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6 examples of executive dashboards that wow the “C” suite 0

Posted on October 16, 2017 by Rob Petersen

executive dashboards

Executive dashboards can be powerful business tools.

They are visual representations that summarize complex information in an easily digestible way. Effective executive dashboards present a clear picture and tell a story that makes a compelling case for action,

The person or team that creates an effective executive dashboard are seen as strong analysts and great manager of a business.

If being perceived in this light is important to you, here are 6 examples of executive dashboards that wow the “C” suite and why.

#1. KPIs:

executive dashboards - kpis

The most important consideration of executive dashboards is they show the right measurements, the metrics that matter to the “C” suite. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a company is in achieving its key business objectives. In most cases, KPIs for an executive dashboard begin by showing fiscal performance – sales, profits or revenue. Then, they might feature key customer metrics (e.g. visits, leads, cost per acquisition (CPA), conversion rate, customer lifetime value (CLV));and then factors effecting these measures (e.g number of customer complaints, performance by region, marketing).

#2. CLEAR ORGANIZATION executive dashboards - clear organization

Executive Dashboards are particularly effective when all key information is placed on one page. The organization of the charts, information and key takeaways has to clearly lead people Most people read left to right and top to bottom. So, consider the best chart to present specific measurement and how you organize them. The chart above clearly shows at a glance sales by product, sales progress, global sales and ratios of over and under achievers.

#3. CHART TYPES

executive dashboard - chart types

 

Software and data visualization tools have gotten pretty sophisticated for executive dashboard. Charts types found most often on executive dashboards are:

  • Line Charts – A Line Chart is an effective graph formed from a series of data points connected by the eponymous line. They are often used to show developments over time and identify trends.
  • Bar Charts – Perhaps the most common misconception about charts and dashboards is that more is better. Bar Charts are a simple and effective way to look at different values and segments (like sales by region) and provide clear and compelling analyses and comparisons.
  • Pie Charts – These charts are often the subject of controversy. Data visualization guru Edward Tufte writes, “pie charts are bad and that the only thing worse than one pie chart is lots of them.” No matter how you feel about pie charts, the only time you should use them is when you need a graph representing proportions of a whole, when the total of your numbers is 100%.
  • Tables – Tables are great for detailed information with different units of measure, which may be difficult to represent easily in a graph or chart.
  • Gauges – This type of graphic typically displays one or more values using indicators and appropriate metrics. They are often used in dashboards to highlight a specific KPI that needs attention.
  • Area Charts – Area charts are awesome for multiple data series with part to whole relationships, or for individual series representing a physically countable set.
  • Maps – Maps are effective for regional differences or a highlighting a key metro area or city

#4. DRILL DOWNS

executive dashboards - drill downs

Executive dashboards for the “C” suite are meant to show a high level view. But you never know how deep into a particular area some one might one to go. Charts on executive dashboards show either the ability to be created so additional information can be added to the high level view to get deeper into a particular areas or time.

#5. TEXT BOXES

executive dashboards - text boxes

Don’t expect everyone will walk away from a chart with the same conclusion as you. The chart above from Avinash Khausik, Digital Evangelist at Google, shows how text boxes should be used. Don’t be afraid to use text boxes to make your point, provide insights and give actions. People appreciate when the path and the plan are presented for them.

#6. INDICATED ACTION

A strong presentation of key data is going to impress the “C” Suite. What is going to delight them is if the actions to be taken are also included and their impact is projected. The is the primary purpose to the dashboard. The dashboard above, also from Avinash Kaushik, states actions and, because the data has been analyzed, quantifies business impact.

Do these examples show why executive dashboard can be such powerful tools? Does your organization need to get started with one?

Top 10 marketing KPIs every business needs to know 0

Posted on September 25, 2017 by Rob Petersen

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are measurable values that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs to evaluate their success at reaching targets.  KPIs are the actionable scorecard that keeps business strategy on track.

Here’s a brief, video explanation on KPIs from Erica Olsen at On Strategy.

