blog post

The Complete Guide to Building the Marketing ROI Dashboard Your C-Suite Cares About

Madhu Puranik
Madhu Puranik
November 17, 2023
8 min read

Marketers! A question for you -

Which marketing campaign dashboard do you think your C-suite will be more interested in?

Option 1   

Dashboard 1



 Option 2

Dashboard 2

I am sure you’ll go for Option 2. It clearly shows the top marketing KPIs your C-suite would be interested in.

Yet, marketers load their presentations with complex ROI dashboards that are tough to decipher.

Marketers often suffer from the ‘too much data’ problem. The more data they have the tougher it is for them to tell a cohesive story to the C-suite.

No wonder, for decades, the marketing team has been the victim of the C-suite’s doubt and mistrust. An Accenture report reveals that while all CEOs want their marketing leaders to drive revenue growth, 2 in 3 doubted their capability/acumen to deliver that goal.


This probably explains why -

      - The CMO had the shortest average tenure of any C-suite executive.

       - Less than 1/3rd of CMOs are invited to board meetings.

Marketers often find it challenging to demonstrate the quantitative impact of their decisions and campaigns. And, the volume of data they must deal with is pretty overwhelming, given the number of channels used to nurture leads and acquire customers.

That’s where a well-designed marketing performance dashboard can help. These ROI dashboards organize data and transform them into insights required for growing conversions, achieving objectives, and scaling marketing activities. Thus, quantifying the marketing impact for the C-suite becomes easy.

This guide will share everything you need to know about building a dashboard in marketing and leveraging it to make data-driven decisions.


A Decluttered Marketing Campaign Dashboard Can Make All the Difference

Dashboard Mess = Stress

Read that again!

Marketing reporting dashboards are a rage, especially when we speak of demonstrating marketing value to the C-suite. But are these dashboards really their job?

A great marketing campaigns dashboard will -

  - assess performance against plans, thus facilitating quick and accurate decision-making

  - alert users to issues or problems

  - increase C-suite’s visibility into marketing activities

 -  Improve marketing efficiency

Check out the Revlitix marketing data dashboards. It addresses all the pointers we shared above.

Revlitix Insights

Revlitix custom marketing dashboard 

Such a clean dashboard works like magic when it comes to showing marketing value to the C-suite.

But what is a marketing dashboard and how can it help marketers share a cohesive marketing performance story?

Let’s dive deeper into this.

What Is Marketing Dashboard?

A marketing campaigns dashboard offers a complete overview of the critical marketing metrics directly impacting revenue. It serves as a single source of truth for the marketing and sales teams as it displays key insights on campaign performance, future trends, and next-best actions (NBAs).

A marketing dashboard is one of the most powerful tools that can help you track, monitor, and communicate important marketing KPIs. They replace spreadsheets and static reports that often cause clutter in presentations and minds.

If you are still wondering what is marketing dashboard, take a look at this dashboard by Revlitix.

Revlitix marketing campaigns dashboard

Marketing reports dashboards allow marketers to dive into the behind-the-scenes of their campaigns, thus demonstrating exactly what a business needs to do next. Most executive-level marketing ROI dashboards offer C-level executives a complete visualization of the company in real-time.

The ROI dashboard marketing teams use should appeal to CEOs and executives and -

       - Seamlessly connect with data sources

       - Stitch all the data together

       - Make the information actionable - Point out the business areas that need attention

Criteria a marketing dashboard should fulfill

Does your BI tool tick all these boxes? We highly doubt it. That's why companies use Revlitix. Our revenue marketing platform is powered by advanced analytics, connects data with insights, and turns them into actions. 
With Revlitix, you can build world-class dashboards in 30 seconds - We mean it! To know more about Revlitix, get in touch with us now!

Does your BI tool tick all these boxes?

We highly doubt that! 

Revlitix (logo) does

Our revenue marketing platform is powered by advanced analytics and connects data with insights and turns them into actions. 

With Revlitix, you can build world-class dashboards in 30 seconds - We mean it!

To know more about Revlitix get in touch with us now

Why Track ROI of Marketing Efforts? 

