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Found Whiteboard Session: Custom Dashboards For Marketers

Erin O’Brien, COO at GinzaMetrics


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Erin: Hey, everyone. I want to welcome you guys to a special edition of what’s normally FOUND Friday but it’s part of the FOUND series that we do here at GinzaMetrics. The reason that we’re doing this special today is because we’re launching something called Custom Dashboards for Marketers. It’s really to address this problem that we see a lot of folks in the industry are having which having these multiple analytics and dashboard platforms for reporting or for gathering information. That means that they’re cobbling together a lot of bits and pieces from around the different analytics providers. Or people are using this one giant platform and sifting through a ton of data that they don’t actually need.


So one of the things that we decided to do at Ginza was to take our platform that integrates a lot of different facets of marketing – things like search, social, competitor intelligence, content marketing, etc. – and allow you to take the parts of it that you want and need and make your own custom dashboards for different roles within your organization or for different various reporting needs so that you only have to use the data that you want to see and pick the views that are actually useful for different parts of your organization.


One of the things that we want to do today, because we’re calling this a whiteboard session, is I’m going to share some notes and things so that hopefully everybody can follow along. After being a marketer for over a decade, we really want people to be able to do two things: aggregate data across multiple facets of the marketing department as opposed to just their one place so that they can understand how campaigns, actions, and efforts really affect overall findability, conversions, and revenue. We also want people to be able to drill down into the specifics so they can get details about what’s working and what’s not. You really need to be able to do both of those things in one place as opposed to one in one place and one in the other.


With that, I’m going to go ahead and share a little bit about what we’re going to cover today and how hopefully we’re going to be able to help address some of these problems. We are going to get started.


Things we’re going to talk about are the problems associated with using lots of platforms, overcoming common measurement in analytics issues, and custom dashboards – what are they and how they really help solve problems.


Throughout the broadcast today, if you have questions you can actually tweet using #FOUNDFriday and we will take those questions and answer them. Or you can e-mail and she’ll share your questions with me and I will get them answered.


What are the problems of using lots of platforms?


I’ve made a list of four main things and I’m going to cover each of those as we go through them. 1. You can’t really be sure everyone is measuring things the same way.

  1. You have to rely on others to report their data accurately and on time.
  2. It usually costs more.
  3. It causes data deluge.


The next thing is you can’t really be sure everybody is measuring things the same way. What do I mean? Some examples. Date range settings, different segmentation of data, use of filters, and how data is collected.


Let’s actually talk through what each one of these things really means. When we’re talking about date range settings, one of the most common things I see go wrong in people comparing data and getting different numbers is really the little things that end up making a big difference.


For instance, if you ask someone to give you a report for last week, they might give you a different report on Facebook engagement and somebody else to give a report for last week on Google AdWords CTR, are you sure that they’re both starting at the same time? Does one person’s week begin on Sunday while the other person’s begin on Monday? Does Sunday start at midnight GMT or midnight their local time? Does it actually start at noon? Is everybody really measuring starting at the same point?


When we’re talking about this especially at economies of scale, this really does start to matter. Losing a few hours can really mean inaccurate conversion metrics, total counts for things, and staggered over the course of time can make a pretty big difference. That’s one example.


The second example is segmentation of data differently. Another issue when we’re trying to collect data from multiple platforms and then derive answers that affect lots of people is that segmentation may not be the same for everyone. For example, the parameters of a marketing campaign and its targeting in an advertising buy on AdWords may be different than the advertising buy on Facebook ads. And it may be different still for SEO monitoring or for content marketing issues. So clearly defining your topics and keywords, your content, your audience, and all these other factors across all marketing areas is really important for accurately collecting and reporting on your progress.


The next thing is use of filters. I’ll show you some dashboard filters that we have and some common ways that because… What happens is every platform has their own filters or doesn’t have filters, and if these filters have been applied before data extraction and are different than filters applied or not applied across other platforms, you may not be comparing apples to apples anymore. For example, trying to use Google Analytics, Marketo, Salesforce, and Sprout Social may mean that you’re likely getting some overlapping data but everybody’s reports may look a little bit different. Filtering options like landing pages, campaign groupings, and other options may change the totals in one dashboard but then can’t be applied to another. So you’ve really got to consider that. This is one of the problems of using a ton of different platforms. There are all these different ways that everybody is looking at stuff.


The last is the way in which the data is collected. Your platforms may be relying on other platforms for information. Consider how many tools might be feeding into a single source. And the quality of all that data – does the platform actually require code being placed on pages of your site, different integrations and things like that? How do you know that they’re installed correctly? These are all things that make working through having tons of platforms even more complicated.


The next thing that we touched on briefly was you have to rely on other folks to really present their data correctly and to make sure that they’re reporting on time. Why is that our problem? The first is that people are rarely completely transparent. Not all teams and roles have the same objectives. Team members change and people are just slow sometimes. Let’s talk a little bit about what that means. People are rarely completely transparent when reporting, which often means showcasing numbers or their KPIs and current wins is their top concern as opposed to releasing all data and metrics around the performance of various marketing pieces which is often what would give you real insight into what was working and not working.


