Why you need a multi-channel dashboard
…and what ours looks like.
By ARBEN KQIKU
Do you know what your best performing channels are? Is your channel attribution up to snuff? Are you able to monitor your data in real time without spending endless hours crunching the numbers? Are you effortlessly generating comprehensive reports for management and the rest of your team?
If you answered no to any of these questions, then a multi-channel dashboard might just be the solution you need.
(If you answered yes to all of them, then you probably already have one.)
How good is your monitoring, really?
The ability to accurately monitor your online marketing investments is of utmost importance—not least to ensure good budget allocation. In our experience, however, many organisations rely on suboptimal reporting tools to monitor their activities.
In the worst case scenario, some organisations still rely on manually-compiled, email-circulated spreadsheets that few understand and fewer even read. You should know that these spreadsheets are the place where all potential insights and optimisations go to die.
In what is clearly a better scenario, many organisations rely on a single dashboard for each advertising channel, such as this one from Google Ads:
While this dashboard does look good, unfortunately it doesn’t actually give us a holistic view of overall performance. For example, it doesn’t tell us where we should reinvest, or how channels are performing against one another over time.
A best case scenario would need to include a comprehensive and accurate view of your advertising activities across all channels. But creating such a view is no simple task, and you will need to get around a number of problems, including the following:
- The data is usually segregated within your different advertising channels.
- Nomenclatures used by these channels make it impossible to simply aggregate this data. Total ad spend, for example, is called “amount spent” by Facebook Ads, “spent” over at LinkedIn Ads, and “cost” within Google Ads.
- Advertising platforms are blackboxes to each other and, when there is overlap between them, they tend to over attribute conversions in their own favour.
- Manually compiling reports requires a lot of time as it needs to be regularly updated. It is also prone to error and does not solve the issue of over attribution of conversions.
Multi-channel monitoring: an example
Here is an anonymised example from one of our campaigns with a client that was looking to generate new leads. We wanted to know which channels would be most profitable for further investment. All data presented below was generated by our own multi-channel dashboard.
This graph shows how each channel contributed to the cumulative generation of leads over time. We can see that LinkedIn and Google Ads Search were the largest contributors.
We can also look at the data according to impressions, clicks, and leads by channel.
As with the previous graph, we see here too that LinkedIn and Google Ads Search are the main channels responsible for generating leads. In addition, we learn that the majority of impressions and clicks are generated by Google Ads Display, clearly demonstrating that this channel is of utmost importance to generating brand awareness and attracting traffic.
It is also important to measure the cost per lead of each channel.
While LinkedIn and Google Ads Search are the main channels generating leads, we see from this table that a LinkedIn lead costs CHF 118, whereas a Google Ads Search lead costs CHF 392. We can also see that the channel with the lowest cost per lead is Facebook Ads. This tells us that if the campaign were to be extended, we should definitely be investing more into Facebook Ads.
Our multi-channel dashboard setup
Here is an overview of what our multi-channel dashboard looks like.
- We use Google Analytics to track conversions.
- In order to attribute conversions to the right ads, campaigns, and channels, we use a standardised nomenclature for the UTMs, so that we can easily retrieve the data. Example: https://comtogether.com/?utm_source=google+ads&utm_medium=coaching&utm_campaign=training&utm_content=rlsa
- We decide with our clients which events we want to track, how we will name them, and what each event’s conversion value will be.
- We use unique events from Google Analytics to track our conversions, which guarantees that we never count them more than once.
- For each advertising platform, we extract the data related to impressions, clicks, and cost by using the APIs of the respective platforms.
- For each advertising platform, we extract the conversion data using the Google Analytics API. We attribute the values defined with the client to each conversion.
- We merge these data sets together and standardise the formatting for readability.
A multi-channel dashboard will make your life a lot easier by broadening the view you have of your online marketing activities, streamlining your reporting system, and reducing the labour cost of obtaining these results.
For further tips and individually tailored advice on how to let the data direct your business decisions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Here at comtogether, we have a team of data masters that are eager to share their knowledge and apply their know-how to the challenges you and your business are facing.