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10 Essential Platforms for CMOs to Monitor Digital Marketing

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 06 Apr, 2017
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Marketing dashboards that can help you report on and analyze your marketing efforts

Like it or not, today's CMOs are married to metrics. They have to be.

From closely tracking traffic to understanding which channels may be leaking potential leads, failure to make data-driven decisions continues to be the bane of many of today's marketers. As a result, global spending on data-based marketing continues to rise and is similarly expected to spike in 2017.

As we delve deeper into an era of marketing dominating by metrics and big data, modern CMOs can't afford not to have some serious tools on deck to summarise the impact of their digital marketing. This rings especially true to understanding any combination of the following:

  • Which marketing channels are worth scaling and are likewise providing a positive ROI
  • Where leads are dropping off within your marketing funnels
  • Which messages and campaigns are resonating with leads versus those which are falling flat

Fortunately, CMOs have plenty of options to ensure that their ROI is sound for any given marketing campaign. While the wealth of platforms out there can certainly be overwhelming, the following list gives a comprehensive set of services including our own RACE marketing dashboard. for any marketer looking to keep a closer eye on their numbers, regardless of niche or industry.

1. Tableau

Tableau are the market leaders in providing analytics dashboards for mid-large businesses, and they thoroughly deserve their position as market leaders. Tableau can handle data inputted from Excel, Google Analytics, Salesforce, SQL server, SAP, R, AWS and more, making it a flexible and versatile platform. With drag and drop functionality it's extremely to set up useful interactive dashboards to help you review marketing KPIs.

2. Cyfe – An all-in-one dashboard to conquer the many moving pieces of your marketing activity.

Wrangling a staggering amount of data from social to sales, Cyfe offers a comprehensive dashboard for those looking to get serious about their marketing metrics.

With built-in widget integration with industry giants in ecommerce, email, SEO, funnel analytics, advertising, conversion optimization, social media and CRM (Shopify, Moz, Facebook, MailChimp and Salesforce, to name a few), just about any aspect of your quantifiable business is fair game. Beyond tracking current performance in terms of sales and traffic, by allowing you to monitor activity across platforms, Cyfe also uncovers new opportunities to scale and keeps tabs on which new opportunities are won and lost, respectively.

Representing a one-stop solution offering up data in real-time, Cyfe is a must-have for CMOs looking to hold themselves accountable for every piece of their marketing arsenal. 

3. Inspeclet – Make more informed marketing decisions by breaking down user behavior.

Despite the need for today's marketers to be knee deep in analytics, it's impossible to ignore the human element of any given campaign.

Rather than becoming frustrated by the seemingly unpredictable behavior of our leads, Inspeclet offers marketers an opportunity to understand what users want versus playing a guessing game.

Through recording real-time videos of visitor sessions, marketers can track their every literal movement to figure out the in's and out's of user-experience on-site. This provides opportunities to fine-tune on-site elements and marketing messages accordingly.

Paying close attention to UX can result in huge returns in terms of click-throughs, conversions and engagement. Remember that bounced traffic and poor CTR represent more than metrics: they represent money left on the table.

4. w3Counter – Emphasizing the importance of real-time data from real-time visitors.

Just as marketers are expected to capture leads in real-time, monitoring actual events on-site as they happen can help uncover which of your pages are getting the most love.

Analyzing both where traffic is landing and spending the bulk of their time, coupled with the sources where they're coming from in the first place, w3Counter paints a picture at a glance of which pages are pulling in the most leads.

The tool keeps tabs on your most popular links and provides a regular daily email of stats including crucial metrics such as total visits and return visitors.

By further breaking down direct traffic versus search engines and referring sites, for example, marketers may acknowledge which channels should be further explored and which are likewise lacking.

5. Mixpanel – The perfect platform for monitoring mobile marketing.

The rapid rise of mobile users represents a telling tale for modern marketers: you simply can't afford to ignore traffic on-the-go.