Next is that people often don’t have the same objectives, which means some people are trying to measure things like general awareness. Other people are trying to track sales to close. Everybody has a different thing that they’re attempting to get to the end of and that can often mean that data is reported in different ways or in different segments along an entire marketing timeline.


Also, changes in team members – this means that there are continuity issues in terms of data. So if someone leaves and they’re running a platform, the data for that platform may drop off for a little while or someone else may not want to report the same way using the same platform. That can be an issue.


Someone people are just slow. You know what I’m talking about. You’ll ask somebody 100 times to get you some information and you are completely reliant on them to get it to you. This is a problem with using multiple different platforms. If everybody was using the same platform, you can just get in there and go grab the information yourself.


Let’s move along to another issue with everybody using different platforms which is it probably costs more. Why is that a problem? I don’t think this really requires a ton of explanation. But briefly, each tool has a cost. Each tool needs to have people onboarded, hooked up, have people trained, etc. Each tool exports data differently, which means someone has to spend time dealing with all of these different formats. Then if the person knows how to use that tool leaves, like we mentioned, all the data in the system is useless until somebody new gets trained because it’s kind of trapped in there.


Now, let’s talk a little bit about data deluge and what that actually means. Now you’ve got data coming at you from all kinds of different directions. That means lots of information and probably little insight. What you’re looking for is actionable next steps from your data and you need a high-level view to understand what’s happening across marketing and the effect that individual marketing actions have on the total conversions and revenue. You also need to be able to dive down into the data and see things at a granular level to truly understand content, search, social, marketing performance metrics. You need to be able to do those things when you want to and you shouldn’t be forced into views you don’t need. The problem with data deluge is if everybody is reporting all these different metrics across all of these different platforms, you’re spending so much time wading through it that you’re not actually taking this information and really making something of it, which is a huge problem.


Let’s talk a little bit about: what are custom dashboards, why do we think this is going to help marketers, and how do they work?


A custom dashboard should be a flexible solution to the problems we just reviewed where you can ensure that everybody is using the same data set to report from. It should allow access for various teams to get their needed data without forcing them to sift through things that they don’t need so you should be able to parse out different areas and look at them. You should also be able to report on functions for the entire marketing operation, get a true top level down picture of how things are really performing. You should also be able to see some interdependencies of things like marketing elements, campaigns, and channels so you should be able to see what some people are doing and how that’s affecting the entire organization’s findability and traction.


There’s a ton of different elements that go into creating a marketing dashboard. For GinzaMetrics, we include stuff like search and SEO data, content, social media, recommendations, and actionable insights, conversion and revenue options; annotations so you can make notes in there and then select who you want to give the notes to in different dashboards; filters that include things like date ranges, search engines, devices like iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Android tablet; keyword and content groups which really help you define campaigns, product groups, feature groups and things like that to make things a little bit more sense.


That goes back to that idea of: are we all measuring things the same way? If you set up your keyword, content groups, etc. to be around the segments that you want whether it’s products, features, geographies, etc., you’ll actually really be able to see everybody is looking at those groups the same way. They should also be able to choose things like location, languages, and analytics platform integrations. We’ve also got stuff like APIs, CRM integrations, CMS integrations, BI platform and things like that.


Now I’m going to go over a little bit about how to set up your dashboard and why this is so awesome.


Custom dashboards from one platform – here hopefully to help you spend more time doing what actually brings you conversion, revenue, and leads rather than digging through data and creating your reports. From there, what is a custom dashboard solution? We just talked a little bit about some of the stuff but really what you want to be able to do is make sure that if you’re choosing a custom dashboard solution, it does these things for you. How does it work?


First you need to know what problems you’re trying to solve. There are a lot of different things that marketers are trying to tackle by using a dashboard or by using a reporting platform. These are some common things we hear about, which is competitor intelligence and monitoring, content marketing insights (organic and SEO), social media engagements, and marketing channel or campaign performance. You can do all those things using our dashboard, but these are some examples of things you might want to try.


Next thing you need to do is get all the marketing channels that are driving traffic into one place. Because you’ve got tons of things that are actually driving traffic to your content at any given time, one of the things that’s really useful is to make sure that all those things are actually in the same place. We’ll actually measure things that are driving traffic across all of your marketing efforts.


Once that’s in there, you can choose the data you want to see. You can select your own modules or use some templates we’ve created as a guide. What you’ll want to do there is say, “Maybe what we really want is high-level metrics around content marketing,” you can actually pick and choose the modules, charts, and tables that you want to have and just only view that. Once you’ve got that, you can arrange it however you want it. You can drag, you can drop, you can rearrange, and you can also select filters to say, “I only want to view this campaign, keyword group and content group for this module. And I only want to view this date range for this selected thing.” It’s all super simple. We’ll go over that in a few minutes.


