Expert Advice: Proper Dashboard a Must for On-the-Fly Changes to Campaigns

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Imagine driving your car down the highway when suddenly you look down and there is no speedometer, no odometer, no temperature or pressure gauges…nothing but blank space. You have lost your ability to know how fast you're driving, how far you've gone and whether or not your car is about to overheat.

In business, that is what it can be like when an organization is not looking at key performance indicators. KPIs are any quantifiable metrics deemed crucial to your organization's success. They are the bellwethers of your organization or campaign's health. They can be the harbingers of great things and also the harbingers of impending doom. For a KPI to be of any value, an organization must be able to accurately define and measure the goals you are attempting to reach.

Savvy marketers know it's best to run your campaign and your organization from the offensive verses the defensive. Like the indicators on a car console allow you to know what's happening in your car at all times, so does a dashboard allow you to come to work each day and, at a glance, know how a campaign is performing on multiple levels.

Key components of the dashboard more than likely would include, average sales or leads, telemarketing call durations, the average conversion rate and the number of hits to your Web site. Each of these metrics is usually tracked by disparate, non-integrated systems. So, what do you do to integrate and create this very valuable dashboard?

To bring these data sources together, a customized media software system can be tasked with housing all of the data in one retrievable, easy to use integrated source. The various data sources used to track your campaign (call centers metrics, broadcast verifications systems, print media, click stream data, media buys) will be the building block of a successful dashboard that ultimately drives the longevity and profitability of your campaign.

Direct response advertising is all about 'real time' reporting, being able to track exactly what is happening to your campaign at any given moment, hence the need for a dashboard. If your dashboard is indicating that there are minimal hits to your site or that the call durations of your telemarketing is too long, you know that you need to take corrective action, such as revamping the creative or writing a more targeted script for your telemarketers.

With accurate and timely information from your data sources, integrating the reporting and analysis of the data provides a fundamental base of information to supply yourself and your client with the next steps to drive the success of your endeavors.

This customized media software system provides real time, actionable data that allows you to take corrective actions where needed. With the proper dashboard in place, you have a powerful way to create on-the-fly changes to meet the needs and demands of the campaign. Direct response marketing uses these tools to improve your company's profit margin while creating outstanding results for yourself and your clients.

Carol Bartos is project manager for direct services and campaign integration at ad agency GSD&M.

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