Building a B2B marketing dashboard

One of the things that many marketers grapple with is knowing which few key business metrics to report on to the management team. This was a hot topic in a recent BrightTalk round table discussion that I was honoured to be part of.

In truth, we could have spent the whole hour discussing this one point, but the discussion focused on all types of marketing intelligence and the application of insights on marketing activity. It was a great session and you can watch the full discussion on marketing intelligence here.

But, back to marketing metrics and reporting.

Your board or management team need to know if what you’re doing is working. They don’t need to know your ‘activity’ levels or how it’s performed, instead they need to know what’s been delivered. To do this, you need to look at these key areas in your B2B marketing dashboard:

1. Understand the past

First, it’s essential to understand the past and how much you need to do in order to generate the result you need. The data is there, and getting to grips with it is important. For example, you’ll be able to determine exactly how much website traffic you need to generate a quality lead or sale.

Likewise, how much email nurturing you’ll need to do before conversion. Determine the main quantities required, the conversion rates, the time to convert and average deal size/opportunity – ideally by lead source, geographic region or product.

Knowing this detail gives you a baseline to know if you’re off-target and will gain you a level of confidence with the senior management team from the outset.

2. Understand your targets

Use past performance to predict expected results and business targets. If you need 200 sales leads in the year, how many conversions does marketing need to generate and from which sources in order to achieve that? And, what is the conversion rate on those leads? Map out the macro-metrics by year and then by month, so you’ve got clear month-by-month targets for performance and activity levels.

3. Define the key KPIs in the marketing dashboard

Identify the KPIs that are important to the senior management team. With the leaders of the business knowing that you understand what you need to achieve, they will have confidence in you. It also allows you to know if you’re off target, so that you can adjust quickly.

For the senior management, add context based upon the business strategy. If they are interested in selling a new product, break down targets by product. If they are interested in growth in new industries, present data by core industries and new target industries.

Typical KPIs should be performance based rather than activity based. You will need to understand which channels are performing, but the business leaders may not. Where possible try to report as far up the sales cycle as possible – i.e. how you are delivering to the sales target.

4. Present the KPIs against the target performance

Present your performance around the KPIs you’ve set and agreed with the senior management team. This allows the business to understand if you are on target, where any deficiencies lie and if their strategy is on target too.

The information should be presented by month and by year-to-date. Be clear by showing the number of new leads/opportunities generated this month as well as total leads, opportunities and sales.

If the targets are off, be ready to give insights as to why and the solutions you have ready to counteract the performance.

For a complete overview of marketing metrics, download the Directors Guide to Marketing Metrics [instant download] and if you’d like to find out more about marketing dashboards, then tweet me @Modern_Stuart.

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