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CMO Showcase

Turning Your CMO Marketing Dashboard into a Revenue Generating Machine

Find your North Star, Generate Marketing Source Revenue, and get the most from your Full Customer Lifecycle

Or continue scrolling for more on maximizing your marketing reporting!

What to Expect From This Experience

As a CMO, you are an intelligent and creative leader. Your role is not just fluffy arts and crafts. Your job is to be a Revenue Generating Champion for your business. It’s time to illustrate the crucial difference.

Here’s how to demonstrate the strategic partnership between technical data and creative fluff—and differentiate “arts and crafts” from real, tangible results.

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How to Identify your North Star

Know what to look for and how to get there. Evaluate different sources of leads and their ROI.

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See Example Reports a CMO Needs Today

Take these example reports and use them to establish your reporting strategies and cadences for your department.

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Leverage Presentation Resources for Leadership

All the background information and resources you need to present your findings to your leadership counterparts or board members.

Challenges in Demonstrating Marketing Contributions

Illustrating success to a Board of Directors represents a unique challenge in itself. As marketers, we must use clear and reliable data to truly show the effectiveness of our efforts.  No one, board members in particular, have time to scroll through pages and pages of reports looking for what constitutes “success.”

The intelligence offered in these reporting examples are critical to your colleagues and board member's ability to visualize trends at a snapshot level. The following slides aim to give you the tools for providing just the right amount of visibility, plus all of the facts, figures, and details to back up your accomplishments.

The main challenge many CMO's face: Explaining their results in a clear and concise way for non-marketers to digest.

Error Prone Activities

When reporting, ensure you keep a critical eye on these three underlying themes for overall organizational collaboration and to build trust with your department, data, and reports.

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Inconsistent Reporting

One month you report on a specific KPI, then the second month that KPI metric doesn't look good. Don't fall into the trap of changing what you report - stay consistent on what matters to the success of the business.
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Missed Marketing to Sales Handoffs

The Sales leader is your date to the dance. Ensure your handoffs are smooth and well documented. A CMO report is not the place to point fingers. Work together prior to reporting to show the collaborative approach and success.
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Poor Data Hygiene

"Can you dive into this data one layer deeper?" is a common question marketers answer. If you have poor data hygiene in your database, you are likely to make an error that undermines your data and reports in a public setting.

Uncovering Forward-Looking KPIs

Our ultimate goal is to use historical data to improve future outcomes. To achieve this, we need accurate data. 

These are five main reasons we need dependable, clean data:
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To cultivate and maintain trust with stakeholders

Internal stakeholders rely on these reports to determine investment value, so we need to be able to trust that future reports will be accurate.
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To audit campaign performance with accuracy

When data is trustworthy, leadership teams can more accurately assess what efforts are paying off and which need more work.
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To justify expenses and showcase marketing ROI

Marketing investments can generate a high price tag, but developing your campaign strategies based on dependable data ensures a worthwhile payoff. 
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To track and optimize touchpoints

By identifying drop-off points and verifying where the most conversions occur, marketing teams can confirm issues and optimize specific steps in the pipeline.

To catalyze the full customer lifecycle

Marketing's role is often limited to the initial portion of the entire customer lifecycle, but marketing data can provide visibility and valuable insights into other key aspects of the lifecycle as well.

Why Benchmarking and Tracking Trends Are Crucial.

  1. Benchmarking is the activity of evaluating where you and your organization truly are at a point in time. It helps to identify strengths and weaknesses. Over inflating benchmark data will only come to harm a CMO down the line.

  2. Tracking trends is the real-time process of seeing what's working and what isn't. This will help evaluate the patterns of successful campaigns, financial investments and results, and similar. 

This slide deck shows you where you can find this vital intelligence—and how to leverage it to show the power and potential of your marketing efforts. When it’s time to show your Board of Directors all that you’ve achieved through the power of marketing, these slides are jam-packed with everything you’ll need to back up your statements.

Data Sources & Visualization Tools

Every tech stack looks different because every business is different. Below you’ll find a list of popular go-to tools and their roles in managing, organizing, and visualizing performance using high-quality data. 

Follow Your North Star

But first, find something to follow. Your North Star metric is not your singular focus but your guiding light for success. How do you recognize it? Ask yourself:

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What data point effectively defines your customers’ problems AND the revenue that can be generated by solving them?

