The Fundamental KPIs in an Optimized Marketing Dashboard (Powered by Klipfolio)

The Who, Why and How

An optimized marketing dashboard is a tool that can save a lot of hassle for the inbound marketer.  Lack of real-time insights into certain fundamental KPIs (key performance indicators) can be a recipe for disaster for the marketing team, regardless of its size.  Furthermore, dashboards can supply the fundamental insights that a team requires for making more knowledgeable strategic business decisions.

Knowing how to effectively implement and track an inbound strategy requires exceptional content and real-time analytics.  An optimized dashboard can play a colossal role in providing the transparency necessary to make flexible strategy pivots.  This is why it is crucial to utilize an intuitive data visualization platform that can collect data from key sources including analytics service, CRM, COS, social media, etc.  Klipfolio does just this, allowing the marketer to pull data from a variety of key marketing technologies with easy to use dashboard functionality.

Marketers also need to know how to utilize the right visualization for each data source.  With a wide variety of options at your fingertips including gauges, graphs, sparklines, and tables, it is worthwhile to check in on some best practices in order to maintain a consistent and aesthetically pleasing dashboard.  For references regarding design strategies, take a look at Business dashboard design: Choosing the right visualization for your dashboard.

Although marketing KPIs vary by industry, there are a select few that should be leveraged by every marketer in order to optimize the capability of real-time analysis.  The following is a breakdown of the KPIs that should be a cornerstone in every marketing organization.


ROI is unanimously considered to be the quintessential metric in assessing the health and viability of marketing campaigns.  It is imperative to have clearly defined goals to serve as reference points for assessing the viability of the campaign.  Marketers will also benefit from analyzing the results overtime as improvement and goal completions should be a constant endeavor.

Another way to think about ROI is to consider three questions.  Who knows about you? Who’s talking about you? Who’s buying from you?  Learn how to dissect these questions and turn them into valuable metrics with, How to Track the ROI of Your Content Marketing Campaign.

Marketing Funnel

The marketing funnel can be considered one of the most significant metrics to track for inbound marketers.  This represents the quantities of all prospects throughout the marketing cycle. Starting at the top of the funnel, the visitor count gives insight into how many users your site has been able to collect from all sources. As an inbound strategist, the primary concern is to transform your site into a magnet that can collect qualified and intrigued visitors through an omni-channel approach.

The acquisition of these visitors sparks the next tier in the funnel, leads.  These are the visitors that have shown a quantifiable level of interest specified by the marketer and often include form completions or certain types of engagement.  This allows the marketing team to assess the maturity, or “completeness” of a lead and filter them into the applicable lead pile in order to optimize their continued nurture process.

The next two levels of the funnel are marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads and require a strong degree of collaboration and certain level of fluidity between the marketing and sales team.  These two components of the filtration process need to be clearly understood and specified by both parties in order minimize ambiguity.  A fundamental lack of communication here can result in either a surplus of unqualified leads, or forfeited chances to create viable opportunities, which is the next tier in the funnel.

Opportunities are prospects that have been contacted and are segmented into the final tier prior to achieving “closed-won”.  This is where your company gets to connect with the prospect and identify the unique pain points, your product will seek to alleviate.  Finally, there are the select few that have filtered through your optimized funnel and are ready to accept the role of delighted customers and promoters.

Traffic Sources

Another top marketing metric to be vigilant of is traffic sources. Marketing attribution is the ability to pinpoint where sales originated and which channels are resulting in higher percentages of leads, MQL’s, and customers. Setting goals and A/B testing, allows marketers to more effectively allocate resources to the top-performing channels and reassess the viability of the weaker ones.  This type of transparency can play a large role in cleaning up the content distribution and can also give insight into the cost per lead.

To create an even more precise real-time experience, more successful channels should be broken down into cost and value tables in order to further dissect the source.  This allows for a holistic visualization of the source, which gleans insight into the cost of the channel, number of leads collected, and revenue generated.

Keyword Research

Keyword-1-300x187Finding the best keywords to get your content found on search engines will increase the visitor count and more importantly, visitor quality.  This leads to higher conversion rates, as a higher percentage of prospects that find the page are becoming leads.  One best practice to achieve this is the use of long-tail keywords.  This entails scoping out specific searches rather than broad keywords.  For example, the keyword “engagement” is too broad to have a real chance in competing for the coveted top 2-3 results in Google search rankings, and most likely will not generate a high percentage of valuable visitors.  However using, the keyword “post-click engagement” adds a degree of specificity that can allow an inbound marketer to receive more relevant data.

The keyword research can be a table or a bar graph containing impressions, clicks, CTR and CPC to asses which keywords are seeking the attention they deserve, and which require modifications.


Social Media

Every digital marketer is aware of the significance of leveraging social media, and like most aspects of the digital marketing world, improvements can be made through tracking.  This opens a huge window of opportunity to connect and communicate with your consumer while assessing how receptive audiences are to different content across platforms.  Metrics to track here can include likes, retweets, referral traffic, conversions, social interactions, and so on.