The life of a business leader is all about juggling your priorities — and a big part of keeping everything moving is making sure that existing initiatives are on-track, while creating space for smart new strategies. Fortunately, there’s a tool to help you succeed: KPI dashboards. KPI dashboards can help you check-in with various aspects of your business and make sure everything’s running smoothly. Every department from sales to operations needs a dashboard, and dashboards are especially helpful when it comes to marketing. Between about a dozen online channels to consider (plus offline marketing efforts), there are countless elements that go into creating and sustaining a healthy marketing ecosystem. A KPI dashboard helps marketers and business executives identify what’s going on with the elements of their marketing strategy that matter most, where to make changes if things start to go awry, and how to identify opportunities for new initiatives that can spur even greater success. Getting your dashboard right takes time, but the pay-off is immense. Executives who successfully implement an effective dashboard can get better results and create a more rewarding, enjoyable work atmosphere in which the team has more room for creativity and experimentation. Let’s take a closer look at what KPI dashboards are and what they can do to help your marketing team succeed in 2020 and beyond. The KPIs you choose should be related to your strategy and include a mix of forward-looking and backward-looking variables.
While it’s tempting to cram every metric you can think of into these reports, that’s a big mistake. When you’re confronted with a mountain of data, it’s nearly impossible to give the most important numbers the level of scrutiny they deserve.
For that reason, the best dashboards include only five to nine KPIs. These should, after all, be your key performance indicators behind your business playbook. If you’re not sure which data points to focus on, think of it this way: what handful of things could totally tank your business if they went south? Framing it that way can help you sort the vanity metrics, like the number of monthly social media impressions, from the things that matter, like cost-per-acquisition. Here are a few examples of KPI dashboards in action. Notice that they’ve honed in on only the most critical metrics and are displaying the information in clear, concise, easy-to-digest visual formats. 1. Subscription Model Dashboard Subscription-based businesses are cropping up all over the place. From razors to clothes to meal prep kits, just about anything you could want or need in your daily life can be delivered to your doorstep on a regular basis. The subscription model is great because it guarantees businesses recurring revenue — a subscriber locks into your service for a set period of time, meaning regular monthly income for the term of service. This leadership team has chosen to focus on metrics that give them a sense of how well they’re doing at attracting new attention (monthly unique visitors and free trial sign-ups), how well they’re doing at converting those newly interested parties (free trial pay-up rate), and how well they’re doing at growing their membership and retaining existing members (paying members and purchases). The dashboard is only looking at six metrics, but from that handful of data points, leadership can easily identify any potential issues before they become mission-critical. Say, for example, the leadership team noticed a drop the following month in paid members. That would go against the trend for the first three months of the year, where they experienced month-over-month growth. From there, they could start digging deeper. Are new member sign-ups dropping, or are retention numbers slipping? If retention is the issue, what changes could they make to entice more of their existing customers to renew their membership?
2. Large Ticket Item Dashboard This dashboard from DataPine is the kind that could be useful to a marketing team in just about any industry that has a high price point — and, therefore, a high customer acquisition cost. Their focus is on nine of the biggest metrics that give them insight into how successful their strategy is. Rather than focusing on granular numbers, like Twitter followers gained or number of likes on each piece of content shared on Facebook, they’re measuring numbers that are linked directly to their budget and that tie in with the sales team’s efforts. Understanding acquisition numbers and cost-per-acquisition provides insight that’s valuable far beyond the reaches of the marketing department. Issues with poor cost-per-acquisition can be indicative of a need to cut ad spend, but they might also be hinting at a need to change the pricing structure for your offerings. Or they might mean that the sales team needs to shorten lead time in order to increase the number of acquisitions per month. No matter what is ultimately identified as the source of the problem, having a dashboard empowers all of your teams to have informed, collaborative discussions about challenges facing your business that are backed up by actual data and numbers.
Image Source 3. Deals Closed Dashboard Epec Engineered Technologies uses HubSpot’s reporting features to create a sleek KPI dashboard with all the most critical information, including