According to Peter Drucker, marketing and innovation are the two chief functions of any business. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business. The aim of marketing is to know the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.

What are the right KPIs to evaluate marketing effectiveness. Here are 10 marketing KPIs every business needs to know.

1. REVENUE OR PROFITS: In most cases, KPIs are designed to follow the money. If your a sales driven company, booked revenue is the monetary metric that determines the business’ vitality and health. Profit is perhaps the most important monetary metric. Profit is revenue after all the expenses related to the manufacture, production and selling of products. Profits go to owners, shareholder or are reinvested in the company.  Marketing KPIs have to ladder up to either  revenue or profits to show their impact on the business and its ability to grow.

Marketing KPIs - Profits

2. CUSTOMER VALUE:Understanding customer value is by far the most important thing you can do to identify ways to grow your business. If you understand the value of your customers you can: 1) Determine which customers to invest in, 2) Identify new customers and markets to target, 3) Agree which product and service lines should be offered and 3) Change pricing and promote to extract more value. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the metric that defines customer value. It can be an intimidating calculation to some. It has a defined formula and is a marketing KPI that is definitely worth knowing.

Marketing KPIs - customer lifetime value

3. COST PER ACQUISITION (CPA): With the knowledge of the value of a customer, the next marketing KPIs is how much does it cost to acquire a customer. Cost Per Acquisition or Cost Per Action is a primary metric for any marketing initiative. It is the cost for a visitor, prospect or lead to take a desired action or conversion. It is one of the key drivers in determining the impact of marketing.

Marketing KPIs - CPA

4. NEW AND RETURNING VISITORS:  If you’ve never compared the data for your new and returning website visitors, I suggest taking a stab at it. Reviewing the statistics about the different types of visitors to your site can help you answer questions like: 1) Are my visitors engaged? 2) Do my visitors keep coming back to me (my website) for more information? The primary place where new vs. returning visitors can be found is the Google Analytics of your website. Knowing the numbers and the ratio give you the primary information you need to know about growth possibilities for your business and where they are most likely to come from.

Marketing KPIs - New vs Returning Visitors

5. TRAFFIC SOURCES:  In Web analytics, including Google Analytics, traffic sources is a report that provides an overview of the different kinds of sources that send traffic to your web site. They include:

6. MARKETING QUALIFIED LEADS (MQL); A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a prospect already in your lead-tracking system, who has expressed interest in buying your product and passes a set of lead qualifications in order to progress further down the funnel. Marketing qualified lead definitions are typically used by B2B companies to identify a stage in the buyer’s journey. For example, in order to become a marketing qualified lead a prospective customer may have to have a certain number of employees in their company, be in a certain vertical or industry, or have a certain revenue.

Marketing KPIs - Marketing Qualified Leads

7. CONVERSION RATE: The conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action. The archetypical example of conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors who buy something on the site. Conversion rate optimization is important because it allows you to lower your customer acquisition costs by getting more value from the visitors and users you already have. By optimizing your conversion rate you can increase revenue per visitor, acquire more customers, and grow your business.

Marketing KPIs - Conversion Rate

8. RESPONSE TIME: The length of time it takes for a person in the system to react to a given stimulus or event. In any service business, response time plays a significant role in retaining customers.

Marketing KPIs - Response Time

9. AVERAGE ORDER VALUE: Average Order Value (AOV) is an ecommerce metric that measures the average total of every order placed with a merchant over a defined period of time. AOV is one of the most important metrics for online stores to be aware of, driving key business decisions such as advertising spend, store layout, and product pricing. Even though average order value is primarily used in ecommerce, it is a KPI worth knowing for any business.

Marketing KPIs - Average Order Value

RETURN ON MARKETING INVESTMENT (ROMI): Marketing ROI is one of the terms most commonly used to describe marketing success, sometimes referred to as the holy grail of marketing KPIs. The definition of the ROI calculation must be consistent with the financial definition to maintain credibility with finance. The formula in its simplest form is below.

