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Pipeline Marketing Blog

Creating Unusually Good Marketing Dashboards, A Guide For Marketing Operations

By Andrew Nguyen
Jan 26, 2016

In this post we’ll show you the indicators and metrics to include in your marketing dashboard. We’ll give you a tour of our marketing dashboard and the kinds of a decisions we make based on our leading indicators.

We recently showcased several marketing reports our customers use to guide their marketing decisions. Our marketing dashboards are based on the same reporting data, but the data is visualized to provides answers at a quick glance.

On this tour of the marketing dashboard you’ll see how we organize information and draw conclusions. Both of which are important skills in today’s data driven marketing environments.

Whether you’re a marketing operations professional, director of marketing, or online marketing manager, you’ll find a clear approach to developing and maintaining an actionable dashboard.

The Invisible Set Of Instructions: Why Marketing Dashboards Are So Important

Marketing dashboards are core to developing good workflows.

A workflow is a set of processes needed to accomplish a goal, and the resources and people needed to accomplish it.

While similar organizations accomplish similar goals, how they accomplish them can look very different. As cliché as it sounds, great companies do execute better than their competitors. And this is due to good workflows.

Marketing operations’ development and maintenance of a marketing dashboard is essential to developing good workflows for the marketing team. 

A good workflows are directly linked to success. This is illustrated in settings like hospitals where workflows ensure high quality patient care, even under difficult circumstances such as emergencies or being short staffed.

Marketing dashboards are an invisible set of instructions that ensure, no matter what, marketers can do their jobs well.   

A good marketing dashboard is like an auto pilot program that can also take off and land.


Organize Your Marketing Dashboard(s)

When companies hire marketing operations managers, they do so in order to hold marketing accountable to goals and targets. Different job roles are accountable for different metrics, so different job roles require their own dashboards.

At Bizible we organize dashboards based on job roles. And our customers do so as well.  

If you’re a marketing operations manager creating a dashboard, consider starting at the director level. Create dashboards that can be used on a weekly basis for the purpose of helping their team stay on track to hit their targets.

Make sure you enable the director to create a dashboard for the CMO. Helping a marketing director deliver accurate and actionable information to the CMO is highly valuable.

The dashboards you create for your paid search and content marketing managers will likely be used the most. As such, it requires a different set of indicators. Take a more granular approach, such as reporting keyword level performance or landing page performance.

If you’re just starting out, always remember to organize by job role.

What To Include In The CMO Dashboard

There are a few requirements for hitting quarterly or annual targets. One of those requirements is the ability to adapt to problems. You don’t set a target for the end of the year and assume everything will fall into place. So you create a workflow that can detect problems and help you adapt to the unexpected. One of those tools for creating a good workflow is a dashboard for the CMO.

High level reports like the Open Opportunity Pipeline By Channel Report can detect problem areas that stop you from hitting your goals.

The Open Opportunity Pipeline By Channel report tells you whether you need to generate new pipeline or assist sales in improving bottom-of-funnel (BOFU) conversion rates.

This chart helps CMOs detect problems in the pipeline and provides the ability to respond. 

Here's an example of ours below, you can click the image to enlarge.



For example, a high volume of leads from social are getting stuck at a TOFU stage shows either bad quality leads or a bad nurturing process in place for leads from social. If this is an internal process that needs to be improved, and not a case of low-quality leads, CMOs are letting these leads go to the competition if problems in the pipeline are not detected.

While there are factors at play such as sales cycles and product development that impact the “shape” of the pipeline, this report is an essential part of the CMO dashboard.

W-Shaped Current Quarter Revenue By Channel

Marketing leaders are skeptical when it comes to the accuracy of attribution models. Short of getting inside each of their customer’s minds and understanding the triggers that lead to action, marketers have to rely on building great reports to understand their target audience.

W-shaped attribution reporting should be included in your marketing dashboard because it’s one step closer to understanding your audience.

The Current Quarter Revenue By Channel W-Shaped Report shows your CMO how much the most important marketing touchpoints influenced your prospects’ decisions to click, convert and engage with sales.

This type of information influences budget and spending. So it should be as accurate as possible, avoiding biasing TOFU or BOFU touchpoints.


What To Include In the Paid Search and Content Marketing Dashboard.

Marketing dashboards should be 10X more logical and intuitive than Ikea furniture instructions.


Good dashboards stand on their own. When setting up a dashboard for paid search and content marketing teams the dashboard should be instructions that tell your team:

  • The keywords, blog posts, and campaigns that generated revenue and they should continue focusing on

  • The areas that are underperforming and worth investigating

  • The channels you should focus on to generate high-quality leads

  • How much they need to spend in order to hit their target numbers

Choosing the right indicators and metrics is essential to delivering these instructions in a way that requires little effort from your marketing team. This is the beauty of the a good marketing dashboard, it provides instructions on what to do in a variety of situations.

A bad workflow work, but only in limited situations. Imagine your paid search manager or content marketer starts off the week with a review of last week's performance. They see data missing or they know data is inaccurate, skewed or miscounted. They have no problem investigating low performing campaigns and fixing inaccurate lead and opportunity data. They have no problem conducting an analysis to identify the keywords, segmentations, and blog posts that lead to sales qualified opportunities.

This organic workflow. Marketers can take the time to find optimizations and identify what’s working. But what happens when they don’t have time? When targets become tougher to reach? When you’re trying to grow quickly? When sales needs support?

When pressure mounts, bad workflows make themselves felt. When targets become tougher to meet, marketers no longer have the luxury of time to continue performing at a high level. They need actionable information quickly -- they need a great dashboard.

To set up your team for success, the reports to include in the content marketer’s or media manager’s dashboard include the following:

  • First-touch (FT) leads by social platform

  • Last-click (lead conversion) click by social platform

  • First-touch lead conversion rate by social platform

  • Last-click (lead conversion) conversion rate by social platform

  • FT and LC leads by channel

  • W-Shaped Revenue By Channel, Top 10 Campaigns, and Top 10 Keywords

These reports serve as the “need-to-know” information for marketing managers at the beginning of the week. They help marketers detecting problems quickly and how well they are tracking towards their goals.

Single and multi-touch attribution are the backbone of these reports and help teams formulate a workflow based on accurate, on-demand information.




It’s the vector that connects two points. It’s the direct line-of-sight between marketing activities and business value. Without direct line of sight to business value, marketers can’t be held accountable to targets and goals, let alone enable learning and refinements for future performance.

Marketing dashboards are for organizations who believe marketing’s role is to generate value such as revenue, generate new customers and support the sale teams. To play this role well requires functional and well-designed tools for supporting the best workflow within marketing organizations. Core Competencies of the Marketing Operations Leader  The frameworks every marketing operations leader needs  Download Now

Topics: marketing operations, marketing dashboards

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