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What data point defines the success of your team and their efforts?

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What specific metric can hold everyone on your team accountable for a particular outcome?

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Is this a trackable metric? Will succeeding at this metric move the business forward?

How Is Marketing Contributing to Your Sales Pipeline?

What and where are your most vital touchpoints? From lead generation to conversion, your job is to determine, highlight, and clearly show the output of your team’s efforts in the revenue generation process as part of a full customer lifecycle. In the following slides, we’ll offer several insights into key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help you quantify the successes of your marketing team in relation to ROI.

When trying to prove the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, consider these metrics:

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Conversion Rate

How many of the leads that marketing generated turned into Opportunities? And then Customers?

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Cost Per Acquisition

From First Touch to Closed Won, what was the total expense to acquire the customer?

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Customer Lifetime Value

Now that you know your Cost Per Acquisition, what is the projected Lifetime Value of that Customer and the cost per value ratio.


Cross-Sell and Up-Sell Dollars

Many marketing organizations are focused 80% on net new logos and 20% on cross-sell and up-sell. Ensure you're capturing the pipeline contribution to those additional dollars.

Breaking Down Your North Star

Hand Raisers. At-Bats. Sales Accepted Leads. Whatever you want to call them, they’re most likely your North Star—your guide to campaign success. For us marketers, choosing what path to get those leads is up to you, but look at the situation as....

Ideally, your North Star will be one of the following. Additionally, you can choose a supporting metric to support your North Star:

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Volume of Leads

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Cost Per Lead

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Quality of Leads

Essentially, you can confidently have two of these and be successful. All three metrics may be what your board and C-Suite colleagues want, but may not be reasonable.

Example: You can have a high volume of very qualified leads, but those leads will be pricey.
Example: You can have a high volume of leads at a low cost per lead, but you may be sifting through a bit of junk.
Example: You can have a high quality leads at a low cost per lead, but the volume will lack.

SmartBug's Recommended North Star

This dashboard is a leading indicator of how many people completed your primary Request a Demo / Contact Us / Talk to Sales website form and have indicated they want to talk to a member of your sales team - Volume of Leads.

You can then track their lifecycle to determine from their progress through the sales funnel.

Additional Mission Critical Metrics

This second dashboard is a leading indicator for pipeline generated from marketing activities - related to different sources that are important to our team (you might have different sources depending on the industry or product/service that you sell).

It's important to call out this report is total contributed pipeline from marketing and includes all open deals, closed won deals, and closed lost deals!

This third dashboard is the punchline of what the CEO, Board of Directors, and sales leaders care about. It's beyond the leading indicators and is dollars that make it into the business. While they may not be as interested in the source of these dollars, it is critical for you to know this to determine ROI of campaigns, what channels are producing customers, and so on.

The previous dashboard showed all pipeline (that could come from open, lost, and won deals), this dashboard is only measuring Marketing Sourced Closed Won revenue.

What About Your Paid Media Metrics?

Paid media is one of the fastest ways to bring in leads that support your North Star metric. Paid media or PPC is like a faucet of leads. Turn it on, leads will generate. Turn it off and the leads will dry up. The cost of that water in the faucet can become a notable amount on your budget and P&L sheet.  

Three Key Metrics for Evaluating the Performance of Paid Media Campaigns:

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Ad Spend Cost

How much did you invest or spend on advertising campaigns to promote your product or service?

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Click-through Rate Volume

How many users clicked or followed the CTA within the advertisement?

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Conversion Rates Quality

How many interactions led to a conversion or a closed won deal for this campaign?

This dashboard represents how many contacts have been created for the past 120 days from paid media efforts, segmented out by lifecycle. This report indicates that paid efforts are bringing in the right type of contacts as many are converting to opportunities and customers.

This is an important benchmark for many teams as the goal is often to target contacts who are at the bottom of the funnel that are more likely to buy.

Evaluating the Success of Your Short-Term Campaigns

Think product launches and seasonal promotions. Measure, monitor, and note performance fluctuations based on predictable but intermittent campaigns. Similar to PPC metrics.

These data points can include: Click-through rate, cost per click, cost per lead, total marketing qualified leads, total sales qualified leads, return on advertising spend (ROAS).