Here’s a scenario for you - 

You have two marketing campaigns running simultaneously on Google Ads. Both run for a month (30 days) at $1000. 

Campaign Performance

Considering these numbers if you were given more budget, which campaign would you invest in? 

Campaign A - for sure! 

Now, let’s look at the revenue contribution from these leads.

Campaign Performance

Campaign B has pulled in $10,000.

Where would you invest now? 

Lesson learned - Focusing purely on leads doesn’t offer a complete picture of the marketing performance. You need to focus on the revenue brought in. 

Therefore, it’s important to measure the marketing ROI.

Now that we are convinced of the why, let’s look at the how.

How a marketing campaign dashboard can help marketers and how to create a marketing dashboard?

How Can a Marketing Performance Dashboard Help Marketers Make Data-Driven Decisions? 

As mentioned earlier, marketing teams have faced scrutiny and suspicious glances from the board members or the C-suite.

Though this may seem like an adverse scenario, it presents a tremendous opportunity to reinvent their roles and break away from conventional marketing wisdom. From high-level strategy to the operation’s nuts and bolts, they need to actively study several factors to drive revenue and build strong alliances with other C-suite executives. 

The ‘marketing language’ they speak often gets lost in translation across the boardroom, where people are only concerned with growth, revenue, ROI, and value creation. 

But what do marketers do instead? 

In response to this scrutiny, they smother their audience with data, stats, and graphs, leaving them out in the weeds. 

Instead, the smart marketer should focus on building relevant reports on the metrics that their audience wants to see (marketing ROI, marketing pipeline contribution, marketing percentage of CAC, and more). Thus, effective reporting is key to speaking the language of the top management and establishing the value of marketing in the company. 

A marketing ROI dashboard like the one built on Revlitix can turn spreadsheets into dynamic visualizations, predict future performance and trends, and offer the next-best actions. This transparency garners support from the leadership. 

Projection Monthly

Source Image Alt Text:

Benefits of Marketing Analytics Dashboards 

Our intuition can only take us so far. With so much data available these days, it can be difficult to keep track of it all. There's data everywhere, from email platforms to social media accounts to your website and third-party vendors. And making sense of this data and presenting it most effectively to the C-suite can be challenging. 

Instead of trying to manage all these platforms and data sources, a marketing analytics dashboard makes it effortless to view everything in one place and saves a lot of time for everyone.

Moreover, it acts as a single source of truth - a central location for clean, reliable data continuously. Here’s why your business needs a marketing report dashboard.

  • It Offers Proof of the ROI on the Marketing Efforts 

Marketing performance dashboards crunch large sets of data into smaller sets of information to uncover insights related to the overall return on investment figures. Such granular insights make it easy to prove the impact of marketing efforts on revenue. 

These dashboards can be used to track marketing costs against the micro-conversion flow at each stage of the buying process. This helps marketers gauge the most profitable ventures and areas that can be expanded further. 

  • It Ensures Improved Visibility for the Entire Organization 

Marketing analytics dashboards allow you to tailor visibility and business intelligence for the C-suite. Marketers can customize the dashboard views to share high-level summaries and insights with the C-suite executives. 

For instance, they can present quarterly goal achievements like revenue from email marketing or promotion codes. 

  • It Enables the Team to Make Informed and Profitable Decisions 

Dashboards offer detailed market and customer data, enabling marketers to make data-driven decisions. This takes away a lot of guesswork from the process. 

Further, the dashboard analytics allows them to predict what alternate strategies would look like. This reduces the chances of wasting marketing spending on ideas with limited scope to succeed. 

  • It Allows/ Simplifies Effective Delegation 

A multi-user marketing dashboard allows efficient collaboration by helping team members to track and respond to key data points. This reduces knowledge bottlenecks, thus fostering collaboration. 

For instance, your social media management team can effortlessly track a Google Ad campaign on the digital marketing analytics dashboard. Thus, they don’t have to wait for other teams to share the information. They can proactively innovate and contribute to the ecosystem. 

  • It Boosts Team Productivity 

A marketing dashboard removes data clutter, enabling teams to focus on what matters most. Visualizing challenges and successes empowers the team to make smart decisions that boost productivity. 

