How CTM Uses CTM: Tracking Marketing ROI with Google Data Studio Dashboards
At CallTrackingMetrics, we’re proud to say we’re a SaaS company that actively uses our own product every day. Like our customers, we use CTM to manage our sales and support interactions with customers, track engagement on our marketing campaigns, and report on our agent and call performance. In this series, How CTM Uses CTM, we highlight how our own team uses our platform to help inform strategies or techniques you may want to employ at your own company. In this installment, we catch up with our Senior Manager of Demand Generation, Chris Todd, to explore how he uses our Google Data Studio integration to deliver key performance metrics to stakeholders across our organization.
Since launching our integration with Google Data Studio last spring, the integration has become a key part of our marketing team’s toolkit. Our Senior Manager of Demand Generation (and self-professed data nerd) Chris Todd monitors our reports in the platform daily to keep an eye on lead quality and volume, as well as dispense information to other teams as needed. With the power of all of our historical raw CTM data at his fingertips, partnered with insights coming in from other sources such as Facebook, Google Ads and Analytics, and more, he’s able to uncover key learnings and takeaways that translate across teams.
Read on to learn more about how he sets up our dashboards, surprising insights he’s uncovered, and what he would suggest for new users getting started with Google Data Studio and CTM.
Tell us more about your process with our Google Data Studio integration. How are you using it to digest and analyze our data?
In my role, I’m constantly measuring key metrics for our marketing, sales, and leadership teams, such as: lead and sign-up volume, cost per lead (CPL), cost per acquisition (CPA), site conversion rate, and organic session counts. The Data Studio connection automatically refreshes data every 12 hours, so in-app CTM is still my go to for real-time conversation data, but the dashboards work well for me to go in each morning and get a pulse check of our performance from the day before. I can also use Data Studio to compare specific date ranges in our data to measure granular changes in performance.
I have one high-level dashboard that I’ve built to quickly visualize those metrics and monitor performance over time, but I’ve also pulled together several other reports. For example, we have a dashboard that dives deeper into our paid media efforts, analyzing our total spend for the month, the number of impressions and clicks generated, and the resulting conversions broken down by keyword or landing page. Our paid media manager monitors this throughout the month to inform her strategy and to provide a visual for our leadership team to quickly digest how effectively our budgets are being used.
The platform is flexible enough that I can easily build new reports on request, such as when our marketing director requested more insights on our funnel conversion rates against our stated goals and industry benchmarks. Overall, the integration provides a supplement to CTM data—not a replacement—and allows me to disseminate CTM data to people who aren’t living in the platform every day.
What are your favorite features of the integration, or what do you find most useful?
I use the “Call Log” connector version of our integration, which pulls in all of our historical raw data from CallTrackingMetrics. There is another version of the integration, called the “Activity Reports” connector, which pulls in existing data from your CTM activity reports and is therefore a lighter data set and lift for those who don’t need to customize quite as much. But I love being able to use all of our call log data to create whatever kind of report I need, isolate the exact metrics I’m looking for, and use that to paint a better picture of how those metrics look in comparison to data from our other tools like Google Ads and Analytics. CTM doesn’t delete any of your call, form, text, etc. data, so you can pull historical metrics from the beginning of your account to bring into your dashboards (even if it’s from before you connected the integration) which is super useful to see performance over time.
I also like the ability to start with a blank slate in Google Data Studio and build out the visuals how I want them. The template CTM provides is a great resource, especially for contact center audiences to see top line stats and activity in their call center, but as a data-driven digital marketer, I definitely have my own preferences for how I want to visualize and customize the data. I always start by thinking about what I want to present and what story I want to tell with the data—versus just pulling stats without a plan in place. Fortunately, I’ve been using Google Data Studio for several years and have worked with designers in the past which has helped inform what visuals make the most sense for what types of data. I also use the hex codes from our style guide to customize the visuals in line with our own branding.
Have you uncovered any surprising metrics or takeaways that you wouldn’t have expected by being able to view your data in this way?
One thing that surprised us was we assumed early on that leads coming in via organic search were higher quality than other channels. Over time, as we dug in further we saw that this wasn’t actually the case and that we were consistently seeing equally high lead quality from other channels, including paid media. Unifying metrics from CTM as well as other data sources in Google Data Studio means we’re no longer making assumptions about what we didn’t have specific answers to before.
How do you share the insights you’re capturing with other teams at CTM?
We have a biweekly marketing and leadership team meeting where we review our paid advertising metrics and discuss strategy, which our paid media dashboard provides a good jumping off point for discussion. That said, shared links are always live and up-to-date, so our COO could go in at any time and check performance or manipulate the dates to see something different.
Everyone’s dashboard personality is unique and different teams will want to see different things; fortunately the integration is flexible enough to allow for those individual tweaks. My goal is for our dashboards to serve as a central hub where anyone in our organization can jump in and grab the info they need.
Any tips you would give new users for configuring their reports in Google Data Studio?
Know what questions you want your data to answer first before you jump in and just start pulling in stats. Is your leadership team asking specific questions you haven’t been able to answer yet? What does your marketing or sales team need to know to drive performance? How has your lead quality changed over time?
I’d also recommend labeling everything clearly and making notes on your data comparisons so that others can quickly digest what you want the data to say. Make your data “apples to apples” so that you’re not comparing two different metrics that don’t make sense next to each other. The data should flow together and your visuals should tell a story by aligning the data in ways that make the most sense to your org.