Creating a Marketing Dashboard | What to Track

creating a marketing dashboard

A marketing dashboard is incredibly important to the success of any marketing team for one simple reason — if you can’t track it, you have no clue if it’s working.

Modern marketing budgets aren’t cheap. You want to make sure every dollar is giving you its maximum possible return.

But you don’t want to spend hours every day combing through analytics trying to figure out how well things are going, especially if you’re an owner, board member, or executive. Your time is much more valuable than that.

A high-quality dashboard puts everything in one place, puts the most important metrics/KPIs front and center, and lets you check in quickly when you have time to see how things are going.

Here are the most important metrics to track (and how to track them).

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing includes your social media and search ads alongside media placement. Some of the most important KPIs to track include:

  • Impressions (how many times the ad was seen)
  • Conversion rate (how many people click on the ad)
  • Reach (the total number of people who saw the ad)
  • Cost per conversion (dollars spent for each click)
  • Ad spend (total amount spent on each ad)

This data is going to come from a variety of sources, including the social media apps themselves, Google Analytics, and other paid reporting tools.

Social Media

Social media refers to organic social media efforts (non-paid). Some of the most important KPIs to track include:

  • Reach (the total number of people who saw the content)
  • Engagement (how many people liked/commented/shared the content)
  • Impressions (how many times the content was seen)
  • Click Through Rate (how many people clicked on a social media post to view content on your website)
  • Likes/Follows (how many people have subscribed to your social media page)

For social media, there are plenty of paid third-party reporting tools you can use to track these metrics. You can also get these metrics from the social media platforms themselves, though this takes a lot more time.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is when you use a tool to send mass emails to lists of customers or potential customers. Some of the most important KPIs to track include:

  • Open Rate (how many people opened the email)
  • Click-Through Rate (how many people clicked a link in the email and went to your website)
  • Conversion Rate (how many people took some sort of action, including clicking a link or making a phone call)
  • Bounce Rate (how many emails went to a dead/incorrect email address and “bounced” back)

All email marketing tools have analytics built into them, so tracking this data is fairly simple.

Print Materials

Print materials include flyers, posters, direct mail, brochures, and anything else you put into people’s hands. Some of the most important KPIs to track include:

  • Total Delivered (how many pieces were delivered to a customer)
  • Traffic Sources (the specific print material people saw that drove them to your store or website)
  • Scans/Traffic (how many people saw the print source)
  • Conversions (how many people took action, like making a call or visiting the website, based on the print material)

Print materials are harder to track than digital, but there are a few things you can set up to track them. One of the main ways is to try to send people to your website by using a QR code or a special URL that’s only used on a specific print piece. That way, if someone converts, you can check to see if they got to the website through that special URL.

Some direct mail services will also provide you with detailed analytics.

One-to-One Marketing

This includes networking, trade shows, conferences, and lunch & learns. Some of the most important KPIs to track include:

  • Total Reach (how many people you interacted with and/or how many people were in the audience you spoke to)
  • Connections (how many people connected with you digitally (adding you on social media) or in-person (by giving/receiving a business card or exchanging contact info))
  • Presentations Made (how many presentations you made at a single event)
  • Events Attended (how many events you attended in a quarter or year)
  • Conversions (how many people made a purchase based on meeting you)

Tracking one-to-one marketing can be difficult — it can be hard to know exact audience size (especially at a conference where people attend individual sessions randomly), but a visual scan is better than nothing.

Connections on social media are simple to track through social platforms, but conversions may be a little more difficult to track — you essentially have to note if someone who became a customer met you at an event initially.

Website

Your website is the center of all your digital and print marketing activities. It’s where you want everyone to go initially, even if your eventual goal is to get them into a physical store.

Some of the most important KPIs to track include:

  • Traffic Sources (where traffic is coming from)
  • Unique Visitors (total number of people who visit your website within a specified timeframe)
  • New Visitors (how many people who have never visited your website before visited within a specified timeframe)
  • Top Landing Pages (the pages that people come to first when visiting your website)
  • Conversion Rate (how many people take a specific action, like making a purchase or a phone call, after visiting the website)

Google Analytics is your primary source for website data. Once set up, you can learn all of this and much more.

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