Mixpanel offers a robust solution for those looking to monitor their mobile campaigns. More specifically, the platform offers keen insight on where users may be dropping out of the funnel of your native app or mobile campaign.

By analyzing leads from Point A to Point B, including time spent in each step of your sign-up process, sign-up success rate and which channels are the most popular for bringing in leads, marketers can plug up the holes in their mobile strategies accordingly.

6. Hotjar – How heatmaps help marketers make crucial decisions.

While understanding where your users click is obviously important, the level of detail offered by heatmaps provides an extra layer of information for marketers looking to make the most of their traffic.

From eliminating distracting page widgets to making your calls-to-action pop, heatmaps uncover the elements of a powerful landing page. Similarly, heatmaps are prime tools for A/B testing when it comes to refining the design of any page on-site.

Rather than having your traffic totally miss your CTAs, heatmaps offer an avenue for ensuring that your leads take the actions that you want them to take.

7. Brand24 – Keeping an eye on buzz for socially-driven brands.

Measuring the ROI of social media oftentimes feels like a shot in the dark; likewise, the positive returns from social mentions often go beyond dollars and cents.

For those laser-focused on press and PR, Brand24 offers a straightforward solution for monitoring the voices of your audience.

Beyond social mentions, breaking down the demographics and behavior of your audience via social helps marketers craft the messages that people want to hear. In other words, you know where your leads hang out, what's on their minds and how to speak their language accordingly.

8. GetResponse – Why automated marketing deserves a keen attention to detail.

Marketing automation has the potential to transform any given brand by putting the process of capturing leads and converting customers on autopilot. That being said, optimizing your automation strategy is crucial for brands looking to actually see positive returns.

Solutions such as GetResponse have emerged to keep a close eye on both email and e-commerce metrics to ensure that leads are traveling smoothly through your funnel.

GetResponse works to not only understand the behavior of users who've gone through your funnel from A to Z, but also engages those who haven't completed the purchasing process. The ability to reduce cart abandonment not only means more sales, but also uncovers potential weak points in your marketing campaigns.

9. Smart Insights RACE – A practical reporting dashboard that harnesses the power of Google.

Modern marketers want peace of mind as they ensure that their week-to-week activities are paying off for the long-term. Smart Insights' RACE dashboard focuses on KPIs with clear metrics that measure the effectiveness of your marketing over time, whether that means week-to-week, month-to-month or year-to-year. This example dashboard funnel covers engagement across the whole funnel and there is a more detailed channel view showing month-on-month and year-on-year changes which are essential views for a CMO which are difficult to create using custom dashboards in GA.

Through integration with Google Analytics, RACE provides actionable insight for any given marketing funnel and represents an entry level solution for any marketer. Focusing on four key metrics (Reach, Act Convert and Engage), insight gleaned from the dashboard is easy to digest and can help users understand at a glance what's working and what's not.

10. Google Analytics – The classic standard for analytics still holds its own for modern marketers.

Last but not least, Google Analytics still has its place for marketers today when it comes to making marketing decisions. After all, Google Analytics integrates with many of the aforementioned platforms as the catalyst that makes them tick.

Although Google's platform may seem bare bones versus some modern platforms, its free accessibility and analysis of overlooked yet crucial metrics such as exit pages and bounce rate are incredibly relevant to today's CMOs tracking conversions.

Even if you know Google Analytics like the back of your hand, bear in mind that Google continues to update the platform on a regular basis. For example, the recent introduction of metrics such as “session quality score” provide marketers with additional insight in regard to their site's potential to convert leads.

The Bottom Line

Again, the explosion of data-driven marketing is sending a crystal clear message to CMOs: measure everything and measure with extraordinary care. With so many platforms out there to wrangle the many moving pieces of any given marketing strategy, the power of data is in the grasp of just about any CMO willing to take the plunge and understand their leads by the numbers.

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