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With CMOs in the US using data more than two-fifths of the time in decision making, it’s no wonder that more than half (55%) of marketing influencers say that one of their main objectives for a marketing data dashboard strategy is to improve how marketing makes decisions, per a new report [download page] from Ascend2 and its Research Partners.

That being said, fewer than 3 in 10 (28%) of those surveyed say they have completed and are using a dashboard, with a higher percentage (41%) reporting that their dashboard implementation is in progress. Another 17% said they have a dashboard planned for next year.

So for those in the planning or early implementation stages of a marketing data dashboard, what questions should you be asking in order to design an effective dashboard that will help achieve various objectives?

Some 54% of respondents said one of the most important questions to ask is ‘what are the right metrics?’ In the B2B space, ROI is becoming a primary metric for measuring marketing performance. This is also reflected in Ascend2’s data, with more than half (56%) of respondents citing it as one of the most important KPIs for a data dashboard to track. Other metrics that respondents believe to be important include cost-per-conversion, campaign performance and social engagement.

Another key question for around half (51%) of respondents pertains to how the data will be used. This consideration helps prioritize which data to include on the dashboard, and will make it easier to eliminate data that serves no purpose. How data is prioritized is also a question 44% of respondents feel is important to consider.

Other important questions respondents believe should be considered include what data is being visualized (45%) and who is seeing the data (38%). Fewer are as interested in figuring out if the data compelling and engaging (27%) and if colors will aid analysis (11%).

While improving marketing decision-making was one of the primary objectives for using a data dashboard, it is also considered a critical challenge to the success of a marketing data dashboard strategy for more than one-third (35%) of respondents.

However, more respondents pointed to other challenges faced with a dashboard strategy: attributing revenue to marketing efforts (49%); improving marketing efficiency (42%); increasing the ease and speed of marketing data (40%); and improving the usefulness of marketing data (39%).

Read more by downloading the report here.

About the Data: Report data was based on a survey of 307 marketing influencers, 48% of whom are from companies with 50 or more employees. B2C (39%) and B2B (44%) companies are almost equally represented with remainder targeting B2B and B2C equally.

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