This report is designed to showcase the real time output of an off-line campaign (such as an event). Transparent data like this shows how many leads marketing generated from the event and then the status of those contacts by each sales representative. Are the reps getting in touch with the prospects? Are they converting? Who is converting the best?

Putting very niche campaigns in a standalone report will make it easier in the future to consolidate and aggregate the data on how the campaign event performed.



Evaluating the Success of Your Evergreen Campaigns

Think long-play campaigns and long-term efforts with a sustained impact on revenue and customer acquisition. A long-term play takes patience, but it also often leads to more dollars in the door.

A brand needs to maintain all of the above qualities for a long-play campaign to succeed. Identify the sequence of actions that led to a close or conversion. Experiment with and contrast different attribution models to measure these capabilities and course-correct as necessary.

Long-term efforts create a sustained impact on revenue and customer acquisition through:

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Consistency in messaging and branding

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Long-term ROI and customer acquisition

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Greater appeal to a wider audience 

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Increased credibility and authority

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More sustainability in the long run

What is a common way to showcase the ROI of your evergreen campaigns? First Touch Attribution Reporting! There are many different models that you can use to report on how your marketing efforts are contributing to the pipeline and the one you choose will depend on your marketing goals and the supported analysis that’s expected of your team.

This report focuses on the first interaction with your digital brand and highlights which content is resonating to bring in prospects.

A Last Interaction is a favorite report by the sales team, as they are most likely receiving the weighted attribution. If you're a D2C or B2C company, this may not be the case (as a sales person may not be involved in the process).

What marketers should be leaning into is the last marketing contributed interaction. What was the final touch that encouraged the prospect to engage with the sales team?

Understanding Key Conversion Metrics

Conversion rates reflect the efficiency of your marketing efforts.  WHERE are these conversions occurring? Which specific channels? Then—WHERE does it tie into your other efforts?
Explain how these conversion metrics link to paid media and campaign strategies.

The total of contacts created by source is an important indicator that won't necessarily showcase ROI, but will help provide supplemental information to where you're generating prospects. This report is a leading indicator of where contacts are coming from to your site. Depending on your marketing strategy, you may have quite a few contacts coming from referral sites. Or, you may have a strong inbound marketing game and see Organic Search as your primary source of contacts.

Ensure you also view Offline Sources to have full line of sight into all of the contacts entering your CRM database.

Understanding Risk-Mitigating Metrics

Monitoring marketing contact limits. Why?

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Prevent audience fatigue


Maintain engagement


Track contract expiration dates


Ensure customer retention


Encourage contract renewal

This dashboard showcases how many marketing contacts currently live in a CRM - having a dashboard like this will help you stay under a contact limit with your CRM, like HubSpot.

Ensuring you have visibility will help ensure you don't get blindsided with additional bills of increased amount of contacts (or, that you have space in your database for an import of leads, such as a large event).

Download This As A PDF to Make Your Marketing Reporting More Impactful

You’ve identified what you need. You know where to start. You have the knowledge you need to make your marketing efforts stronger. Put it all into practice by downloading this information and begin building your CMO dashboard.

Actionable Insights

Based on the data presented in the previous slides, we offer a few final pieces of actionable advice:

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Let it sit and come back to it

Give it 24 hours. Allow your brain to rest and reflect before you finalize your reports. In the downtime, consider what story you want your data to tell and whether or not it’s getting that message across. Don’t rush—haste is waste.
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Find (but don’t accept) the answers

The purpose of developing this report for your brand is to identify in which areas you’re winning—and where you need improvement. You may not like the answers the dashboard reveals, but it will give you an excellent place to start.

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Know what’s under the hood

Know your business inside and out, including achievements, failures, objectives, and functionalities. Know if you’re winning big enough to sustain business growth, so you can optimize your campaigns to be even better. If anyone pulls back the curtain, you should be ready with the facts and figures to prove value.

Importance of Metric Consistency

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Incorrect data leaves you (and your business) exposed. 

Leaders can understand missteps, but they hate being misled. Find the right metrics so you (and everyone else) can trust your insights. If leadership can’t trust your data, they can’t trust anything you say. Compare apples to apples—find the consistency in your trends and run with it.

Know your business and all the relevant data points that contribute to its campaign successes (and failures).

Supercharge your growth and stay ahead of the competition—work with us!

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