As a marketing agency, you’re likely laser focused on helping your clients to improve their keyword ranking, get engagement on their social media posts, create great content, improve click through rates, and prove return on investment. Just like any other business, it’s easy to forget about ourselves. We get so caught up working on revenue generating activities and putting out client fires that our own business, marketing, and growth gets thrown to the wayside.
But, as we’re sure you always preach to your own clients, you can’t do that. You’ve got to treat yourself as your BEST client. If you don’t you’ll never grow to the extent that you’ve dreamt of and you put yourself at risk of missing your goals. This doesn’t only go for managing your own marketing (which we know you’re likely pushing off because you’d rather be marketing for your clients), but also your own analytics. Every business needs at least one data dashboard, and that is no different for marketing agencies. A marketing agency is a business like any other and in order to remain (or become) profitable, run a good business, and grow, you’ve got to know your numbers.
So what kind of things should a marketing agency be tracking on their own data dashboard? Let’s take a look at eight things that HAVE to be on the data dashboard for your own agency.
No matter your industry, if you don’t run your business by your numbers, you’re almost guaranteed to fail. We are all in business to make money and without a firm grasp on your numbers including revenue, expenses, accounts payable, and accounts receivable (at the very least) you’re going to lose control of your business. We recommend adding a finance section to your data dashboard (or a separate finance dashboard) so that you can keep track of these things at a single glance. While you obviously can’t run all of your finances from a single dashboard, you can keep an eye on these items and quickly identify if there is an area that needs your immediate attention.
No matter which payment processing, bookkeeping, or finance application you use, there is a way to integrate it into your data dashboard so that you can stay up to date at all times without opening 100 different applications. Know your numbers!
As a marketing agency, you’re no doubt very familiar with Google Trends. It’s a fantastic tool to keep track of the progress of specific keywords and phrases. You can see when something begins to trend, where it’s becoming most popular, related topics, and how the popularity of that term has progressed over time.
Just as you’d do for your clients, keeping track of search terms that you’re targeting for your agency will help you to stay ahead of the curve and will allow you be more agile in your search engine optimization and keyword strategies. Even though you’re a marketing agency, you’ve still got to focus on those tactics for your own business!
As any marketing agency owner knows, keeping track of all the projects that you’ve got going on can be a full time job on its own! At any one time you’ve likely got dozens of different projects going on from a small logo design to a large inbound marketing campaign, and everything in between. It can be insanely difficult to keep up with everything coming and going for your clients, but also internally with your own team.
Most agencies have multiple people working on a single client depending on the client’s needs and scope. Without effective communication, things can easily be dropped, forgotten, or even repeated. If you’ve been in business longer than a few months, you’ve likely adopted a project management software like Basecamp. With a simple integration, you can keep track of everything happening with each of your clients and projects from a single data dashboard. How great would it be to look at a single dashboard in order to update yourself on everything going on with your team and your clients? You can do just that by adding a project management section to your data dashboard or by creating a separate project management dashboard.
Competitor RSS Feed
Again, just like any other business, you want to know what your competition is up to. What are they being successful with? What fell flat? It’s important to keep an eye on what your top competitors are doing so that you can emulate things that are being successful for them, avoid things that are not going according to plan, and to find opportunities that your competition has yet to recognize.
By adding your competitor’s RSS feed to your dashboard, you’ll be able to see when a new blog post has been shared by them. You’ll be able to track the content that they’re putting out, the keywords that they’re focusing on, and even use it to get ideas for your future blog posts and pieces of content. Heck, you might even learn something from your competitors. Set up your competitor’s feeds in your data dashboard and easily keep an eye on their content.
Moz is any marketing agency’s best friend. Almost all agencies use it and love it, but you’re likely using it for your clients and haven’t even thought to use it for yourself! Marketing agencies are not immune to the need to manage their own search engine optimization and content. Adding a Moz widget to keep track of things like your MozRank, Page Authority, Domain Authority, and backlinks will help you to better understand your own website and what you can (and need to) do in order to move up the SERPs (search engine results pages)! If you’re not familiar with Moz, check out our Understanding Your Moz Analytics and SEO Insights post!
It’s possible that your agency has a pay per click specialty and is very active in all available digital advertising mediums from Google Adwords to Facebook ads to Bing ads and more. If this is the case, you probably have a great reporting function that gives your clients a very in-depth view of how their money is being spent, the benefits gained from that spend, as well as the number of clicks, leads, and customers as a result of their advertising spend.
But, what are you doing for yourself? Are you using these advertising platforms for your own agency? If so, you may not need to be in your advertising accounts every day, but with a data dashboard with information on each of your spends you’ll quickly get an idea of how well your ads are performing, how much you’re spending, relevancy scores, and whether your impressions, clicks, actions, and conversions are trending the right way or the wrong way. Having this widget (or multiple widgets) installed on your data dashboard will give you the ability to monitor your campaigns without being in each platform on a daily basis and you’ll still be able to spot issues or opportunities quickly.
Website chat and ticketing systems have grown exponentially in popularity over the last two years and are starting to become the norm. As with most marketing agencies, you are likely ahead of the curve and have been working with some sort of chat and/or ticketing system for some time now. Since not everyone understands marketing or all the moving pieces involved in a marketing campaign, your visitors and customers likely have a lot of questions. Utilizing this kind of support system allows you to manage your tickets, agents, and support satisfaction. Pushing all of that data to your dashboard will help you keep track of your customer satisfaction and head off issues within your team or services before they really become a problem.
This one kind of goes with the finance point, but as all marketing agencies know, clients LOVE to pay their invoices late. While obviously you ultimately just want to be paid, being paid late can wreak havoc on your cash flow. Monitoring your outstanding invoices on your data dashboard can give you a great reminder of which clients you need to follow up with and encourage to get their invoice paid on time.
We’re all busy. It’s too easy to get caught up focusing on your client work and forget that while even though you’re working IN your business, you’ve also got to work ON your business. Depending on the size of your marketing agency, this can be more or less of a problem, but no matter if you’re a one man show or a 50 person agency, you have likely fallen into this trap in the past. It’s easy to fix that issue by adding a data dashboard (or multiple dashboards) in order to keep all of your important internal analytics together in an easily digestible form. If you’re not already managing a data dashboard, we welcome you to try our FOREVER FREE dashboard. Build your first dashboard and we’re sure it will change the way you approach managing your marketing agency! No credit card, no obligation, just free.