There are several challenges to establish ‘board level’ dashboards that report on marketing activity that tie directly to revenue generation. Here are 5 tips that I’ve used in creating dashboards for executive level reporting. (NOTE – LETS TALK REAL TIME IF YOU NEED HELP IN CREATING A DASHBOARD, I HAVE ACTUAL EXAMPLES OF THEM.)
- With new automation tools like Eloqua and Marketo, from interviews I’ve done with a number of CMOs of B2B companies, a surprising number of teams use Excel to report out on activity despite having capabilities elsewhere. Whether it’s Cognos, Salesforce.com, Eloqua, or Excel, the tool really doesn’t matter as long as the data is consistently measured month over month or quarter over quarter. The trick is to baseline the activity based on current information, especially as a new leader or CMO.
- Dashboards (or numbers) can sometimes not paint a complete picture as a stand alone entity on campaign effectiveness. I augmented my quarterly board dashboards with a ‘green, yellow, red’ status indicator on QUALITATIVE indicators in addition to QUANTITATIVE indicators to help paint a more complete picture of actual marketing activity that impacted revenue.
- Measure global/regional impact and channel impact that marketing had on sourced revenue – in other words, what did marketing contribute and at what cost point by region. This analysis can be further filtered on a timeframe to close, no different from a sales funnel, where leads are predicted to close. (predictive analytics). Also, be aware for you global marketers – activity within region should be compared within region and not across regions.
- Web traffic is worth measuring as is the impact social media has on web traffic. Social media in and of itself did not contribute to my dashboard foundation, my experience so far is social media (linkedin, twitter, facebook), more of an enabler than an actual converter of revenue in B2B marketing. LinkedIn seems to be the most relevant here (I plan to create another post on this later).
- Tracking contacts to opportunities allowed for better tracking of marketing influence/sourced, this is particularly true for those that leverage the campaign module of Eloqua. This tracking can be further augmented by the Microsoft Outlook plug in leveraging Eloqua.
Dashboards vary with mileage and will change as your company changes it’s needs and growth patterns. What dashboards have you found to be effective for you?