Jeremy Martin | November 27, 2018

Why Your Marketing Dashboard Needs Unified Data

Marketing dashboards are a critical asset for growth. By tracking key metrics on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, they help marketers use data to improve everything from lead generation to campaign performance.

Yet to make data-driven decisions, marketers must first configure their analytics to feed off a wide variety of data sources.

Such an integration is no easy feat. According to a 2017 survey, access to data is the top barrier for marketing initiatives.

Why?

Because the sheer monstrosity of data today — in volume, variety, and velocity — creates an excess of information and scarcity of insights. 

Thwarted, marketers settle for legacy solutions. In lieu of business intelligence tools, they use Excel or their CRMs to analyze campaign performance, funnel velocity, and content traffic trends.

Still, such an approach favors siloed data, which only offers a piece of the whole customers puzzle. It's no wonder why less than one-fourth say they’re satisfied with their ability to leverage customer data to create more relevant experiences. Legacy solutions don’t permit marketers to visualize a 360-degree view of customers. Nor do they give marketers visually stunning, data-rich dashboards populated with unified data from SaaS applications like Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, NetSuite, and others.

How, then, can marketers quickly and easily populate their dashboards with unified customer data? 

The answer: an automated cloud data warehouse. One that eliminates data prep and having to consult with IT. One that doesn’t require being an expert in database architecture and automates the Extract Transform Load (ETL) process. With such a solution, marketers could instantly create a data pipeline that scales for their department and company.

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A tool like Fusion is one such solution. With Fusion, marketers can connect data sources easily through a simple web interface. Fusion integrates the data sources, taking into account that every application has its own unique schema, and creates a MySQL database of structured data in standardized formats. 

Fusion also lets you configure this data model. After Fusion has reconciled each data source’s data model to create a universal schema, you can modify the schema by mapping custom fields. Whether you choose to do so or not, Fusion ensures your data is accurate and up-to-date, so you won’t see row upon row of into missing values or conflicts.

Once your warehouse is built, you can simply connect Fusion to a business intelligence tool like Tableau, Looker, or Power BI. Simply plug in your warehouse credentials and you’re ready to build a marketing dashboard that combines data from multiple sources in one view.

Unified data empowers marketers. With customer data in one place, you can query related objects (contacts, opportunities, accounts, etc.) or analyze raw data. Whichever you prefer, it's possible to then segment insights by individual metrics (i.e. site traffic, geography, advertising channel, cost per click), without having to manage API integrations.

At a high level, a marketing dashboard that integrates data sources is a powerful thing. You can blend lead data from, say, your marketing automation system with closed-won opportunity data from your CRM. With these data sources unified, your marketing dashboard can then display the conversion rate from lead to opportunity.

With a cloud data warehouse of unified customer data, you can take this concept a step further by incorporating customer acquisition costs (CAC), which you may compare to a customer’s average lifetime value (LTV). In your dashboard, you can also include metrics from you customer service systems or CRMs such as churn and retention rates. Again, customer data are no longer isolated, locked away in their own systems. For instance, you can combine this support data with data from your ERP (e.g. items per order, price per item) to analyze the cost per customer. You may even compare how much revenue was attributed to paid search investments or which online channels are generating the highest quality leads. What results is an expanded view of the customer, one that opens up vistas or advanced cases like forecast tracking for alerting you of unexpected aberrations in sales, inventory, or changes in future demand. 

As we mentioned in our post “Building Your Dream Dashboard”, you needn’t render all your customer data visually. Whatever charts, graphs, heat maps, scatter plots, and timelines you use, just make sure to depict KPIs for a certain audience. Start small. Focus on collecting and analyzing data for customer interactions. Consolidate media data like digital advertising, marketing and digital campaign conversion data so it's easy to read. Then, when you’re ready, bring in your lead-to-sales conversion pipeline data and website traffic into one view and share your findings with other departments. In general, your marketing dashboard should track metrics across channels like lead generation, website, email, advertising, and social media. Built properly, a marketing dashboard should also give you an in-depth view of the conversion funnel to help inform marketing decision and campaign spend at a glance.

Want to automate your data pipeline and build your marketing dashboard without consultants, data engineers, or IT? Give Fusion a try for free.

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