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To be truly accountable, marketing professionals need to periodically report on their performance and contribution.  You are probably thinking, we are reporting, especially if you are using the reporting capabilities within your marketing automation, campaign management, web analytics, and customer relationship management systems.  That’s a great start, but here’s the bad news. The progress or status report of projects, such as updates to the website, an upcoming event, the status of new collateral or a direct marketing campaign or the reports regarding number of website visitors, open/clicks, followers and friends, number of marketing qualified leads, etc. are no longer enough. More and more organizations are expecting marketing to provide an actionable dashboard.

The Attributes of a Good Marketing Dashboard

While these reports often provide valuable transactional information, they do not make the connection between marketing activities and business impact. A good marketing dashboard is a multilayered performance management tool that enables an organization to measure, monitor and manage business activity, using both financial and non-financial measures, that conveys marketing’s contribution to the business. The dashboard provides insight into your progress toward each objective, and  includes all the necessary dials and gauges to tell you where you are, where you’re going and at what speed, along with indicator lights that illuminate at the first sign of a problem.

It is important to note that dashboards only work if they are tied to a structured action process.  It must do more than just measure marketing; it needs to be used to foster strategic decisions and enable course adjustments.  A good dashboard is a visual graphic representation that demonstrates both marketing alignment to the business as well has how marketing is contributing to the business and attaining its performance targets in terms of results, time, and cost.

Metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) are the building blocks for creating a dashboard. Marketing ROI is just one of the metrics that typically finds its way onto the dashboard; but other metrics/key performance indicators (KPIs) will also serve as the basis of the dashboard.  What these metrics and KPIs are will be unique to each organization.

VisionEdge Marketing’s Accelance® is well-defined patent-pending process for developing an actionable marketing dashboard.  This process entails assessing the state of your readiness.  Based on the outcome of this stage, the actual formation or development of the marketing dashboard commences. If all systems are go, a wireframe or model of an actionable marketing dashboard that incorporates the marketing metrics and associated key data chains is crafted.

The Marketing Dashboard Construction Process

Constructing a performance management marketing dashboard is an iterative process that may require process changes, stakeholder buy-in, system modifications, data integration and additions, and internal training.  The VisionEdge Marketing approach is a four phase iterative process that includes:

  1. Alpha –It is during this step that the initial framework of the dashboard using historical data and proxies and review with stakeholders/users/consumers is created.  During this step data and metrics gaps are addressed and a data inventory and metrics catalogue are created. The dashboard roadmap and milestones are produced during this phase.
  2. Beta – During this steps the marketing dashboard is modified based on stakeholder input and current data is utilized.  System requirements should be addressed during this step.
  3. Pilot – The pilot is step is where the final rendition of the initial marketing dashboard is completion.  Systems evaluations are conducted during this steps and data collection, measurement, and reporting processes are formally documented.
  4. Production –This is the final step in the marketing dashboard development phase.  During this phase, system deployment/implementation occurs and a production version of the marketing dashboard is produced.  System and process training material are created and training begins as part of this final step.

 

Contact us if you’re ready to develop a more valuable and insightful marketing dashboard that benefits both marketing and the C-Suite.  One that can be used to optimize performance, make decisions and course corrections, quantify marketing’s impact AND communicates how well marketing initiatives are increasing customer acquisition, retention and growth.

 

Accelance® Performance-Driven Marketing Accountability Illustration of Multi-tiered Actionable Marketing Dashboard

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Marketing Performance Dashboard (Conceptual Example)
click to enlarge

“In a short period of time we had gone from measuring nothing to measuring everything–and we were literally out of control on the measurement front.  There was no hierarchy and no action coming out of what we tracked, which was essentially slews of activities and outputs.  VEM helped us realize that less is more and based on the VEM workshop we transitioned from measuring marketing outputs to measuring marketing’s impact on outcomes. Our CEO and Board love our new marketing dashboard and more importantly we can use it to make valuable decisions.”

–Vicki Kilmer, Director of Brand Management & Business Intelligence, Best Friends Animal Society

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