Why You Should Throw Out Your Digital Marketing Dashboards

Only 13% of CMOs believe they can accurately measure marketing ROI, but many state “improved analytics and reporting” as a top goal for 2016.

How can marketers better leverage marketing data for useful reporting that justifies investments and defends spend? We believe lengthy dashboards misaligned to digital marketing objectives are to blame for some of the divide. So throw out your current dashboards to make room for a fresh strategy.

Here’s a 5-step process to help you pinpoint what really matters to your digital marketing analytics so you can uncover improved insights. You’ll need a blank Word document (or equivalent) and access to your existing analytics dashboards. Let’s get started:

1. Type out your top 3 digital marketing objectives on the blank page.

If you’d like to see more traffic to your website, one of your objectives might be drive 20% more organic traffic by the end of 2016.

2. Look at your current dashboard and move any existing KPIs that support your three highlighted objectives onto the page.

Don’t worry if your existing metrics aren’t set up to match your top objectives. We’re doing this exercise to determine what is and isn’t working. One example of a metric you may have, per our earlier example, is get 1 new long-tail keyword on Page 1 of Google each month.

3. Throw out your existing dashboard.

Do it – it’s liberating! You no longer need those aging, cluttered reports and you’ll benefit from starting fresh and focusing on what really matters to your program today.

4. Now look at the three objectives you typed out. Ask yourself if you have the data you need to meet them.

If you answer, “No,” you’ll want to pause to brainstorm the information you’d need in order to meet your objectives. If we continue with our example, you might need to know your daily search-engine ranking of a specific long-tail keyword in order to track progress against your objective.

5. Communicate your results.

Begin the change management process by communicating what you will and won’t be tracking as a result of this exercise. It’s not unusual for teams to get distracted by interesting metrics and transparent communication encourages focus for more tidy and purposeful reports.

Congratulations! You’re on your way to an analytics solution that makes sense, which will lead to leaner, more informed dashboards, improved insights, and a clearer picture of marketing ROI. If you have trouble with any of these steps, explore our web analytics consulting services, and we can help you get setup with the proper solutions and create the right marketing dashboard for you!

For another step in the right direction, check out our Digital Analytics Worksheet to learn how to choose objectives, align KPIs and metrics to your digital marketing goals, and troubleshoot if you don’t have access to the reports you need. We also include a template to help you organize objectives for maximum results.