As your marketing agency grows, it becomes simply unsustainable to manage ad campaigns and client reports via Excel spreadsheets.
Different ad platforms use different metrics and dimensions, making it way more complex to compare cross-platform data. In 2021, a B2B marketer had to look at data from about 12 different sources on average.
Jumping from one ad platform to another takes a lot of time and energy. And since you can't do this 24/7, you risk missing out on important changes to your clients' marketing campaigns. Insights and decision-making are delayed, and marketing investments are wasted on ineffective campaigns.
As an agency leader, the last thing you want is to get bogged down by day-to-day tasks when you should be optimizing for performance and building relationships.
Multiply this by 100 clients, and you’ve got an onslaught of manual work on your hands.
If you want to keep scaling and delivering value to your clients, you need powerful automation software that will take care of all the tedious parts of your agency’s workflow. That’s what agency dashboards are for.
An agency dashboard is a marketing reporting tool that automatically compiles your clients’ campaign data from multiple sources and lets you visualize them on one dashboard. Figure 1 illustrates how data visualization looks on a spreadsheet vs. a digital marketing dashboard.
With an agency dashboard, you can manage all your clients’ campaign data in one place and create reports in minutes with minor complications. For example, Adriel’s dashboard allows you to aggregate your clients’ marketing data from over 600 ad platforms.
The best part about these automation tools is that you don’t need any technical or coding knowledge to use them. The software automatically populates all the data on the dashboard, processes this data, and creates reports with minimal configuration from your end.
In fact, 84% of businesses that turned to low-code and API-enabled platforms saw a reduced strain on IT resources, increased speed-to-market, and the creation of new offerings.
But is it easy to build a dashboard without knowing how to code?
If you're a marketing executive, you can easily build custom dashboards using widgets to cater to each client’s needs and priorities. For example, Adriel's marketing software offers widgets for data visualization, pivot tables, custom alerts, and a creative intelligence suite.
Simply drag-and-drop the widgets that you want onto your main dashboard for each client.
On Adriel, you can also create tables to group your client’s campaign data in any way you’d like. Figure 2 illustrates three examples of performance grouped by:
When the time comes for client reporting, you can add different breakdowns and add or remove metrics to organize your campaign data in a way that makes sense to your clients.
Marketing dashboards for agencies typically visualize all the important KPIs that agency owners would want to track and measure, such as:
But these metrics alone can’t propel business results for you and your clients. So what can?
The core value that marketing dashboards offer is automation. Tedious tasks are all streamlined, leaving more time for you to focus on strategy and client relationship management (CRM).
Once data transfer is automated, there’s less risk of data errors on dashboards. This means you can make better judgments and decisions on behalf of your clients, which leads to higher customer satisfaction and retention.
Compared to spreadsheets, the data on marketing dashboards is live. Once data sources are connected, your marketing software automatically streams campaign performance onto the user interface in real-time.
This allows you to instantly see whether your client’s campaigns are hitting the KPIs you set or falling behind. With this information, you can confidently reallocate ad dollars from low-performing campaigns to cash cows and optimize return on investment (ROI) for each individual client.
"Adriel is very adaptive to our needs with managing hundreds of clients. It’s vital for us to have a birds-eye view as well as a close-up view of everything that’s going on in all of our accounts, and we get that and more with Adriel. My favorite part is the alerts feature - knowing when something is off track right away has been hugely beneficial. Bonus: their team is a pleasure to work with," said B. Sarconi, Chief Fire Starter at Fireside, a Colorado-based marketing agency.
Marketing dashboards can also save money. What’d require the commitment of multiple account managers for managing your growing clientele, you can just invest in a single automation tool where one or two of your account managers can manage your clients’ marketing campaigns in one place.
The founder of Paparico, a marketing agency based in the UK, said, “Adriel made it easy for us to track our online ads across multiple platforms. The reporting process is now much more straightforward for my account managers, and our clients are in love with their new live dashboards. What a win!”
Not all marketing dashboards are created equal, however. Some of the most popular business intelligence dashboard in the market right now include:
But these providers are more geared toward giant marketing agencies with huge budgets. They might not be the right fit for a fast-growing agency like yours.
To find your ultimate agency dashboard, here are some factors you should consider:
Most dashboard software in the market allows you to connect with anywhere from 60 to 600+ advertising and analytics platforms. The more connections, the better.
For instance, on Adriel’s dashboard, you can connect to your ad accounts like Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Amazon Ads, as well as e-commerce social platforms like LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Reddit. You can also connect to analytics tools like Google Analytics, mobile analytics like AppsFlyer and Adjust, and other sales and CRM tools.
If there are any connections that dashboards don’t support natively, Adriel also offers Google spreadsheet integrations that would configure the software to ingest pretty much any kind of data, as long as it’s in a certain format.
But it’s not just about the number of connections but also how easy it is to connect to these data sources. On Adriel, you can simply choose the platform you want to connect to from a drop-down list.
Most dashboard software in the market will have set schedules at which they refresh the data that comes onto your dashboard.
But in a world where data is evolving every second, this is not enough to be truly on top of your client’s marketing campaigns. You need a dashboard that streams data as it comes in real-time so you can always see the latest campaign performance.
Look for marketing software like Adriel that not only streams real-time data but also automatically tracks all the data and alerts you whenever campaign metrics go above or below a certain KPI.
This would greatly reduce the time your account managers would have to spend going into each ad platform to make sure everything is on the right track, which can propel faster decision-making.
Another important factor for agencies is granular data. Most dashboard software can show you all the main KPIs at a glance. But what if you want to dive deep into the details of your marketing campaigns?
If you’ve created advertisements for your clients, it’s natural that you want to report on their effectiveness back to them.
Most dashboards will tell you the results of an ad, without actually showing you the ad. This makes it difficult to analyze which ad creatives worked well and which didn’t.
Choose software that shows you granular data down to the ad level and allows you to report back on headlines, CTAs, and ad copies that created value for your clients.
This way, you can provide unrivaled customer service, build trustworthy agency-client relationships, and differentiate yourself from other agencies with a competitive advantage.
In an agency, you want to be able to present different sets of information to different stakeholders.
For example, your CEO might want to look at more high-level KPIs rather than diving deep into each little nook and cranny of the campaigns, whereas your data analysts or account manager would want to be more focused on granular level data, such as pivot tables, where they can access a bunch of rows of data.
On Adriel’s agency dashboard, you can set up different views for each role by adjusting the settings with a few clicks. You can also set up different views per client where you can either have a template shared across all clients or create individual templates for each client. It’s also super easy to duplicate a template!
When it comes to client reporting, it’s very time-consuming to manually build complex dashboards in Google Data Studio or beautify your reports on PowerPoint.
A good marketing dashboard can also automate this process. Adriel allows you to generate PDF reports with your brand visuals and client logos and colors within minutes.
If you are experiencing exponential growth in your marketing agency, it’s time to power up your tool suite with a comprehensive automation tool. We hope this guide helped you better understand what an agency dashboard is and how you can select one that fits your agency’s needs.
At Adriel, we fully understand the struggles that agencies have to go through when onboarding a new piece of software. This is why we have an extensive client onboarding process that spans 30 to 60 days. During this time, we provide full support in integrating your data sources, making sure all the data is pulling in correctly, and ensuring all your reports are automatable.