Here’s an example to show how this works - 

Traffic Statistics

Image Alt Text: An example of how marketing dashboards can improve team productivity 

  • Its Automation Features Saves Time and Effort 

A marketing dashboard is powered by automation; hence, they free up the team’s time for improved focus on strategic and creative initiatives. The time taken by  menial yet critical manual tasks can now be spent on pressing matters, like optimizing the purchase journey. 

  • It Allows Effective Stakeholder Management

It can be challenging to convince the value delivered by marketing initiatives at the C-suite level. Marketing dashboards bring insights and recommendations that back up marketing decisions and investments with data. 

For instance, you can customize the dashboard to share the monetary value of each marketing conversion, thus proving its impact on the financial targets. 

How to Choose the Perfect Marketing Dashboard for Your SaaS? 

Opting for a suitable marketing dashboard for your business is an important decision. The one-size-fits-all approach won’t work as you have varying stakeholders to cater to. 

For instance, within your C-suite, the CEO may need a snapshot of how each marketing campaign impacts key business objectives. 

On the other hand, the CFO will want to dive deeper into the dashboard data and understand how the financials are faring compared to the marketing investments. 

Hence, when choosing a marketing analytics dashboard, consider the following factors. 

  1. Functionality 

The platform you choose should have functionality aligned with your marketing department’s needs. Most teams invest in tools that are packed with features when in reality, they need a mere fraction of its capabilities. Doing so increases the complexity and costs and negatively impacts your ability to use it for its true purpose.  

Focus on the features your business truly cares about. 

In general, dashboard styles are - 

  • Strategic 

These offer a bird’s eye visualization of the top KPIs. They align business activities to the company vision and monitor organizational performance against strategic goals. 

  • Analytical

These drill down data and explore insights from a large volume of data collected over time in a granular manner. These dashboards study what happened, why, and what changes can be made in the future. This dashboard often supports decision-making processes. 

  • Operational 

These display real-time data to help teams manage daily operations. For instance, the sales team can track the number of units sold daily. Similarly, the customer service team can understand the types of queries coming in to tailor their communication better. 

  1. Integrations 

Unearthing insights and determining their impact on the ROI requires fetching data from various sources and stitching it together on one platform. Hence, the platform you choose should effortlessly integrate with multiple channels and applications, allowing you to consolidate data and systems in no time. 

  1. User Interface 

Data-driven marketing analytics dashboards should allow the team and the board members to understand numbers easily and quickly. The platform should build complex data visualization interfaces and offer a neat and clear overview of all the numbers the C-suite would care about. 

Make sure you choose a platform that offers clean and easy-to-use UI that keeps all users involved in the analytical process with minimum need for technical support. It should be intuitive enough to simplify work life, thus baking data and insights into the decision-making process. 

  1. Scalability 

As your business scales, you will have more marketing data to process, more users, and more actions to automate. Hence, choose a dashboard that can grow with your business. It should seamlessly integrate with tools, have scalable access plans, and several automation options. 

  1. Customization

Every organization has specific goals and metrics to track. Customization allows users to display those metrics and data points conveniently and effectively on one screen. 

It organizes and consolidates data from multiple sources, thus offering the C-suite a bird’s eye view of the marketing performance. This enables them to make rational business decisions. 

  1. Custom Alerts

The best marketing dashboards not just improve decision-making but also reduce the need for human intervention unless necessary. They offer custom smart alerts that reduce the need for perpetual data monitoring, thus improving operational efficiency.

Check out how Revlitix dashboards detect anomalies in marketing campaigns and alert the user before it’s too late. 

Revlitix Alerts
Revlitix Smart Alerts 
  1. Affordability

A marketing dashboard can take several forms, causing it to vary in price. Plus, several providers charge for multiple user accounts, integrations, and excessive data usage. No one wants to spend huge amounts of money on dashboards that the C-suite may not be interested in. 

Choose a platform that brings down your overall cost of building dashboards. 

  1. Turnaround Time (TAT)

A platform with a steep learning curve requires technical expertise and takes more time to build dashboards. Hence, it is important to gauge the balance between the tool's simplicity and complexity in reporting.