Next, you can make it your own. You can white label the whole thing, add your own logos. Or for agencies, you can add your clients’ logos, which is really awesome.


You can share it with others. You can take your dashboard URL and share this URL with other folks. What they’re going to get is a dashboard where they can actually still click in, get more granular data. They can get overviews. They can even still use the filters up at the top and they can take those filters and arrange, adjust, and see data how they want but only for the modules that you’ve selected.


Next is you can create more dashboards for any team or function. So you can do things like an SEO dashboard, a digital strategy dashboard, a social media dashboard, a competitor insights dashboard. These can all be made up of elements and then they’ll all be in one account like a master account that then utilizes the same data to ensure that everyone who’s looking at all these different dashboards is still using one single data source to get their information.


Some examples of what we released today to everyone – and we’re really excited about this for you guys – are here. Let’s say that I just really want an overview. I can look at things like marketing channel performance, visits across, direct e-mail, organic search, paid search, referrals, and social media. I can look at things like goal completions. I can look at a recommendation summary. I can look at all these different drag-and-drop modules and I can customize each of these to my liking.


This is where the backend where you can actually drag and drop and grab things. This is an example of you’ve got all these different chart modules and you can click in and pick all these different granularities and date range. It’s just really cool. Things like once you’re in your actual dashboard, you can see that you get multiple dashboard options. So you can do custom dashboard, test that dashboard, etc.


You can also pick all of these different filters once you’re in there. You’ve got date range filters. You’ve got reporting filters. You’ve got competitor filters. So you can actually monitor your competitors. Then select competitor monitoring levels, as well.


This is an example of what are some of the interactive charts looks like. This would be social engagement and then on hover and on click, you actually get even deeper dives into each function of your data. All of these charts will remain interactive even in your custom dashboards. They can also be exported as PDF reports and they can also be e-mailed to various team members with e-mail scheduling or on-demand report generation and e-mail sends.


We’re really excited to have released this for you guys. I know that there are a couple of questions that we have coming in from folks.


The first question we have is around how long it takes to set up a dashboard. It’s really simple to set up a dashboard. One of the first things you’ll need to do is when you add your site into GinzaMetrics – for existing users, you can go ahead and start setting up dashboards immediately. For folks who may be new to the platform, it takes usually about 10 or 15 minutes to add a website in. There’s no code to be applied to your site or any client site. All you have to do is add in your site and hook up your analytics platform, add in some keywords and stuff that you want to track, and then it will start running.


Now, this usually takes a day or two to go ahead and get set up. But while you’re waiting for that, we usually suggest you read through and learn a little bit more about the features of the dashboard so that you can pick and choose the dashboard modules you want once you get going. From there, you can dive in and create your own dashboard. Creating your own dashboard can take anywhere from five minutes to however long it takes you to really get the version of it that you want.


One of the things that we also add to make this more simple is once you create a dashboard view that you like, especially if you’re on the agency end, you can actually take that dashboard report and copy it to all of your sites. Let’s say you want that same view across multiple different sites for social media engagement or for content marketing insights. You can take that and just apply it to all of your sites with a click of a single button so that you don’t have to spend time creating the same report over and over again.


We also provide some templates. Let’s say these are five common modules for an SEO report or five common modules for a content marketing report. Hopefully, that makes things really simple for your end. That’s a question that we get asked.


The next question we get asked is: “How many dashboards can you have?” For these kinds of dashboards that you can have that you can actually drag and drop and create your own, there’s an unlimited number of these that you can create. Of course, to some level having 500 different dashboard views may not be practical for most marketing teams. But you can create them based on campaigns so you can create campaign-level dashboards for your site and you can also create product-level dashboards or feature-level dashboards. Being able to have unlimited dashboards is really nice.


You can also have unlimited users. That’s usually really helpful. You get to have as many people invited to these dashboards as you want and that’s across all GinzaMetrics plans. At any time, you can invite anyone you want to take a look at these different dashboards.


The last question that I have here right now is: “Is there an extra cost to be able to white label things?” The answer to that is no. You can actually change out white labeling and logos at any time for both your entire dashboard or for custom dashboards. Custom dashboards can have different logos than your full account-level dashboard. You don’t even need to contact us to do that. All you simply have to do is upload a logo that you want and give it a title and it will remove any mention of GinzaMetrics and it will become just yours.


That’s a little bit about the release that we did today. If you want more information on what’s going on with custom dashboards and the release, there are lots of materials available on the website including a blog post in and tons of interesting stuff when you go to Features and look at competitor insights and some of the other things that we offer. You can also feel free to e-mail me at any time. I’m or shoot us an e-mail to support. I’m happy to show you guys around the platform and answer any questions.


With that, we are done with today’s announcement. Thanks so much for joining today’s special edition of FOUND Friday/Wednesday. We’ll catch you guys at regularly scheduled programming next week.

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