Companies of all sizes continue to become more and more results-oriented and data-driven. For start-ups and small business, it is critical to the viability of the organization to ensure every dollar spent is driving revenue generation. Even in larger enterprises, departments traditionally identified as cost-centers or accepted as “cost of doing business” are increasingly asked to demonstrate their contribution to corporate revenue. This movement is causing marketing teams to align with sales goals and revenue targets.
What is a results-oriented, data-driven marketing team?
Gone are the days of stopping at measuring mail sent, email opens, click-throughs, views, likes, and shares. It is no longer sufficient to report on the number of leads reached or created. The results that matter are how those marketing activities contribute to actual sales revenue.
With each new technology and each new marketing channel, there are more opportunities to collect data. Marketing teams are collecting data on a wide variety of interactions and engagements with marketing materials and messages. We become data-driven when we use these insights for decisions about marketing programs that positively affect our goals.
The Challenge of Real-Time On-Demand Reporting
In our fast-paced environments, we have come to expect real-time, on-demand information. Whether in our personal or professional lives cell phones keep us connected at all times. In addition, DVR and streaming apps allow us to watch content on our own time and cloud-based applications give us anytime anywhere information access. Executive and leadership teams want the same access to performance reports.
Marketing teams also need to optimize and pivot marketing activities to ensure goals will be met. This requires the ability to continually monitor how marketing efforts track towards goals throughout the program, and not just at the end.
Dashboards to the Rescue!
How do you meet these demands and expectations while doing the work of running marketing programs? Dashboards.
There are many options for providing anytime anywhere access to dashboards that can be updated in real-time. Many marketing platforms offer their own cloud-based access to dashboards, in addition to specialized reporting and dashboard solutions that are able to collect data from several different sources.
So, dashboards are nothing new.
With all the data available to us and all the expectations, constructing meaningful and actionable dashboards is both the challenge and the secret to success. A dashboard needs to be meaningful for the executive and leadership audience, so they are able to access the information important to them when they want it. Dashboards also need to provide actionable information to support decision making to optimize performance.
This article was contributed by Janet Ballonoff who is the Senior Manager of Online and Digital Marketing at Bloomberg Tax where she is responsible for digital and online marketing programs for Bloomberg Tax technology division for tax and accounting planning software solutions.