The platform you choose should be able to stitch and crunch data from various sources effortlessly and offer unique recommendations in no time. 

5 Essential Steps to Building a Marketing KPI Dashboard 

Step 1: Selecting the Platform 

The marketing performance dashboard you are building is not just for you but primarily for your C-suite executives. They may not be so tech-savvy and often don’t have the time to get into the technical aspects of a dashboard. 

Hence, it is important that the platform you select is easy to use and helps you achieve your purpose of presenting data most effectively. Further, people from other departments may also access these dashboards. Hence, the ease of use will determine the adoption of your dashboard.

What good is a dashboard if nobody uses or gains insights from it?

Here are a few questions you should try answering before selecting the platform.

  • Who am I building this dashboard for?
  • How tech-savvy are the people who will access this dashboard?
  • How often are they going to use this dashboard?
  • Does the dashboard need to be ‘view only’ or does it need to be interactive? 
  • Where is the data stored?
  • Does the data need to be stitched from different sources? 
  • How often does the data need to be refreshed?
  • What resources do you need to set up and run the platform smoothly?

Answering these questions will bring clarity to your decision-making process. 

You can also consider starting with some pre-built marketing dashboard templates that will help you select your platform and build your marketing KPI dashboard quickly. Below are a few reference links you can start with.

Google Data Studio Data Studio Marketing Dashboard Templates

Google Analytics Custom Dashboards

Step 2: Selecting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

The second step in building a marketing dashboard report is to select the KPIs that matter most to your campaigns. You need to consider - 

  • If you are building a channel-specific dashboard for marketing, the marketing dashboard KPI will vary from one marketing channel to another. 

Let’s look at a few marketing dashboard examples.

Say, you are building a Paid Search KPI dashboard, your KPIs would include spend, clicks, conversions, click-through rate, quality score, impression share, and so on. 

Moreover, you need to break these down and categorize them by campaigns, keywords, and different time frames.

Therefore, it makes the most sense to schedule some time with the channel owner and ensure their requirements are noted and prioritized.. 

  • If you want an overview, select marketing dashboard KPIs that exist in every marketing channel. It is important to do so because then you’ll be comparing apples to apples to determine the best and worst performing channels

For example, you cannot select email opens as a KPI because you cannot measure it for paid search as a channel. Instead, choose KPIs such as MQLs generated, Demos Scheduled, Revenue generated, Average order size, Sales cycle time, etc.

Here are some examples of the KPIs you can start with - 

  • If you’re building it for the sales and marketing team
  • Total sales
  • Average order value
  • Conversions
  • Conversion rates
  • Conversion rates by product or category
  • Total number of engaged visitors
  • Conversion rates by demographics
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Lead value

  • If you’re building it for the marketing content team
  • Total traffic
  • Traffic by source
  • Top landing pages
  • Page Value
  • Engagement rate per page/video
  • Conversion rate by page

  • If you’re building it for the senior management
  • Month over month traffic, sales, or list growth
  • Total customer engagement
  • Lead conversion rate
  • Total sales by product category
  • Cost of customer acquisition

Understanding what the KPIs mean is crucial. You can refer to the KPI glossary page for more details.

Step 3: Storing Data

After deciding on the platform and the KPIs to monitor, populating data is the next and easiest step. Before that, you need to store the data.

One key point to remember while storing data is to keep the data clean by selecting exactly what you need and avoiding data duplication from multiple sources. Preferably, keep master data records and reference them while building your reports. So when you need to make changes to the reports, you can change the master data set, and the other reports will change accordingly.

A master sheet for calendar metrics and events that can be referenced while presenting the data for a specific calendar filter.

Creating a ledger to track the data changes will also help. However, this is only needed when storing large sums of data (greater than 10 million rows) or reporting historical data. The latter is a common scenario because most KPIs are dynamic, and when you want to double-click on a problem and deep dive, you might need to access historical KPI data, which most platforms don’t store. 

For example, if you want to look back at the activity metrics, keeping a ledger helps.

Ledger to store lead activity data in google sheets

If you are storing your data in Google Sheets, you can look back at historical data using Google’s version control. However, you can only view the historic data and not report on it.

