SEO PPC dashboard on screen of iMac sitting on desk

Designing Marketing Dashboards That Improve Decision-Making

The purpose of a marketing dashboard is to help you make better decisions. Unfortunately, most businesses fail to create a dashboard worth using.

Most dashboards are confusing, crowded, and don't convey key marketing insights. Leadership makes it worse, at least till the technical team arrives. Then marketing dashboards become useless.

Why Most Marketing Dashboards Fail and What to Do About It

No one job role ruins reporting and marketing dashboards. It takes marketers, technical staff, accounting, and webmasters to make a dashboard work.

While there are many reasons for failure, here are a few specific reasons marketing dashboards fail:

  1. Most managers and marketers don't know what they want to see. They don't ask the right questions.
  2. The tools get in the way, especially when they are easy to use. Design must come before the tool.
  3. Everyone wants real-time statistics and pretty diagrams because it feels like something.
  4. Moving numbers is more interesting than doing actual work improving marketing campaigns.

In a world where most cannot make a reasonable slide presentation. Why would you think they could produce a functional dashboard?

To stop making these mistakes with your marketing dashboard, use this design approach:

Designing a #Marketing Dashboards Worth Using (YouTube, 22:41)

Start by Getting the Most Out of Your Marketing Platforms When Possible

Before designing a custom marketing dashboard, try to get the most from existing platforms. Leverage your content management and web analytics tools to get familiar with what is available.

Each box in the WordPress Dashboard is a widget. Move them around as it suits you. Yet it still provides basic impressions, page quality, and order status.

WordPress Dashboard With Web and Commerce Analytics

Most dashboard tools aren't helpful as provided. The secret to a robust dashboard is context. These widgets are useless without context.

That's okay because the typical WordPress user doesn't know any difference. To get specifics, you drill down to get specifics. A well-designed marketing dashboard helps with the specifics.

A generic report helps you do a sanity check in WordPress against Google Analytics reports. If your local site says there is a conversion, but Google Analytics does not, then integration is broken.

To create better marketing dashboards, start with the decisions you want to make. Utility value is the most important thing. Focus on customer behavior rather than counters and graphs.

Next, understand one dashboard will not serve all. The marketing department needs social media, search, and website analytics dashboards. Each dashboard must serve a specific audience.

Publishers with more than 500 unique visitors daily will benefit from a discovery call. You have unique needs. Your marketing automation and web analytics must be clean; otherwise, reporting may look right but be inaccurate.

author avatar
Justin Hitt
A business analyst who specializing in sales generating marketing copy. Author, copywriter, and publisher of newsletters that help clients transform business relationships into profits guaranteed. More than 20 years of experience with technical writing, sales copy, and lead generation. Reach him by Fax at +1 (276) 254-8747