Does your business measure these Marketing KPIs? Does your business need help figuring them out?

 

Why 11 Facebook Business case studies showed great results 0

Posted on May 15, 2017 by Rob Petersen

facebook business case studies

Millions of businesses, big and small, use the Facebook family of ad services and apps.

  • 4 million businesses advertise on Facebook
  • 75% of all brands on Facebook promote their posts
  • 50% growth in Facebook advertisers from 2015-2016 (source: DMR)

Facts show Facebook Business is big, fast growing and easy for businesses to access.

But, in a situation like this, there are always plenty of losers and winners.

Here are 11 Facebook Business case studies that showed great business results. What makes for success is each brand clearly established a business objective for their ad investment. See for yourself.

  1. ADDIDAS: Wanted to showcase its latest premium athletics Z.N.E Hoodie with a captivating video while also promoting related items. To advertise the collection, adidas uploaded its video creative and product catalog. The product images in the experience were automatically pulled from the product catalog. The ads also featured 4 complementary products beneath the video, such as sweatpants, shoes and accessories. Their campaign had a 43% decrease in cost per conversion and 5.3X return on ad spend.
  2. AIRBNB: Wanted to reach people with its “Live There” campaign—which pointed to Airbnb as an alternative to mass tourism. They developed a Facebook and Instagram campaign that would reach people where they spend a majority of their time: mobile News Feed. Ad creative highlighted the magical experiences that were made possible through Airbnb. For instance, one video showed people watching a sparkling Eiffel Tower from the balcony of their vacation rental, while ad text encouraged others to “Live Here.” Within four month, Airbnb had a: 1) 4-point lift in purchase intent in the UK and India, 2) 6-point lift in purchase intent in Germany and Australia and 3) 125 million people reached.
  3. BAKED NYC: Has one location in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan. The bakery is especially proud of its Oprah-endorsed brownies. Baked NYC wanted to broaden its customer base and encourage people to sign up for its email list. Baked NYC built videos around pre-ordering pies for Thanksgiving using only a $20 tripod, a $15 clamp lamp, a phone and a variety of apps to create stop-motion videos with animated text overlays. Baked NYC targeted baking fans to generate subscriptions to its email list. To reach people most likely to pre-order a pie, Baked NYC ran those ads to those living within a one-mile radius of both its locations.
    Baked NYC’s seasonal campaign, which began on November 9, 2016 and ran until Thanksgiving. It helped reach a local audience, drive qualified people to its website and increase sales of its Thanksgiving pies. It achieved: 1) 40% increase in pie sales, 2) 68% increase in leads and 3) 30% decrease in cost per lead
  4. GENERAL MOTORS ONSTAR: OnStar is a subsidiary of General Motors that provides subscription-based services for emergency, security, guidance, connectivity and vehicle management. The OnStar team wanted to increase sales of its 4G LTE Wi-Fi data plans among owners of General Motors vehicles that are OnStar-enabled. General Motors’ data to create a Custom Audience of people with OnStar-enabled vehicles and segmented them. OnStar also used a “Call Now” call-to-action button for the first time. It received hundreds of phone calls, further proving its ads resonated with GM owners. The advertising effort generated a 2.3% overall sales lift for OnStar’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi data plans and 7.2% sales lift among people who had never used a data plan.
  5. GOPUFF: Is an on-demand delivery service launched in Philadelphia in 2013. goPuff wanted to boost awareness of its app and increase downloads so that it could encourage more people to place an order through its on-demand service. goPuff examined its Audience Insights dashboard to determine the best audience to target with this campaign. The built a series of mobile app install ads, which direct people to the app store where they can immediately download the app. GoPuff drove more app downloads and sales, delivering a 35% increase in app installs, 30% decrease in cost per install and 35% decrease in cost per purchase after download.
