Having a customer marketing analytics dashboard can help businesses put hard data behind theories. But with so many metrics, where do you begin?

You’ve heard about the power of data to reveal all our company’s secrets and to guide our decision making. Particularly when it comes to evaluating your marketing efforts, it’s clear that we need hard information—rather than gut instinct—to guide our decisions. But the fact is that most business owners don’t have the time, inclination or technical know-how to create algorithms that will collect raw data, slice and dice it, and deliver useful customer marketing analytics. I’ve seen even the savviest of entrepreneurs get intimidated by data analytics.

So what can you do?

Making Customer Marketing Analytics Work for You

First of all, customer marketing analytics doesn’t have to be scary.

Approaching the topic as an opportunity rather than a chore can put you in the right mindset. Because of the Internet of Things (IoT), we’re connected to the internet in countless ways every single day.

What does that mean?

Every customer touchpoint can be an opportunity to capture valuable data. Actual data can help reduce the need for conjecture when it comes to information. It may also reduce the need for sampling. You can pull together real information just as a normal part of running your business.

A great way to monitor your marketing efforts is with a dashboard. Just like the dashboard in your car, your customer marketing analytics dashboard puts all your vital information right in front of you, telling you at a glance what’s working and what isn’t.

Your customer marketing analytics dashboard can help make data understandable, relevant and useful.

An effective dashboard can aggregate information from a number of sources. This way you don’t have to…

… look at your site’s analytics provider to get information about conversions,

… trek over to Facebook to see how many new comments you have

… or try to reckon how many new customers have signed up for your e-newsletter and what they do when they open it.

It’s not that your customer marketing analytics dashboard will do your marketing for you. But what it can do is pull all your information together into a simple interface that lets you assess your chosen key performance indicators (KPIs). You can then evaluate the effectiveness of all the different ways in which you reach out to customers.

Diving Into Your Customer Marketing Analytics Options

Now you could spend the next several months trying to cobble together some sort of method for pulling together data from all the ways in which you interact with potential clients.

But here’s the best news of all: You don’t have to. There are outstanding services that will do the heavy analytics lifting for you.

Wading through all the options can be daunting, but the frontrunners offer versatile and powerful tools that can help you make the most of your marketing dollars and efforts.

Some of the most robust marketing analytics services are Cyfe, KISSmetrics, SEMRush and HubSpot. Each of these platforms will guide you through pulling together all of your marketing information from your website, your mailing list, your social media and any other ways in which customers might interact with your company online.

There are a few critical metrics that all of these marketing analytics services will serve up on your dashboard. Understanding them can help you start to get a sense of the enormously useful tools you have at your disposal.

While it’s amazing and just plain fun to discover just how detailed your customer marketing analytics can be, there are certain metrics that really matter:

  • Revenue: This one’s simple. How much money does your marketing generate?
  • ROI: How much do you make for what you spend?
  • Conversions: How many visitors to your website actually make a purchase?
  • Average spend: What is the average sale per customer?

There are other metrics that may be useful. You may find opportunities to customize your customer marketing analytics dashboard to reflect what matters to your specific business.

But the most important aspect of building your customer marketing analytics dashboard is how you use it. It’s not just about pretty colors and neat little widgets. It’s about how you leverage the data that’s in front of you.

And to be honest, the possibilities are vast. Your dashboard can tell you at a glance if something’s wrong—maybe your Google rank plummets, letting you know you need to revamp your website’s SEO.

Perhaps you trace your customers’ journeys and discover that many of them bail when they get to the checkout stage, prompting you to take a look at your shipping charges.

Or maybe you wonder if playing around with your website font might be productive, and your dashboard lets you run A/B tests and assess the results … more easily than ever before.

Customer behavior is a curious thing, and the benefit of customer marketing analytics is the degree to which you can begin to steer your marketing based on data rather than instinct.

Your dashboard can give you the tools you need to help decide if you’re heading in the right direction. You can know when to make adjustments when you have data that’s not just a string of numbers, divorced from any tangible benefit. Your customer marketing analytics dashboard can help make data understandable, relevant and useful.

Photo: Getty Images

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Mike Michalowicz

Author, Profit First

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