insights, Facebook Insights
Content marketing: BuzzSumo, Google Trends
4: Design your dashboard
Once you have chosen your visualization tool, it’s time to start designing your dashboard.
There are many different ways you can go about this, but we recommend starting with a wireframe.
A wireframe is a low-fidelity sketch of what your dashboard will look like. It’s essentially the blueprint of your dashboard.
Creating a wireframe will help you determine the layout, design, and functionality of your dashboard.
Once you have a wireframe, you can start adding data visualizations and other elements to your dashboard.
When designing your dashboard, it’s important to keep things simple. Less is more when it comes to dashboards.
A complicated dashboard will only serve to confuse your audience and make it difficult for them to understand the data.
5: Build your dashboard
After you have designed your dashboard, it’s time to start building it.
If you’re using a visualization tool like Tableau or Google Data Studio, this process will be relatively easy (you can learn the basics of these tools in a well-focused afternoon).
Simply add the data sources you want to use and start creating the visualizations you designed in your wireframe.
As you update data sources, the graphs and charts are updated as well, making your marketing dashboard a truly living, breathing business intelligence tool.
6: Publish and share your dashboard
Once you have built your dashboard, it’s time to publish it and share it with your audience.
If you’re using a visualization tool like Tableau or Google Data Studio, this process is relatively easy. Simply click the “publish” button and share the link with your team or clients.
If you’re not using a visualization tool, you can still share your dashboard by exporting it as an image or PDF.
No matter how you choose to share your marketing dashboard, the important thing is that you make it accessible to those who need it.
7: Monitor and update your dashboard
After you have published and shared your marketing dashboard, it’s important to monitor it on a regular basis and update it as needed.
As your marketing campaigns change and evolve, so too should your marketing dashboard.
Monitoring your dashboard will help you spot trends, identify problems, and make necessary changes to your marketing strategy.
Updating your dashboard on a regular basis will ensure that it remains an accurate and valuable tool for your business.
Achieving complete data visibility is essential for any business that wants to make data-driven decisions.
A marketing dashboard can help you achieve this by giving you a complete overview of your marketing campaigns and performance.
By following the steps in this guide, you will be well on your way to creating a powerful marketing dashboard that will help you make better, more informed decisions about your marketing strategy.
Dashboards can be customized to track any metric that you deem important for your business. The important thing is to focus on the data that will help you achieve your marketing goals.
Creating a marketing dashboard is only the first step. The real value comes from monitoring and updating it on a regular basis.
Only by doing this will you be able to make data-driven decisions that will help your business grow and succeed.