In today’s competitive landscape, being able to make intelligent, data driven decisions across all departments of your organization is critical to operating at peak levels of performance.
Yet for many departmental heads, this data simply isn’t accessible, or readable in a way that allows them to make better decisions.
In fact, for many professionals, marketers especially, one of the most difficult questions to answer is often:
“How is our performance stacking up?”
While the question appears to be simplistic in nature, the answer is anything but. Sure, we can look at surface level ROI or ROAS (return on ad spend), but the actuality of what is going on beneath the surface is much more complicated.
Marketing is no Longer One-Dimensional
To complicate matters even further, marketing is no longer a one-trick pony with single touch sales being the norm. In fact, research from Salesforce shows that it takes an average of 6-8 touchpoints for a prospect to convert to a paying customer.
Google contends that around 83% of these prospects begin their buying journey with a search engine query, but after that paths diverge in any number of directions.
Cross Channel Reporting – are you measuring what matters?
With the growing diversity of the digital landscape has come the emergence of cross-channel and multi-channel marketing, whereby organizations leverage multiple mediums of influence to get their brand and offering in front of their targeted audience, often times in a coordinated effort to engage, educate and nurture the prospect on their way to cumulating in a purchase decision.
But this multi / omni-channel approach has resulted in further complications for those responsible for monitoring, measuring and reporting on the results of these efforts.
Marketers and departmental heads now need to accurately report on how campaigns are performing across mediums such as:
- Search engines
- Social media
- Offline events
- And more…
But that’s not all…they also need to be able to impose filters and various parameters on these reports such as:
- Dates / times
- Market segments
- Per product
- And more…
And if all that wasn’t enough to deal with, you need to know how each of those channels impacts and influences the other. For example, customers that enter the buying cycle at Stage 1 versus Stage 3, or that enter via a specific social media campaign versus an organic search result may be either more or less profitable or more or less likely to act or react in various ways.
Knowing this information can help you determine which prospect journeys result in the most profit on the front end, as well as long term value on the backend.
Insights garnered from such information can be used to both prioritize and invest in those decisions that make the most sense given your organization’s short and long term goals.
Bringing it All Together – the Data Silo Challenge
As marketing efforts become more automated and driven by technologically advanced marketing applications, it also becomes more unified and siloed from a data perspective.
Consider that many organizations need to pull data from a broad range of individualized applications such as:
- Google Analytics
- Majestic SEO
- Google Adwords
- And more…
In the absence of a customized business intelligence dashboard, teams in charge of the aforementioned services would need to pull reports separately for each individual channel and match them to each parameter needed. This may mean up to dozens of reports per channel per time period, resulting in both a major time suck, as well as a complicated mess of data each unconnected to the next.
This makes it virtually impossible to derive actionable insights from multiple platforms at once. So while your organization might have a “guy” or “gal” that can answer the “how is channel XYZ” doing, they are ill-equipped to answer more complicated yet vitally important questions like “how is channel XYZ impacting channel X”, or in what way can we leverage data from “channel Y” to bolster results from “channel Z”.
In short, siloed data sources restrict your team from answering holistic performance questions as to how services or systems relate to or interact with each other.
Inefficient and Painstaking Process
Without custom integrations and dashboards capable of pulling in data from multiple sources, marketing and business analysts are tasked with having their teams waste hours of pulling reports,
copying, cutting, pasting and manually compiling data into spreadsheets, in addition to graphical work to make it look like something presentable.
This mind-numbing process comes at a cost:
- Hours of wasted productivity
- Mental fatigue and number blindness
- Opportunity cost derived from the inability to properly optimize campaigns across multiple channels and/or make the best informed data driven decisions possible.
By the time data is pulled, investigated and turned into something useful, the moment of opportunity for redirection of resources to a higher performing channel has passed.
For example, if you see that a specific Facebook campaign was out-performing other channels the first two weeks in the month, but has now tapered off, you missed the opportunity to scale that campaign during the period at which it was producing the highest ROI.
There’s a Better Way, and Our Dashboards can Help
Our executive dashboards are the answer your team has been looking for. From marketing to dev ops, manufacturing process to distribution and inventory optimization, our boards can do it all, bringing in all the necessary and relevant information into easy to decipher centralized locations.
Our multi-channel boards can track all the KPIs important to YOUR business, not some cookie-cutter one-size fits all nonsense.
And best of all, this data is updated throughout the day so you’ll always have an accurate representation of where things are now, where they are headed and the actions that need to be taken to hit your goals…day in, and day out.
Paradigm Shift in Situational Awareness and Ops
Dashboards can change your culture from “reactive” based on outdated and old data, to proactive and agile, reacting in real time to data that is happening NOW, not a week ago.
An Investment that Pays for Itself: Every. Single. Day.
While the scope of dashboard necessities is beyond the reach of this article, and highly personalized to your operations, here is what you’ll need at a minimum moving forward:
- Investment into ongoing dashboard development. Your business and operations evolve, and so will your dashboard.
- Technology Stack and platform for management
- Management and support for dashboard maintenance
In-House Development or Managed Solutions?
When considering an in-house solution or hiring out, here is what you should consider:
- Is your team capable of building, administering and architecting complex dashboards with minimal outside counsel and assistance, especially as it relates to troubleshooting?
- Are you able to: pull data you need, from various sources and combine them efficiently into
searchable databases for analysis?
- Are you able to build derived metrics such as complex calculations, statistical models and the subsequent manipulation of this data to get the information you need? Or are you confined to pre-defined metrics and KPIs?