The perfect internet marketing dashboard

Ian Lurie

I want the perfect marketing dashboard.

But I can never seem to find it.

Here’s what it needs to look like:

My perfect Dashboard

Why is that so hard?

If I’m missing something, let me know.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. Ian –
    Its terrific you are thinking along these lines. Getting that perfect dashboard is indeed a challenge. Some tools like HubSpot do a great job with some of this stuff.
    I really wanted to comment on what you should add here. Conversion rates. You need to track (by channel)
    traffic to leads
    leads to sales (and ultimately)
    traffic to sales
    e.g. if your twitter traffic is getting you most sales, perhaps that’s where you want to spend your most effort?
    Mentions are great – any way to stack mentions by klout score? You want more mentions by people with high scores for maximum influence and then more mentions for maximum reach.
    What you’ve shown demonstrates “What is”. If you’re interested in “why?” then definitely explore some of the metrics I suggested!

  2. Ian, I would also greatly appreciate such a dashboard but the problem is API access : too many providers and too much computing/programming involved. As the Web evolves towards semantic Web, I think we will have more and more access to this kind of global data.
    My needs would also require the ability to segment by channel type like Preshant told in the last comment. Finally, the power to link that to my website Analytics provider.You also forgot a few SEO metrics (links).
    Preshant, I’ve also heard about Hubspot but it doesn’t look that impressive to me.

  3. Have you taken a look at Geckoboard? It does quite a good job at making a dashboard from different sources. I’ve also have been trying to make a good dashboard that tells it all. But it’s hard.

  4. There are a handful of companies trying to tackle this approach. I’m honestly amazed that more SEOs, marketers, and entrepreneurs haven’t been crying out for a unified dashboard. We waste a lot of time switching back and forth between programs and spreadsheets.
    Geckoboard probably comes closest. With API access to Twitter, Analytics, MailChimp, and a couple of shopping carts it nails most of your metrics. It says you can use it to display data from any API, or connect directly to your own database – but not sure how well that works.
    Metricly has many of the same connections as Geckoboard, but presents things a little differently.
    Good Data also tries to present data, but I don’t think it connects directly to all the sources needed for your dashboard.

  5. Where are your GOALS, good sir? Adding a line to each graph to show where you hope to be performing adds so much context for the business stakeholders.
    I like how you haven’t bogged things down with numbers and have kept it mostly visual. This is great.
    I study at the school of when it comes to dashboards. It’s much more difficult than it seems.

  6. Agreed—if you find something like this, please let me know, cause I need one as well!
    I’ll echo what the other users are saying: Geckoboard is the closest thing I know of.

  7. Guys – thanks x 1000 for Geckoboard, it’s the closest I can see to what I really, really need, i.e. what’s outlined in the post above.

  8. Ian, for your business, who would you count as part of your “pipeline” ? (What are the criteria for someone being ‘in the pipeline’ ?)
    thx, Glenn

  9. It’s great to see discussion on this often neglected topic.
    A big part of the challenge is that the perfect marketing / sales dashboard varies by business. That said, businesses typically need a dashboard built upon the classic sales funnel as it relates to their business.
    I’ve found that at a high level, that means tracking key stages in the pipeline, such as visitors, inquiries, qualified leads, opportunities and sales. Just as important are conversion ratios and conversion costs. When you put it together, it’s a pretty good indicator of what needs to improve and how the business is performing.

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