Holistic Dashboard Reporting

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Do you know the current health of your Marketing Database?

  • Are customers being over communicated or not communicated to at all?
  • Is the number of orders/quotes/bookings increasing or decreasing?
  • Is the split of preferred contact channel static or swinging towards a given channel?

All of these questions are consistently considered by marketers with communication strategies developed and reviewed to improve and deliver an optimum return on marketing spend.

A classic Marketing Dashboard is often cited to provide an understanding of how marketing initiatives are meeting business objectives, providing an understanding of current performance versus target performance and performance in previous company specific timeframes. This provides a key tool to inform the management team of current results and the impact of key marketing initiatives, enabling strategic decisions to be made on future initiatives.

On a more tactical level it is important to look at the marketing database as a whole to understand key metrics and highlight areas of change, providing an on-going pulse check of your marketing database. This blog will focus on the tactical level through the delivery of a Holistic Dashboard to enable key elements of your marketing database to be reviewed, with key variations highlighted to provide actionable insight on a regular basis.

What is a Dashboard Report?

A dashboard report should provide an easy to read summary of KPIs relevant to a given set of objectives or goals. To achieve this, the following ground rules will ensure any dashboard meets the basic presentation rules:

  • Macro not Micro – The information presented should be provided at a summary level of the whole, with the information grouped.
  • Readability – Keep it short, ideally one page. This will provide an easy to read report, which is not a chore to look at and can be easily presented on the company intranet for wider distribution.
  • Monitoring – A dashboard should cover current versus past, to show change and not just the current position which without context is hard to interpret.
  • Graphics – Although an overused phrase ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ is true in this instance and provides an easy to view presentation of data, with trends easier to observe (which raw numbers can sometimes miss).
  • Indicators – The use of predefined colour indicators (e.g. Red, Orange and Green) to indicate key differences can draw the eye to key areas of change/impact.

What to include in a Holistic Dashboard?

The key for a holistic dashboard is to remember that this provides a tactical view of the database and is not looking to provide the strategic view of performance. To this end it should provide metrics on key generic elements of a Marketing Database, which if healthy should be consistent with no anomalies. Depending on your type of business the specific timeframe to use for comparative analysis will vary with some companies using a typical annual timeframe (e.g. Insurance) and some a more frequent timeframe, such as 90 days (e.g. Online gaming). Three possible key areas that maybe required in a Holistic Dashboard report are Customer Profile, Communications and Transactions. These three areas are reviewed below examples metrics provided for each based on an annual timeframe:

  • Customer Profile
    • Number of Customers by Customer Type. For example,

Rolling 12 Month Analysis

Customer Type TMTY

%

TMLY

%

LMTY

%

New Customers

200,000

17%

180,000

16%

195,000

15%

Retained Customers

360,000

31%

300,000

27%

355,000

27%

Returned Customers

70,000

6%

60,000

5%

65,000

5%

Total Active Customers

630,000

54%

540,000

48%

615,000

47%

Lapsing Customers

140,000

12%

100,000

9%

150,000

12%

Lapsed Customers

300,000

26%

250,000

22%

280,000

22%

Enquirers

100,000

9%

240,000

21%

250,000

19%

Total Customers

1,170,000

100%

1,130,000

100%

1,295,000

100%

Note:
– TY = This Year, LY = Last Year, TM = This Month, LM = Last Month
– New Customers = First transaction in the last 12 months.
– Retained Customers = Customer with a transaction in the last 12 months and in the previous 12 months.
– Returned Customers = Existing customers who after a gap of over 12 months in completing a transaction have made a new transaction.
– Lapsing Customers = Customers who have not made a transaction in the last 12 months, but have in the preceding 12 months.
– Lapsed Customers = Customers who have not made a transaction in the last 24 months.
– Enquirer = Customers who have never made a transaction.

This promptly brings to one’s attention that a significant change has happened in the number of enquirers, based on the percentage of total customers. There has also been a jump in the number of active customers, which may need to be reviewed.

Some other examples of customer profile metrics for consideration in a Holistic Dashboard are:

    • Number of customers by channel available to communicate to, based on permission, validity of channel and suppressions, providing a breakdown of the numbers this year and last year.
    • Number of active customers by demographic split, for example by Gender, by Age Group, etc, providing a breakdown of the numbers this year and last year. The particular demographics to include will depend on your business and the perceived sensitivity to the given demographic.
  • Communications
    • Number of Individuals receiving communications (Grouped by 0, 1-5, 6-10, etc). For example,

Yearly Analysis

Monthly Analysis

Communications # TY LY %Change TMTY TMLY LMTY

0

5,000

100

4900%

500

10

600

1 – 5

5,000

4,000

25%

450

400

475

6 – 10

25,000

22,000

14%

2,000

2,000

2,000

11 – 15

20,000

18,000

11%

1,750

1,500

1,700

15 – 20

1,000

5,000

-80%

100

400

125

20+

200

100

100%

20

20

15

Note: TY = This Year, LY = Last Year, TM = This Month, LM = Last Month

 This has highlighted 3 rows where a significant change has happened in the yearly analysis, based on the percentage, with the 20+ row being a low volume of individuals and the change may be explained by the merging of customer records. Two interesting areas are the changes to 15-20 communications and 0 communications, which have dramatically changed and may point to lost opportunities. (Note: Without the comparison to LY the fact 5,000 individuals have not been communicated with could be assumed to be the result of permissions and standard suppressions)

This dashboard item could be expanded to show a graph of communication volumes in the last 24 months, which would provide an easy to view representation of communication volumes and provide details of when the drop of happened in communications.

 Another example of a communication metric maybe:

    • Number of Individuals by channel receiving communications (Grouped by 0, 1-5, 6-10, etc) within last 12 months, previous 12 months.
  • Transactions – Examples of transactional metrics to include in a Holistic Dashboard are:
    • Number of orders/quotes/etc. by product type within last 12 months and previous 12 months.
    • Value of transactions by product type within last 12 months and previous 12 months.
    • Number of orders/quotes/etc. by purchase channel within last 12 months and previous 12 months.
    • Value of transactions by purchase channel within last 12 months and previous 12 months.

In summary the Holistic Dashboard should provide an easy to read, graphical presentation of the marketing database health, enabling tactical decisions to be made on identified anomalies. If you have any further questions or would like support / guidance in implementing your solution, please contact me through the BlacklerRoberts Ltd “Contact Us” page and I will be happy to discuss your needs. Alternatively please follow @BlacklerRoberts on twitter for further insights.

Posted in Database Marketing Tagged with: , ,
One comment on “Holistic Dashboard Reporting
  1. Daniel says:

    Carl here, found this article blacklerroberts.com and want to share it with you guys. It is indeed a great internet marketing article. [database marketing]

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