Why You Need a CMO Dashboard and What to Put on It

Overseeing a fast-moving, dynamic marketing department is no easy task. Chief marketing officers (CMOs) need to juggle a variety of responsibilities while making sure the department stays on track to meet its quarterly and annual goals.  

This process is infinitely easier with the help of a robust CMO dashboard.  

For this reason, more and more marketing leaders are using CMO dashboards to streamline operations and achieve optimal results. Read on to learn what CMO dashboards are, why they’re important, and what they should include.  

What is a CMO dashboard?

A CMO dashboard is a digital console that provides marketing executives with deep insights into how their department is performing at any given moment.  


Suffice it to say that the days of using Excel spreadsheets and running manual reports are coming to an end. Modern CMO dashboards pull data from different locations like websites, social channels, and databases to provide key performance indicators. These platforms also rely on automation and artificial intelligence to help CMOs make tough decisions with ease. 

Why use a CMO dashboard?

On one hand, switching to a central CMO dashboard may seem like a big change—especially if your company uses traditional manual reporting workflows and procedures. Taking the leap and getting everyone on your team up to speed with a new system can seem like a monumental task.  


However, using a dashboard can yield surprising results. Let’s examine some of the major benefits of a CMO dashboard for your organization.  

Gain visibility into marketing performance 

A CMO dashboard enables marketing leaders to track KPIs across different locations and gain a central view of data as it flows in real time. 


Having access to real-time data from a central location prevents busy CMOs from having to analyze multiple platforms, which saves time and reduces the chances of missing important insights. 

Improve decision-making 

Companies depend on marketing leaders to make tough decisions quickly. But this can be stressful and risky when relying on gut instinct alone. 


CMO dashboards empower marketing leaders by simplifying complex workflows and providing a clear view of what’s taking place across the marketing department. This can provide faster and more effective decision-making with greater accountability.  


To illustrate, a CMO dashboard may indicate that a certain marketing channel like LinkedIn is steadily declining over time. With this information, the CMO could decide to overhaul the channel or eliminate it and reallocate budget into higher-performing initiatives.  

Put data to work

Marketing companies across the board are struggling to turn raw analytics into actionable insights. Often, this is because they cannot visualize and interpret data quickly. After all, most CMOs aren’t data scientists. And as a result, companies often wind up wasting valuable marketing data instead of putting it to use.  


With this in mind, CMO dashboards enable marketing departments to leverage their data and generate a higher ROI from analytics investments. 

What should be on a CMO dashboard?

When it comes to designing and developing a CMO dashboard, there is no right or wrong approach. It largely depends on what you’re trying to track and how deeply you want to immerse your department in analytics.  


In many cases, smaller companies tend to use CMO dashboards to get their marketing strategies off the ground and focus on a few core metrics. As they grow, they refine their strategy and expand their KPIs to fine-tune performance.  


In general, here are the three areas that companies typically focus on in their CMO dashboards.  

1. Brand performance metrics 

Brand performance metrics focus on the overall quality of the brand and how it’s helping the business. For example, a CMO dashboard could track the total monthly searches for brand names and messaging taglines across search engines and social media channels. This type of insight could help the marketing team understand overall brand awareness. 

2. Advertising spend  

Marketing leaders also use these dashboards to track overall advertising spend on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. These metrics usually focus on high-level spend, such as print advertising and social media.  

3. Customer metrics 

In addition to tracking brand and advertising spend, CMO dashboards analyze customer metrics like acquisition cost, customer churn, and total customer lifetime value.  

How to build a CMO dashboard 

Options abound when it comes to building and deploying a CMO dashboard. Here are some basic steps to get yours up and running. 

Determine your objectives

One of the first things you should do is outline the basic reasons why your business needs a CMO dashboard. To do this, take into account the size of your marketing department, your annual budget, and what you are looking to accomplish with analytics.  


Taking the time to do a gut check and outline your goals will help you focus your efforts and create a dashboard that aligns with your specific needs.  

Decide if you want to buy or build

Once you outline the main goals for your CMO dashboard, the next step is to analyze available resources and determine whether it makes sense to build your own platform or outsource to a SaaS vendor instead.  


Most companies today choose to work with third-party providers offering cloud-based CMO tools. This option is typically more affordable, reliable, and efficient than using in-house resources. 

Pick a style 

It’s also important to consider what type of CMO dashboard your business needs, as they tend to vary in terms of the types of charts and visualization tools they offer. Some are very simple, while others tend to be highly complex with many different widgets, actions, and reporting features.  


For this reason, it helps to browse available options and demo different services to see what model you feel comfortable using. That way, when it comes time to purchase a platform or build your own model, you can get exactly what you want. 

Set your KPIs

There are many KPIs you can track using a CMO dashboard, so it’s necessary to narrow down your selection and outline exactly what you want to track. 


As a best practice, it helps to communicate with marketing managers to make sure you aren’t duplicating tracking efforts. Marketing managers and directors typically analyze granular metrics, while CMOs tend to analyze higher-level analytics. 


Some common metrics to consider include daily and monthly active users, conversion rates, new leads, and new customers.  

Monitor and optimize 

Using a CMO dashboard requires ongoing monitoring and analysis. Your needs will undoubtedly change over time, which means it’s necessary to keep an eye on your dashboard and make adjustments as you go along. 

Use Panoply to connect Your marketing data sources

Chances are your raw marketing data comes from several different sources, like back-end databases and third-party applications. Therefore, it’s necessary to connect your data sources to your CMO dashboard in order to generate real-time data flows with minimal delays. 


Panoply connects to any data source, giving you a single source of truth for your marketing data.. We can help you create a CMO dashboard that can sync, store, and access data from one central location. 


To learn what Panoply is all about, request a free demo today


This post was written by Justin Reynolds. Justin is a freelance writer who enjoys telling stories about how technology, science, and creativity can help workers be more productive. In his spare time, he likes seeing or playing live music, hiking, and traveling.

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