  6. MICHAEL KORS: Is an American luxury fashion brand, known for its handbags, ready-to-wear and watches. The company has 780 locations worldwide. The fashion brand wanted to measure the impact that its Facebook ads had on its offline sales. Using link and carousel ads, the fashion brand drove traffic to its physical stores, and then used offline conversions to measure the impact its ads had there. The 4-day September 2016 campaign revealed:1) 33% increase in attributed return on ad spend, 2) 31% increase in attributed transactions and 3) 25% increase in attributed revenue.
  7. OREO’S: Used a business milestone to generate awareness and brand vitality. To celebrate its 100th birthday, Oreo produced 100 Facebook Posts in 100 days that turned trending news stories into “visual treats.”  Oreo garnered over 231 million media impressions from over 2,600 articles. They increased their Facebook fans by over a million and increased their Facebook engagement by 195%. They also increased their share rate by 280% with each post being shared an average of 1,472 times.
  8. PIXELBERRY STUDIOS: Is a gaming studio in Mountain View, California that develops socially-minded games for young people. Pixelberry Studios wanted to increase downloads of Choices among players around the world, particularly among people most likely to pay for additional features. Pixelberry Studios developed mobile app installed ads and optimized its ads for certain app events, including installs and purchases. Optimizing for app events ensures the ad is automatically targeted to the people most likely to take that action. They had a: 1) 2.2X increase in rate of acquiring payers with app event optimization (compared to traditional mobile app install ads), 2) 27% increase in return on ad spend with international targeting (compared to traditional single-country campaigns) and 3) 30% decrease in cost per paying player with international targeting (compared to traditional single-country campaigns).
  9. SHUTTERFLY: Is the market leader in digital personalized photo products and services. To increase sales at Shutterfly.com, the company wanted to provide a high-value offer—a free personalized white ceramic mug—to reach a specific demographic: moms with kids at home. Using Facebook Offers, Shutterfly could distribute a unique, single-use offer code to each person who clicked on its ad. The new Offers feature gave the company better control over how many people redeemed the offer. The 3-day campaign successfully reached Shutterfly’s target demographic and got them excited about the unique mug offer. The campaign also achieved over 16,000 offers saved, over 8,000 purchases and 11X return on ad spend.
  10. SMARTBUYGLASSES: Provides quality designer eyewear online. As an online-only retailer, SmartBuyGlasses continuously aims to grow its revenue. For this month-long campaign, it wanted to increase sales by at least 30%. SmartBuyGlasses decided to segment its ad placements after learning that product ads tended to be more successful in desktop News Feed, and that special offer images featuring people wearing its products were more effective on mobile. The campaign achieved 30% increase in sales, 2X increase in traffic and 35% increase in conversions, year over year.
  11. TREE HUT: Is a maker of hand-made watches, known for its one-of-a-kind, nature-inspired designs with personalized engravings, each handcrafted out of real wood. Tree Hut wanted to boost awareness of its handmade wooden watches and increase online sales by using the data available on its third-party ecommerce platform. Taking advantage of Facebook’s advanced targeting and measurement tools, the company used Shopify’s Facebook pixel integration to install the pixel on its website and advanced targeting to deliver personalized dynamic ads to the right audiences, increasing sales by 4.1X.

