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Marketing Dashboard: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 15 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Marketing dashboards offer marketing administrators the ability to quickly review visual data in order to make decisions. This lesson includes a brief definition of marketing dashboards as well as best practices and examples for displays.

See the Information

When you are driving, what information do you need? Where do you get that information?

Yes, you get all your most important information from the dashboard, the wonderful panel in front of the driver that gives visual information on all important statistics needed to drive. Take a moment to imagine driving without your dashboard.

A marketing dashboard is a screen of visual tools used to allow a company to easily monitor important information related to driving the company.

This lesson will review marketing dashboard best practices and examples of the best visual tools for the type of information to be monitored.

Marketing Dashboards

If a marketing dashboard is to serve any benefit to a company, the first step is to determine what critical success factors (CSFs) to display on the dashboard. CSFs are the most important factors that impact a company. For example, for an eCommerce organization, technological referrals may be the most important CSF.

A dashboard can be configured to track and compare multiple factors, such as the number of referrals through social media, word of mouth, and general search engine. The dashboard could at once allow the marketing team to assess each medium's performance and make decisions for the future.

A dashboard offers quick, visual information with which decision-makers can make marketing decisions for a company.

Look at the following two examples of dashboards:


Example Dashboards
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Which is easier to read? Even without information, it is clear to see that the one on the right would work best. The first is too busy, trying to give too much information at once. The second is precise and concise, allowing easy access to the information. The successful use of a dashboard depends on a great design.

Dashboard Design Best Practices

So, how should a great dashboard be designed? The following are a few best practices in the building of a marketing dashboard:

One Screen

Make sure that all visual trackers can be seen on a single screen. The dashboard is a quick glance tool, so all the information must be available at a glance.

Only the Best

Only show the most important CSFs on your dashboard. Can you imagine if a car's dashboard constantly displayed every bit of information about a car (like the tire pressure, air flow through the engine, and oil levels)? Too much information on the dashboard would be confusing and end up camouflaging the really important information.

Usability

Design for usability so that any employee can glean knowledge from the dashboard without special training. Marketing dashboards should be intuitive for all employees to view and understand.

Automatic

Ensure that dashboards offer the most up-to-date information, with automated information updates. Time is money; don't make people wait for information to update.

Types of Information Displays

The type of information monitored determines the type of visual display to be used. Below are some examples of information monitoring visuals:

Graphs

Graphs are a way to visually depict snapshots of information.

  • Line graphs are typically used to show progression over time of a single item, although multiple lines, representing one concept each, can be displayed on the same graph. Use these when displaying information such as changing annual sales or changes in the number of customers.
  • Bar graphs offer great visual comparisons of multiple items. You might display the number of new clients referred through email versus your website versus word-of-mouth. Bar graphs don't show relative proportions to the whole.
  • Funnel graphs look like a funnel and are a type of bar graph that displays proportion comparisons between line items. For example, in the following funnel chart, the marketing department can easily tell that the majority of their new customers are being referred through social media. Thus, the company will likely divert more energy to social media advertising.


New Referral Origin
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  • Pie charts are exactly as they sound: they show what piece of the pie each item has taken. The pie could represent the annual advertising budget or the total number of customers. Each color-coded piece of the pie represents a category associated with the whole. In this way, it is easy to compare categories to each other.

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