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Creating an Effective Ultimate Dashboard

  |  May 9, 2014   |  Comments

There are three key elements to focus on if you're considering creating a content marketing dashboard: purpose, metrics, and design.

These days it seems like content intelligence is a lot like the automotive business; the focus on what's under the hood is being balanced by a focus on what's on the dashboard.

You've certainly heard enough about the connected car to know that music, communications, and directional technology are selling cars. Let's connect that, though, to content marketing. The focus on the platform and infrastructure, the engine if you will, is now being joined by how the results of that platform are affecting business. Content marketing companies that are leading the field in technology, are also leading the field in dashboards.

It's a welcome and necessary development. The Content Marketing Institute research shows that 93 percent of large B2C companies, 94 percent of midsize companies, and 95 percent of small companies use content marketing. Where usage starts, measurement follows. The trend toward big data and more importantly, big data visualization, makes the concept and execution of a content marketing dashboard essential.

There are three key elements to focus on when considering creating a content marketing dashboard: purpose, metrics, and design.

Define the Purpose: A dashboard should feed into overall business goals. A financial services company, for example, that is tying its results to a dashboard approach should clearly show different rates of engagement to tie back to success metrics. You can then develop measurable marketing objectives and define the strategies, programs, and tactics to support those numbers/objectives. Using a dashboard will clarify the relationship between content marketing programs and business outcomes. Having the capability to graphically analyze data in this way can enable an organization to more effectively analyze trends.

Choose Your Metrics: Choosing what metrics to include in the dashboard is critical. Above all, they must be metrics that matter and that are relevant to the job at hand. But that doesn't mean every metric should be included - far from it. You should be highly selective in determining which metrics earn a spot on your dashboard. The business needles, or outcomes, are more than just a revenue number to chase. You need to understand that the desired outcomes you should be chasing have to do with which customers (new or current) you are targeting, how many of them you need to convert, and what products/services you want them to purchase.

Craft a Stimulating Design: Design of the dashboard plays directly into the trend toward effective data visualization. For content marketing and the execution of content intelligence it should clearly illustrate the concepts, keywords, and key phrases that resonate with the user. Dashboard design should be colorful, accessible, and sharable.

How hot is design for data? Harvard and MIT are currently working on a data visualization benchmark project that declares: "There is an opportunity to use visual representation in innovative ways to gain insights into biological data to effectively communicate science. To do this requires discovering novel visual encoding systems and applying existing ones in new ways."

In the end, it's simple: Content intelligence requires a blend of big data and content. If you can't see the results, your audience most likely won't be able to read them.

Image via Shutterstock.

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Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen, a recognized women-in-business and tech, is known for her entrepreneurial style and her ability to build, shape, and grow brands into well-known dominant, successful entities. Jeanniey is a pioneer in email, mobile, and digital marketing; publishing; and brand-building. She now leads her own agency, YellowBean LLC, focused on assisting companies of all sizes with driving innovation and growth. Most recently, Jeanniey was the Global EVP, CMO, and subsequently Chief Growth Officer for Zinio, where she worked to define and implement strategies creating explosive growth through strategic partnerships with publishers, technology companies, brands, and consumers during her five-year tenure. Jeanniey has authored and contributed to multiple books, blogs, and magazine articles. She is a regular columnist for ClickZ, a blogger for Huffington Post, and a frequent keynote speaker. A serial networker, in 2005 Jeanniey founded the Email Experience Council, which was sold to the Direct Marketing Association in 2008. She sits on the Advisory Board for IndieFlix, and on the International Executive Council of the Internet Marketing Association. Jeanniey is recognized as both a Top CMO and Top Author on Twitter, and was most recently featured as Mover and Shaker by the Professional Woman's Magazine, and a featured Woman in Technology by The Legacy Series Magazine.

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