Marketing Agency Reporting

Are Marketing Dashboards Just About Look And Feel?

Is look and feel the determinant of a great Dashboard?

Well the first dashboards had a very different look and feel (picture of carriage).

They were the wooden or leather boards on the front of the carriage that stopped the mud and stones hitting the driver..

And as the meaning of the word changed car designers worked to achieve a classic look and communicate information effectively

And of course the modern marketing dashboard is nothing if it doesn’t communicate information effectively.

Now look and feel is obviously an important contributor to that… but I’d argue that for any marketing agency your experts
are your greatest differentiator.. The source of the agency’s creativity… the major reason the client picked your agency..

Now your experts gain power from their expertise, and clients want the human connection – not least to answer questions.

So shouldn’t the marketing dashboard for your clients also share the personality and expertise of your people?

How does an Excel spreadsheet do that?

Or a web page full of pretty pie charts?

Of course an obvious answer might be – that’s why we have a monthly meeting…

But how often have you found corporate demands made it impossible for all the people interested in the report to attend.

Deprived of personality your dashboard can become another dry report circulated to the busy executive, so your visibility reduces.

So what kind of content would best share your people’s expertise and get clients excited?

Shouldn’t the meaning and information content of dashboard be changing once again! At least in part to help agencies build better relationships with their clients?

A Dashboard Video Unlike The Others!

Welcome to a video about online Dashboards that isn’t like the others..

For a start – there’s no visuals of the dashboard…which’ll probably seem odd…

But showing you a screen of what your dashboard could look like would be sensible
only if we’d decided our dashboard should limit your choice to our ideas…

And we think that’s daft.

And we could have shown you pictures of charted trend lines & pie charts…

but we figure that wouldn’t is innovative or worthy of your time…

The different approach we’ve taken is more like the way wordpress and web “themes”.
So it’s not light or dark – but any look and feel you want..

Anything that can be shown on the web (audio, video) and yes even text!! if it makes sense.

No fancy drag and drop editor to stifle creativity.

No pretence of self service, forcing you to find staff capable of being training and accepting yet more workload.

Instead powerful, flexible automated cleansing and customisation of data unlimited by spreadsheet like functionality.

So why not grab some paper, doodle some ideas and arrange a chat about possibilities…
opening up the prospect of really innovative dashboards for you and your clients…

Is your Dashboard Mute?

Are your marketing reports mute like grainy silent mime?

Quick extract of Marcel Marceau..

You see charts / spreadsheets aren’t anywhere near as good as Marcel Marceau was at conveying meaning through mime.

Any accompanying commentary won’t be in a repeatable form. Chances are it’s verbal via phone conference, meetings, Q&A. And you know how easily messages get lost as these get sidetracked.

I’m not advocating writing it all out longhand. For many purposes tables and charts are much better. They make it much easier to communicate. But where do you put the soundtrack (the expansive explanations that are really needed)?

Many important corporate stakeholders won’t get to the meeting or hear you. All they have is the report without the sound track..
Worse – people who heard the sound track and thought they understood – will try and explain, putting their spin onto it.. Your clarity, pearls of wisdom get lost… misrepresented even..

And what happens when your contacts are off sick or leave? Evidence of your insights, understanding & hard work are lost to your client.

It’s broken. Ridiculous. It shouldn’t be like this. Not in this day and age?

Are You Failing to Get Clear Reports From Google Analytics?

Does the business executive in you sometimes long for the sense of freedom you had on the beach as a kid?

Where you could build the sandcastles you wanted.

Straightforward, or more elaborate, exploring options as you wished..

Pursuing your ambition…your vision

But few people working to make a business great, needing to use Analytics, will feel they’ve got much of that long lost summer freedom…

You see many people will suggest..

– Your data and reports are a result of the technology you’re using? [picture of high security prison fences]
– Proposing change is risky – particularly if the board could identify you as the culprit? [warning signs..]
– It’s safer to stick with what’s working (supposedly) than disrupt it all in the hope you get easy to understand reporting.

But what if talking to the right people could make all these imagined barriers disappear?

Setting everyone free to develop and realise their vision of what the reports and the business could grow into?

Using simulations to produce real Google Analytics reports..

Using this reality to excite people about opportunities. Stopping Google Analytics being part of the prison wall keeping your business hemmed in.

Google Analytics upside down

Do your clients’ find Google Analytics reports difficult to understand?

Is it just people haven’t been taught to read it, not found the right teacher yet??

Let me suggest the difficulty isn’t about teaching (really…) Not about the lack of understanding… At least not in the way you’re probably thinking it is..

To explain… Most people approach analytics the way they’d approach a safe with a key…

They think… Let me test the key. If the key doesn’t fit they go look for a different key. The unspoken assumption is the contents of the safe are valuable…

But Google Analytics (the “safe”) doesn’t magically have gold in it… it reflects what it was told – or more accurately it reflects what it wasn’t told.. the gaps…

You see the underlying problem isn’t that your clients don’t understand their Analytics – it’s that their Analytics doesn’t understand their business.

So the real task isn’t to find the right teacher…. it’s to find someone who can translate their business for Analytics…

Then it’s far easier… they’ve already got the key…  ‘cos they understand their business…

Map Your Organisation Into Analytics

How could we make it much easier for the client’s people to read their Marketing Analytics?

Well.. an excellent strategy is to map the organisation onto the Analytics…

This may sound odd… but stick with me for a bit…

Corporates have an organisation chart.. people in layers – each with particular responsibilities.

So for example John’s the marketing manager for Northern Europe. whilst Claire looks after Southern Europe and other managers look after Middle East and Africa
all of these managers are responsible to the Marketing VP EMEA
and the regional VPs are responsible to VP Global Marketing..

So I’m suggesting the smart approach is to make the Analytics answer questions relevant to a particular level..

So with reporting designed for marketing manager level…answer
How many downloads, signups, occurred in Northern Europe for product A.
how many for product B in Southern Europe and so forth

And then moving up to views for the Regional VPs – We’d be answering…how many conversions were there for a group of similar products happened in EMEA?
how many in APAC ? etc,,

Now, none of us are naive. This doesn’t “just happen”… It takes some serious organisation/ planning. particularly from the mess we can be looking at..

And our experience is creating a working simulation in Google Analytics is really helpful. Making it so people can picture the end result before committing to changing the live GA reports. It can make it much easier to get the political buy in…