Value-Based vs. Action-Based Marketing Dashboards

Performance-driven marketing agencies need to show value.


As a business owner, I care more about the value of my marketing than the what of my marketing. If I spend $10,000 a month on my marketing and I have no idea the value, measured as revenues, I am getting I am concerned. After talking with hundreds of marketing agency owners, it is clear the primary reason they lose clients is not the often stated “poor communication”; it is that the client does not see the value provided. This is not to say that the agency was not delivering it. Just that most marketing agencies poorly show the value. They show their work. Their actions.

What is a Value-Based Marketing Dashboard

A Value-Based marketing dashboard is one that allows business stakeholders (agency clients and business owners) to see the value being driven by your marketing efforts and make business decisions easily if necessary. Here is how an AI defined it, “A value-based marketing dashboard is a comprehensive tool that focuses on quantifying the effectiveness of marketing initiatives in terms of financial returns and long-term brand equity.”

The first image below is a dashboard from SaturnOne is an example of a value-based. It represents the top-level results of two campaigns for a month. Right at the top, it tells me what was spent, the value generated in terms of revenue, and the ROI (return on investment).

This one has a lead magnet campaign (often in the middle of the funnel) and a book sales call campaign (bottom of the funnel). All the numbers needed to see the result and value are front-and-center. 

Value-Based Dashboard for Marketing Agency Clients

Here is another example, from an agency client of SaturnOne, of a single landing page and a test Google advertising campaign. This is drilled down value-based analysis. You can easily see the cost, value metrics, and ROI. 

Drill-down and campaign specific value-based report for a landing page.

This one could have multiple referrers and campaigns driven to the landing page, and we can segment by channels, regions, etc. The value of these is that it also allows us to make better marketing decisions. Where to focus and where to stop spending money and efforts (at least for now). 

Benefits Of Value-based Marketing Dashboards

If you are a Performance-Driven marketing agency? Or want to be? Then, you need value-based analytics and reporting

You really need to understand these value metrics, primarily ROI. While we use CLP, CAC, ROAS, the key to Value-Based analytics and reporting is ROI. It allows you to normalize analysis, thus comparing apples to apples and considering time periods for our return calculations. 

A $400 CAC in one channel may give you a better return than a $100 CAC on another. The $400 channel may be where your best customers come from. And the $100 channel may actually give you a negative ROI... where you lose money! 

There are business decisions that should trump marketing action-oriented decisions for your agency of business. And ROI is the key to making those decisions.

To really understand the value business needs from marketing, see “Business Goals vs. Marketing Goals: Aligning Marketing Goals with Business Objectives: A Guide for Agency Owners.

What is an Action-Based Marketing Dashboard

Action-based metrics measure the specific actions your audience takes in response to your marketing efforts, such as clicks, downloads, sign-ups, and conversions. By tracking these metrics, you can understand how your audience engages with your campaigns and tailor your strategy accordingly.

Examples of action-based metrics include click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, bounce rate, time on page, and social media engagement. These metrics provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and help you optimize those campaigns for better results. It does not tell you if the value is there, just the actions performed as a result of the campaigns.

Understanding Action-Based Marketing Dashboard

Below are typical action-based dashboards. Notice it is not a summary. Even the few that include revenue, like ads reports such as this one, the business sense of ROI and time are missing.

LinkedIn Ads KPI Dashboard
Facebook Page Engagement KPI Dashboard

Agency Analytics, DashThis, and many others have dozens of connections to ad and analytics data sources and allow you to pump out dashboards with 100s of KPIs, if not thousands. 

Benefits of action-based marketing dashboards

In my view, these types of dashboards are used by agencies with limited or no resources to do value-based analysis or often social engagement for follower generation. You simply connect your data source, select their template and out pop every possible KPI.

An action-based marketing dashboard is a dynamic tool designed to guide day-to-day marketing activities and campaign management. It offers a granular view of marketing tactics and channels, displaying real-time data that marketers can act upon quickly to optimize performance.

These dashboards focus on short-term metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and social media engagement statistics. The immediacy and specificity of the data make them particularly useful for marketing teams looking to make quick adjustments to campaigns.

Conclusion: choosing the right dashboard for your business

If you are a performance-driven marketing agency or are striving to be, you absolutely need more than the standard action-based metric dashboards. Doing lead and customer generation marketing, then you have to show business considerations and value. If you do this, you will:

  1. Keep your clients longer. For marketing agencies, acquiring a new client costs 5X more than retaining an existing one ... So make them Sticky!
  2. Close high-value clients much more easily… so much less competition if you show value as part of your processes and reporting.
  3. Server higher revenue clients. Stay away from smaller value, short-term clients. Value-Based analytics and reporting is your key to this.

You are forced to really understand the client's needs. The value needed from marketing. Use these to set goals and improve your marketing performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the key differences between value-based and action-based marketing metrics?
  2. How can marketers effectively integrate value-based and action-based metrics in their marketing dashboards?
  3. What are some common challenges faced when using value-based or action-based dashboards?
  4. How can marketers determine which approach - value-based or action-based - is more suitable for their specific marketing goals?