Do these Facebook Business case studies help you see how to to use Facebook advertising effectively? Do you need a partner to help your business on Facebook?

7 surefire steps to measure and manage social media success 0

Posted on March 27, 2017 by Rob Petersen

social media success

Social media success is elusive for most companies. 88% of companies use social media for marketing according to eMarketer, but most can’t prove whether it’s working.

  • 43% have a good qualitative sense of the impact but haven’t seen the quantitative sense
  • 42% haven’t been able to show the impact
  • 15% have proven the impact quantitatively (Source: CMO Survey/Business2Community)

What is the way to social media success proof-positive?

Here are 7 surefire steps to measure and manage social media success.

1. START WITH A REAL BUSINESS GOAL

social media success - step 1

More Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers are reasonable expectations if you’re putting resources into social media and creating relevant content. But it’s not a business goal. Because Likes and Followers are commonly referred to as vanity metrics. Improving customer service or getting more qualified leads or increasing sales, these are real business goals. They are also reasonable expectations for social media success. For example, JetBlue uses Twitter to improve customer service. Which makes sense because when consumers are flying, they want quick responses. JetBlue has been ranked highest in customer satisfaction for low-cost air carriers by J.D. Powers for 12 years in a row. They also provide an average 10 minute response time to every tweet. JetBlue has proven social media plays an important role in their business goal of building customer loyalty.

2. IDENTIFY WHO YOU WANT TO ATTRACT

social media success - step 2

With so many social media platforms, it does not make sense to go into every platform in hopes of striking the right audience. Define your target audience, find where they like to interact and influencers who talk about your industry. A good practice is to compile keywords that captures your expertise. Search on social networks for the audience that is also using those keywords or talking about topics your company covers. Remember to keep on top of answering questions and responding to followers with thoughtful responses instead of generic answers.

3. KNOW HOW THEY FIND YOU

social media success - step 3

People like to do business with people they know and, on the internet, that often leads them from social networks to your website. Google Analytics measures Traffic Sources to tell you about visitors from social networks. For example, how many, what social networks they come from and how they compare to other visitors. Every social networks gives you the opportunity to drill down further. Facebook Insights gives a good amount of information on who is looking at and engaging with your page. Yon can see demographic information like the percentage of male and female fans you have and what city they live in. LinkedIn tells you who is reading your articles and viewing your profile. You should determine the social networks that provide the most value and measure regularly to see changes.

4. DETERMINE WHAT CREATES BUSINESS VALUE

social media success - step 4

How do you determine if your efforts in social media are generating business value? Avinash Khausik, Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, created some interactivity categories: Conversation, Amplification and Applause. Conversation is the number of audience replies or comments. From blog to Instagram, this rate can easily be obtained for virtually every post shared via social media. Amplification is the number of Re-Tweets or Shares per post. This rate is an important measurement because it quantifies the reach of your network. Applause measures your audience’s perception of post quality. While the number of Likes your post receives may not translate into new customers. The applause rate is still an important tool for taking your audience’s pulse. These categories are not mutually exclusive either. A business can do all three but probably does better in some than others.

5. DEFINE ACTIONS YOU WANT THEM TO TAKES

social media success - slide 5

What gets your audience to the desired goal? Do they first subscribe to a newsletter? Register for an event. Request a demo? Take advantage of a trial offer? Or are they ready to buy? Or not? And when? There is likely to be some sequence of events, it’s best to define a number of actions so you can get a better understanding of the customer journey and navigate desired behaviors. It’s is worthwhile for every company to their customer journey.

6. CREATE AN ACTIONABLE SCORECARD

social media success - step 6

 

A framework for social media success is now in place because you’ve established: What is the business goal; who to attract; how they find you; how social media creates business value and what actions you want them to take. It’s time to pick the metrics that matter. They are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). They are your actionable scorecard for social media success. They are likely to come from a variety of source. For example, if your business goal is to improve customer service, one metric from your customer service team could be number of customer complaints which should decrease as a result of social media efforts. Some metrics might come from your website such as visits from social networks and conversions of desired acti0ns. Of course, some will come from social networks and the progress is building an audience and creating business value.

7. LISTEN TO YOUR DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM

social media success - slide 7

A key component to understand and improve upon social media success is to listen to your digital ecosystem. An ecosystem is a community of interacting living organisms with their environment. This is what you’ve created with your social media efforts. So you need to listen to your audience’s needs. One way is a Sentiment Analysis to understand how your audience feels about your brand and the topics you cover. Another is reviews. Others are to test with different massages and efforts like A/B Testing. Of course, there is no substitute to check your social networks pages regularly for updates in real time and ideas.

Do these steps help you to measure and manage social media success? Does your company need help getting there?

 

8 surprisingly simple steps to calculate ROI 0

Posted on March 20, 2017 by Rob Petersen

roi

ROI (Return on Investment) is the basis from which informed investment decisions are made.