Step 4: Presenting Data

Whether you’re presenting data to your team lead, your business stakeholders, or the team, a dashboard for marketing makes it easy to present the data in a straightforward and manageable way. This means you spend far less time figuring out what’s going on, and more time making real, actionable progress. 

But before we get started, let’s ask ourselves again- what is the goal of this dashboard? The goal is to present a nearly real-time view of how your team’s marketing efforts are performing. These efforts can be directly seen in the performance of marketing campaigns. 

We must remember that not everyone using this KPI dashboard for marketing is data savvy. So we need to present the data very simply and easily. Using different colors to highlight the good, bad, and ugly is the best way to start. 

Furthermore, we can add short notes to describe what the table or graph is meant to depict. Finally, using graphs can further simplify the insights for the user. 

Here are some examples of leveraging simple tricks to enable powerful messaging.

Conditional Formatting of cells to highlight the good, bad and the ugly of email performance

Google Analytics Dashboard on Data Studio - Talking through graphs and colors

Step 5: Reviewing the Dashboard Regularly

Now that you’ve built your KPI dashboard for marketing, don’t just abandon it. You need to keep iterating on it. As your team goals and priorities change, you need to update your dashboard to act as the heartbeat for whatever your team is doing. 

There are two aspects that you should consider while reviewing the dashboard for marketing.

  1. The Design Aspect

The best way to do this is to ask your team for feedback. Ask them about what they find most useful, what they never look at or find least useful, or if anything is missing that they’d find useful. 

Use this feedback to iterate on your dashboard. Check if your dashboard is driving the behavior you intended it to. 

  1. The Data Aspect

This is where you ensure the data integration is active because data reliability is crucial. It is better not to show any data than to show incorrect data. Hence, check the data connections, auto refresh schedules, and, most importantly, the report filters. In most scenarios, data integration will work fine, but a new metric would have been created in your CRM that you might not have accounted for. This could cause confusion and question data reliability. 

Step 6: [Optional] Automate Mundane Tasks

Congratulations on building your dashboard for marketing! Now it’s time to go the extra mile and automate reports to help you find key insights. You can use a common scripting language called ‘app scripts’. 

For example, you can write simple scripts that run periodically to populate data columns that require some sort of mathematical calculations using primary data. Or if your team member is required to identify trends from multiple rows of data manually, an appscript can help mitigate this effort. 

Such tasks can be automated so that you can focus on the tasks that need more attention while the app script has your back. We’ll soon be adding those awesome scripts to the Revlitix Library. You can use them to automate mundane tasks that take up so much of your time. And no, you don’t have to learn how to code! 

Step 7: [Optional] Setting it on Autopilot

Now imagine if you could just set the whole process on autopilot and focus on more exciting and new projects. Whenever something seems wrong, you get an alert. That’d be cool, right? 

Revlitix is your virtual marketer in the cloud that constantly analyzes your marketing campaigns and programs. Everything from website traffic, email open rates, and Google ads spending will be analyzed. 

You spend time focusing on the things that matter most and not searching for the needle in the haystack. You can start in minutes by simply inputting your goals and connecting all your data. Revlitix does the rest by immediately finding positive and negative trends and starts alerting you where you should spend your time and access the checklists and playbooks to understand how to take action.

Simply put, Revlitix doesn’t just tell you what happened, it tells you why it happened and what you need to do about it. 

Factors to Consider When Building a Marketing Dashboard 

When designing an ROI dashboard, here are a few things you need to consider. 

  • Audience 

A dashboard in marketing must communicate accurate insights derived from data, thus answering the audience's questions. They should speak the language of the audience. 

Hence, when building a marketing performance dashboard, look for features enabling the audience to dive deep into data. The KPIs you choose and how the data is displayed should help the audience make informed business decisions. 

For instance, the C-suite executives would be interested in looking at metrics directly tied to the organization’s objectives. This could include marketing-originated customers, marketing pipeline contribution, marketing ROI, marketing percentage of CAC, and others.

