Data Driven: Dashing Toward Data
You might ask: Why is it important for the marketing department to produce a weekly dashboard and share it with other departments within the company? Which direct marketing metrics are critical for company stakeholders to receive weekly in order to react to campaign results? How does a multichannel company combine print and online results?
The answer is to the point: It’s critical to have all major departments looking at the same set of numbers when evaluating business performance. While the details each department produces may differ, the critical metrics must be identical. If accounting practices used by the individual departments differ for sales, orders, contribution, etc., overall business goals can suffer. A weekly dashboard distributed to all key stakeholders/departments will quickly highlight any discrepancies.
A business may need several dashboards, depending on the marketing channels used. If you have print campaigns, online campaigns and email campaigns, the critical metrics for each can differ significantly. That said, it is important to have grand totals for revenue, orders, gross margin and contribution margin.
The charts (in the mediaplayer to the righ), when combined, form a typical dashboard for a multichannel direct marketing business. To reiterate, it is important to build a dashboard that reflects your industry’s nuances and your company’s overall business goals. Adding critical metrics and removing columns that are not applicable to provide perspective on your business goals should be a priority for any department tasked with producing the weekly dashboard.
It’s assumed that this marketer is running concurrent print, email and PPC marketing campaigns. The plan (forecast) is shown in the charts as a total. It can also be shown for each individual campaign, if necessary. (Note: Various components of what is discussed below may or may not be critical to your particular business. You can substitute in any metrics not mentioned below, and remove metrics that are not applicable.)