InetSoft Webinar: Marketing Executive Dashboards

This is the transcript of a webinar hosted by InetSoft on the topic of "The Value of Marketing Executive Dashboards"

Great, thank you, and it's great to be here with today to talk about executive dashboards and how to measure marketing's performance and impact. One of the great things that I get to do as Chief Marketing Officer at Tableau is do a lot of marketing, which is fun, and look at a lot of data. So, it's really a pleasure to talk to you about marketing dashboards and why should we have marketing dashboards.

Basically it really comes down to organization's needing to understand how they are progressing on their business goals, and so a good marketing executive dashboard will demonstrate that progress, or lack thereof, sometimes, and it will do it in a way that's factual, not necessarily based on opinion. Without data and without dashboards sometimes you get a lot of opinions floating around the office or your organization, and I'm sure many of you marketers would nod your heads in agreement.

So, what is it that makes a good marketing dashboard? Well, there are a lot of qualities to a good dashboard. A few that I've highlighted here that I think are really important include things like it's being understandable. That's probably the most important thing, and it has to be understandable in a way that executives will respond to it.

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They'll be able to look at it, and grasp it quickly. Your marketing executives, your CEO, your colleagues, what have you, they are in a hurry. They want the facts. They just want to know what's going on right now. What are the trends? What are the patterns? I don't want to read a long report. I just want to see what's happening, and an effective dashboard is quickly understandable.

A dashboard also needs to be interactive, and that might not seem intuitive, but in fact, why it needs to be interactive is because a good dashboard will show what's happening, but it can't necessarily explain what's happening. However, it should have the capability to answer new questions.

For example, say sales are up in the West. Your boss, your CEO, whomever, is going to ask well, why is it up in the West? Now, a dashboard that doesn't allow you to drill into some details or filter down to the answers on that question, or find new ways of answering that question, is not really useful. It's not much more than a chart frankly, but being able to be interactive with your dashboard is really important.

Also, a dashboard has to be shareable, almost by definition. The users are you, your colleagues, and your executives. They need to be able to find it and be able to use it anywhere at any time, and that means not just at their desktop, not just on their laptops, but on their tablets, their iPads, their phones, what have you. They want to be able to access and look at the data even when they're mobile and out in the field or, God forbid, in the car.

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Most importantly, I guess, is that a powerful dashboard can lead you and your organization to respond more quickly and modify what you're doing. So by having a dashboard that is tracking your most important campaigns, or your brand awareness, or your lead generation and you're looking at it, you can see it on a regular basis, on a daily basis, hourly if needed, weekly, whatever.

And you can see when things are going a little off the rails or not meeting your expectations, and you can act on that. A lot of reporting often comes too late to make a difference. It's after the fact. It just is information. That's how we did last quarter, ok. A dashboard though can help you see how we're doing now, and it might lead you to make new decisions that can change things while they're happening.

Next: Advice for Creating Marketing Dashboards