  • The Long-Term Organization Goals 

The organization’s long-term goals determine the specific KPIs you will track, the data visualizations, the smart alerts, and recommendations. Marketing reporting dashboards aren’t viewed in isolation. Hence, you need to consider your business goals to monitor the right metrics and get an overall picture of the performance. 

  • Historical Data 

Long-term data forms the basis for understanding industry trends and predicting future outcomes. When building a marketing performance dashboard, consider the timescales for each chart, graph, or other data visualization relevant to each KPI. 

Marketing ROI Dashboards Are Constantly Evolving 

Today’s competitive SaaS marketing environment demands advanced data analytics and management systems. As we progress to a digitally-advanced future, marketing reporting dashboards need to leverage disruptive technologies like AI and machine learning. 

AI and ML solutions are being increasingly adopted as a part of advanced analytics platforms to process data at scale. Machine learning and deep learning in analytics reduce data redundancies and make gathering and processing data less labor-intensive. 

For instance, cloud-based platforms like Google Cloud feature built-in ML capabilities that allow users to deploy and scale effective AI models. 

Advanced analytics is already deploying the following disruptive technologies for improved data analysis.

  1. Predictive analytics 

Predictive analytics leverages techniques from data mining, statistics, modeling, machine learning, and AI to analyze present data and make accurate predictions. Modern marketing campaign dashboards offer detailed insights into what has happened and use this data to predict market and customer behavior in the future. 

Such insights allow marketers to build relevant experiences and memorable client interactions. 

  1. Prescriptive analytics 

Prescriptive analytics works with predictive analytics to recommend future courses of action. It is a statistical method to generate recommendations based on the computational findings of AI-based algorithmic models. 

This advanced stage of business analytics helps marketers, and executives make sound business decisions based on the available data. 

  1. Integrated management systems

Most businesses use multiple platforms to facilitate their omnichannel campaigns. Advanced analytics platforms effortlessly integrate with various platforms to offer a single-pane-of-glass experience to marketers and executives. 

Wondering How to Create a Marketing Dashboard? 

Revlitix Is the Answer!

Simply put, a marketing ROI dashboard brings simplicity and clarity to marketers and the C-suite. A campaign analytics dashboard created on Revlitix turns raw data into dynamic visualizations and offers actionable insights in the form of next-best actions (NBAs). This hugely reduces the workload on the marketing team as they can effortlessly connect various data sources within a few clicks, thereby building an up-to-date repository of insights. 

Revlitix dashboard on Insights from Google Ads

The tool also offers a 30-second drag-and-drop report builder with 100+ pre-designed templates.  You can build customized multi-channel reports from scratch.

Revlitix dashboard with report builder

A clean marketing dashboard allows the C-suite to appreciate the ability to have access to data. This transparency allows them to realize the marketing team’s contribution to revenue. 

Here’s why Revlitix is the platform you should rely on when making a business case for the C-suite - 

  • Revlitix allows you to build the only dashboards you will ever need. These are built and vetted by experts with > 15 years of experience.
  • We offer 100+ pre-designed, drag-and-drop dashboards with a 30-second set-up - Not kidding!
  • The platform effortlessly integrates with key Martech platforms, thus streamlining business operations and improving the efficiency of data management. 
  • You do not have to write a single line of code. Unlike other solutions, Revlitix is a no-code platform, not low code.

Summing Up 

Marketing efforts have always been tough to quantify in terms of revenue impact, causing the C-suite to doubt their impact on revenue. No wonder, historically, marketing has been pigeonholed as a cost center, leaving SaaS marketers to take desperate measures to prove their impact on revenue

However, data can be the secret weapon that can support CMOs during board meetings and when communicating numbers with the C-suite. A great marketing dashboard can improve their level of fluency in metrics, data, and analytics, enabling them to make informed decisions and build trust with C-suite executives. 

Marketing metrics dashboards leverage the power of advanced analytics and make CMOs more conversant in data, empowering them to show their revenue value. We are sure that the information shared in this post will help you choose and build relevant dashboards that show  real-time data and insights to support business decisions. 

Scattered data hampers valuable insights

Don't worry. Revlitix centralizes scattered data, ensuring no valuable insights go unnoticed.

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