What should be on a marketing dashboard?

What should the content be?

It sounds simple doesn’t it. Just get a marketing dashboard and it will be easy to see your business results. But this is just naive. There are some truths that need to be recognised:

  • Bad data coming in will make the output useless, and worse than that mislead people.
  • There are a few reports that are always worthwhile.
  • Beyond this huge value comes from custom reports designed to suit your specific business.
  • The first challenge isn’t really a technical problem. The big problem is deciding what few things your business really cares about. The BIG 5 or 6.
  • Who will use your dashboard is really important


Standard High Value Reports

The source of “leads” is always a very valuable report. And ideal for the marketing dashboard. We would relegate this report if your organisation doesn’t need to know how people learn about it. It normally costs something to get new leads. And doing this at reasonable cost makes it important to track each source. This enables use to calculate the cost per lead.

Linking the lead source to outcomes (goals) as Google Analytics does makes perfect sense.
So that’s it then? Well no.

The brutal truth is that identifying the source of leads is far from easy. Every potential source needs to be identified. Someone needs to “tag” every lead with that source. In the past it might have been manual. Write it down in the book. Now it’s usually digital. But achieving this requires attention to detail. And all the systems you use must play nicely together. And some will – some won’t.

So getting good data into your dashboard requires attention to detail and commitment. A $20/month subscription would leave that all to you. For some that’ll be fine. But for most it won’t. The Peregrine Reporting service assumes you’ll want help – at various stages. Where and how much will affect the cost.

Smart Marketing Reports helps marketing agencies pitch and deliver measurable marketing. We believe:

  • The full marketing potential of reporting isn’t used. This means marketing agencies sell less and lose clients earlier than they could.
  • Raw Marketing Data normally needs cleaning and manipulating before it is fit to be shown to executives. So ongoing support is required.
  • Self service cheap cloud based dashboards are rarely the best solution for ambitious agencies.

There are many reasons why. Discover more about our approach from the articles and thought leadership videos elsewhere on this site. And feel free to get in touch and have a chat.

Dashboard Video About Not Making Assumptions
A Dashboard Video unlike the others
Are Dashboards Just about Look and Feel?
Are Dashboards Just about Look & Feel?

Custom Reports

Custom reports should be driven by the needs of your organisation. So the flexibility to incorporate new types of report is important. Some organisations may happily accept a standard presentation.

Some will argue that standard chart types provide for every eventuality. But just look at the pie chart. Popularised by Lotus 123 and Excel it has become ubiquitous. Stephen Few’s book (“Show me the numbers”) makes it clear how difficult the human eye/brain finds a pie chart. This relates to our ancestry as apes and tree dwellers. So not a modern problem in any sense.

It’s even more important that you can see the results of the organisational processes you care about. There will be a few business critical processes. And these will need to be measured. In some way. Often it takes ingenuity to get the measurements you want into the digital systems you use.

Again the development of this doesn’t fit inside a $20/month subscription. It’s been delegated to you. Did you want that task? Or to find an experienced partner willing to take it on?

The monthly fee for Peregrine reporting includes this kind of support.