We are all past the fact that marketing data analytics and reporting are absolutely vital to monitor the performance of your activities. But does it have to a REAL pain every time someone asks for a report? Of course not.
Measuring the results of your marketing efforts should be easy, agile and to the point. Your main challenge is that your campaign stats and website data are all sitting in different software. Not to mention that you would like to add specific calculations to get to the indicators that will truly reflect the quality of your marketing work!
Step 1: Data connections!
Once you are clear on what you would like to measure, and you have determined which indicators (KPIs) are relevant to your performance tracking, the first step is to connect the corresponding data. The dashboard platform ClicData offers native connectors to the most relevant marketing data sources such as:
- Your Social media data: your brand community management, sponsored content and dedicated ad’s performance can be easily imported via the following connectors: Linkedin – Twitter – Facebook – Facebook ads – Youtube.
- Your paid search information: online advertising tracking is critical to give you a chance to adjust campaign details and optimize your performance in time. All that information can also be imported to create the necessary indicators via the Adwords connector.
- Your website analytics: The key data around your website performance is visible on Google Analytics but you can’t always shape it the way you want in order to measure what you need. All the information can be imported via the Google Analytics connector and the more advanced Google Analytics queries.
- Your e-commerce website’s performance: sometimes you need to relate your online campaigns to the sales impact on your e-commerce website. For that you would need to import all the data related to the site via our e-commerce connectors such as WooCommerce or Magento but also directly through the APIs for example with Prestashop or Shopify depending on the platform you are using.
- Your marketing performance information could also be sitting in your CRM or marketing automation system. The information is important to observe how the prospects and customers are behaving towards your campaigns, for example, your newsletters. The relevant information can be imported via connectors such as Salesforce, SugarCRM or Hubspot.
- If you want to know if your marketing efforts are going according to plan, you may need to use the data from your budget, often sitting in Excel files. Excel files can be easily dragged and dropped directly into the dashboarding platform.
- You can also integrate the relevant data via Zapier which will give you access to another 1000 marketing software such as Marketo, ActiveCampaign, Visio6, Easyme etc… You can then automate data workflows in ClicData.
Do you want to stop struggling to navigate between all your business applications to make sense of your latest marketing data? Open the only tab you need: ClicData and automate the data update.
Step 2: Data refresh and alerts
Ok, all the data you need to measure your marketing effectiveness is in, ready to be “consumed”. Now you need to ensure that the data you work within your dashboards and reports is the freshest, most recent information. For each marketing channel, you get to decide what should be the ideal, most relevant update frequency as slow as once a month all the way to real-time. You also get to decide how ClicData is going to go get the newest information. 5 methodologies are indeed available to refresh your data tables from reloading the whole set of data to only adding new lines of data. While keeping your budget numbers up to date probably only requires a monthly update, a lot of other marketing info only makes sense if updated in real-time. Here are a couple of many examples:
- Your community is usually particularly entertained during events, should it be your participation in a congress or to a hot topic webinar or even the launch of your latest product. During such time usually before, during and right after the event, you are going to post a lot of live content and you are going to want to measure your audience engagement on various social media channels during that time. #of likes, #of followers, #retweets for each content, etc. Indicators on this type of performance will only make sense if they are updated in Realtime, meaning every time there is a new retweet of your latest tweet, the gauge moves.
Data refresh is not the only area where automation makes a big difference. Alerting is the next best thing that needs to go in real-time. Here are a few marketing-specific situations where knowing exactly what works and what doesn’t, right away, is a great opportunity not to say a requirement:
- Marketing campaigns: as the Campaign Manager, you are responsible for generating traffic volumes with a number of campaigns and within a given budget. Success in doing that requires constant watch and optimization to make sure you’ll get the most traffic out of your different campaigns and segments. Setting alerts on certain key points can make that job a lot easier: whenever your budget or engagement/impressions goals are reached, boom, you get alerted!
- e-Commerce site performance: as the Marketing Director, you are accountable for leads and customers journeys on your e-commerce website but also you need to communicate some of the statistics with other departments: getting alerted on the most clicked product references will help the procurement team negotiate the right assortments at the best price!
Step 3: Visualize and Collaborate
Quick quick quick, that’s usually part of the marketing modo. The sales team depends on your activities, generating new business is your main task and thereby everything is for yesterday. The same applies to performance tracking of the marketing effort. If there is a chance to optimize a campaign or adjust the website, one needs to know asap, not weeks later. So not only marketing dashboards need to be up to date but they absolutely need to be easy to read. Alerts will get stakeholders to the dashboards but it’s no use if they are not visual and easy to read. Here are a few widgets that have shown to be very useful to “make the marketing data speak”:
- line charts: this type of graphic can be quite useful to track growth and detect trends for example to compare the different traffic acquisition channels.
- indicators: this is a great visual way of showing scores and whether they are improving or not. It can easily be applied to social media performance showing the evolution of # followers, viewers or subscribers on each channel.
- maps: they can help you understand in which region your marketing activities have the greatest impact. This can be used to ensure that your marketing results are aligned with your sales resources geo repartition.
Visual, interactive, dynamic but also… personalized! Each marketing player will have a chance to only see the widgets and data relevant to their activities. Indeed, passing parameters will filter the data to the products, country, marketing territory that is relevant to the marketing user looking at the given dashboard. If you have a marketing professional on the agency side, ClicData allows you also customization of the color palette for a branded dashboard upon your customers’ tastes. Once you are happy with your data viz, clearly you are not going to keep it for yourself. As an agency, you can use it to keep your customers informed of their campaigns’ progress and success. Thanks to the ClicData white label features, you can even make it yours and propose the dashboards as one of your added services. As a Marketing Manager, your interest is to share the dashboard with the right stakeholders to involve them in the impact of their work and embark on your company for a better understanding of the marketing activities and their positive effects. That’s a great way to ensure a proper budget the following year! Once again, ClicData can help you. A number of features will help you collaborate efficiently around the indicators and trigger the right discussions, for example:
- live links allow you to share the indicators in their most dynamic version so that your teammates have a chance to interact, filter, zoom…play with the dashboard.
- comments on dashboards with corresponding notifications will encourage analysis and discussion to improve the action plans.
And we kept the best part for the end, you can try ClicData with your team by signing up for a 14-day free trial! You get access to all connectors and features during the whole trial period. Our Business Analysts are also at your disposal for a free hour of screen sharing to help you get the most out of ClicData’s capabilities. You’ve got all the cards in your hand to better drive your marketing activities. Your move.