Written by Shannon McNamara

We’ve all heard it before, “Marketing is not working.”  At BSE, this pains us to hear as we put time & effort into all our campaigns to bring in those opportunities and usually on our side, we’re seeing great results.  However, those results don’t matter if the client is feeling a gap in their job board or revenue is down. When this occurs, our process at Brand Story Experts is to dig deeper to uncover a clearer picture on what was and is not working, but we started thinking about presenting those key points into something more adjustable and comparable for every one of our clients. We started to look at what the keys are for our marketing campaigns and what we want to track,

The 3 KEYS to understanding any marketing campaign is looking at:

  •  What Marketing Opportunities are coming in.
  •  What the CSRs are doing with those opportunities.
  •  How the techs & plumbers are handling and selling on those opportunities.

From here, we built our own KPIs dashboard where on a monthly basis we look at these 3 KEY areas to see just how efficient are marketing efforts from start to finish , making it clear, digestible, and ready at any point for all our clients ….

What is a KPI Dashboard? You might be thinking, what is a KPI Dashboard and why might I need one.  A dashboard is the hub of your key metrics that not only you, the marketer, can use to clarify and funnel your data, but also your client! This is a unique way to look at data differently to help paint a picture of all our marketing efforts working together without looking at raw numbers. This helps the client also digest those numbers instead of a laundry list of data points that may or may not even be relevant to help show those wins and losses of marketing! 

For BSE, we currently have three dashboards to show all marketing campaign efforts through the funnel over our clients that we previously discussed (Marketing efforts coming in, CSRs working these opportunities, and final sale of techs and plumbers selling those booked opportunities). We do this to help get a better understanding of year-over-year analysis and a better picture for the client, allowing us to remove the manual process of complex data reports. 

Key Benefits of Having a KPI Dashboard: Now that we know what a KPI Dashboard is and what it does, you might be asking yourself, “But why should I create one?” There many benefits of creating your own KPI dashboard and it will vary based on end goal and client type.  

Consolidated Data! Having a dashboard starts with consolidating your data into one master report/sheet. This is crucial in order to have a working dashboard BUT it’s also very beneficial as you have data ready and available that is always organized. This also allows you to have a historical data point or YoY analysis ready and available, eliminating all manual pulling processes of comparisons and seasonality during the planning season. This is a huge help if a client says they are feeling “light” to help you look over the prior year or month to see if it has something to do with things like seasonality.  With the data being organized and consolidated to key KPIs, you’re able to really digest and see ebbs and flows YoY. 

Customizable:  A KPI Dashboard is totally and completely customizable to you and your brand! You can choose your own data path, themes, and key graphs that you want to present as a marketer as we all know that all markets vary. It can fit based on your needs, based on your data points that you look at, or it can even be based on specific clients if there are certain things that one client might vary to another one that you might want to call out. This allows you to have your own custom KPI dashboard that breaks you out from the crowd and eliminates the typical template dashboards you might see in certain paid programs. 

Visually Appealing: We all know that lots of data can be very overwhelming when you have years of it and it can be a lot to digest even as a marketer, so imagine what the client might think as well! With having a dashboard, it allows you to present the data in an appealing way that is different from just stating a number. The dashboard allows you to present in different ways, formats of trendlines, key metric points, and percentage differentiation allowing you to show where marketing is working!

I want a KPI Dashboard, where do I start? Now after hearing all the benefits and what a KPI Dashboard is, you might be wondering “okay where do I start?” Creating a KPI dashboard will take hard work and time, but the key is that this will help you in the long run. To start, you want to really think about the data that you may want to present into a graph. Think about those key points that you present in a presentation or meeting to your audience. Once you have those key metrics, it’s time to start consolidating and constructing your main master sheet.

The Master Sheet is where all the data from past years and the current year will start housing all our main numbers for monthly reporting. This sheet is crucial for the Dashboard Graphs to work as they are formatted and consolidated to pick up the ranges to transfer over correctly. You can use google sheets or excel as this is how you can create a KPI Dashboard. A Pro BSE Tip is to think about possible formulas of where you can pick up possible datas that might live in any workbooks, like vlookup or importrange that will help you consolidate your data from multiple sheets into one. Once you have all your data fields and consolidated metrics into one sheet, you can now start BUILDING YOUR DASHBOARD. 

You will want to start building your own separate sheet(s) of where your master sheet lives. Really think about how the data should be presented. 

  • Am I comparing something YoY? Try a bar graph.
  • Am I showing a trend? Try a line graph.
  • Am I trying to call out one key metric? Try a scorecard graph. 

The way you can present your data is unlimited, but the key takeaway is to think about how it is digestible and does it make sense as a marketer and will it make sense to the client. The final step is choosing your look and feel of colors and fonts, BSE pro tip is to keep the color ranges consistent and easy to read. 

Takeaways: Creating a dashboard is the next step in the right direction for you and your client. As your data grows, so does your dashboard, making it easier and invigorating to present all the marketing efforts to the client showing that Marketing DOES work and how impactful those opportunities are! Don’t be afraid to start building yours today!