The ROI formula only requires two numbers; the cost of your venture and the return made from that venture. But there are inputs that go into each. For many, this is where the simple gets complicated. But it doesn’t have to be?

Here are 8 surprisingly simple steps to calculate ROI.

STEP #1: START WITH A BASELINE

roi baseline

Return from a new venture has to first take into account what occurred before. So you have to establish a baseline. In our experience, there are only three baseline scenarios. In Scenario #1,  the venture is just beginning so there is no baseline. There is a clean slate. In Scenario #2, the new venture is trying to change just one area of a company’s operations (e.g. digital, call center, human resources). The baseline in this case is the return in this area from prior period. In scenario #3, the venture involves a change or transformation in the company that likely to impact a number of areas. For example, a business generates revenue through a sales force, call center and website. They are investing in digital operations by upgrading the website, building a mobile app and improving the online selling infrastructure so they can spend less in other areas. In this instance, the baseline is the amount the website generates currently based on a total percent of the company’s operations.

STEP #2: DECIDE IF RETURN IS REVENUE OR PROFITS

roi profit or revenue

Be clear at the outset how you will measure the return in dollars. Is it revenue (sales) or profits? The latter in many cases is the most desirable measure. But it is harder to understand and control. For example, a company produces a food product. Profits requires a knowledge of the cost of goods, shipping and retail allowances. These are often hard to know now and harder to predict in the future. Because revenue has more factor within a company’s control, it is generally easier to forecast. While some insist profits is the way to go, in our experience, revenue is also is a good indication of success and basis for decision making.

STEP #3: DETERMINE THE TIME FRAME

ROI time frame

Before you can determine the return, you have to know how long it is going to take. In most cases, the time frame for ROI is between one and two years. This is due to: 1) Functional activities like the time it takes to create and build new assets (e.g. website, data center and buying infrastructure) and 2) customer uptake for awareness, consideration, trial and repeat purchases. To help understand customer uptake, it helps to know the buying frequency and Annual Customer Value (ACV).

STEP #4: DECIDE INPUTS FOR THE RETURN

roi return

The return is a prediction or forecast of what will occur by the end of the time frame. Use real company data, not norms or averages, unless you want normative or average results. Basics that are usually included in returns are how many new vs repeat customers are expected? What is their Annual Customer Value? If there is a digital component, what are visits and conversions rates to the website? If a company transformation is expected, operating costs in other areas that will decline as new capability are built can be a factor. There can be a few to many input. Confidence in the data means reliability in the return.

STEP #5: IDENTIFY THE INVESTMENTS

roi investments

In some cases, this is self-evident. But not always. Let’s say a major investment in infrastructure is occurring that will take a couple of years but the ROI time frame is one year. The investment is based on cash flow and what is spent in that year.

STEP #6: CALCULATE THE ROI

roi calculation

The ROI formula is: Return – Investment/Investment X 100%. The ROI is expressed as a percent. That’s it. Here is the formula and a sample calculation.

STEP #7: GUIDE WITH KPIs

roi & kpis

An ROI is a forecast of a result to occur in the future, a scorecard of key metrics is developed to keep ROI on track. These are Key Performance Indicators or KPIs.  A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs at multiple levels to evaluate their success at reaching targets. To keep the ROI on track, KPIs are an actionable scorecard. Variables that figure into the return like returning customers, new customers, annual customer value and conversion rate might also be KPIs. Here is what a KPI scorecard looks like for a new digital marketing venture.

STEP #8: ALIGN WITH DESIRED GOALS

roi & goals

ROI is key to evaluating how realistic is the business objective and financial goals for a company. In the ROI calculation above of 238%, the company is expecting a return of $2.38 for every dollar invested. The company has to decide how if realistic this is. It is if the company has the commitment and deliver on their plan and measure success. It probably isn’t if they don’t. But now they have a basis for evaluation. Otherwise, the company is just guessing.

Do these steps to calculate ROI sound simple and sensible to you? Do you need help figuring out ROI at your company?

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