By Amanda Gubbins, SEMA
Chris Douglas, vice president of marketing at the COMP Performance Group, firmly believes that there has never been a better time to be in business. Marketing a product or service is easier than ever with the direct access that social media offers. "Before, you always had to go through someone else. There was always someone in the middle translating. With social media, now we can post right to passionate fans. We can instantly ask a question, and they give very honest feedback," he says.
Keeping track of the conversations taking place is important. Dashboard technology makes that simple for users.
Douglas' first exposure to dashboards was during a visit to the headquarters of online apparel retailer Zappos, where a screen showed incoming orders from around the world. The COMP Performance Group adopted the technology about two months ago. Though there are many choices, their application of choice is Leftronic.
Different vendors provide customizable widgets that can be used with Leftronic to display any information that an organization needs to see. The COMP Performance Group displays 10 unique dashboards on a 54-inch monitor. "The dashboard really serves a dual purpose for us," says Douglas. "First, it is a constant visual reminder of what's going on and our traffic on the web. We also do many tours and it's a great conversation piece when guests come in."
The COMP Performance Group also collects data about site traffic in a more granular form for tracking purposes, but the dashboard provides a visual aid. "If this information is out of sight, it's out of mind. Since we are pulled in so many different directions, we need that constant reminder," says Douglas.
A dashboard is dedicated to the social media use of the Group's two largest brands. The other, smaller brands are combined on one board, where web analytics and social media are tracked. "It's cool to see where web traffic is coming from on the websites. We watch it start heavy on the East coast and slowly migrate west as the work day begins in different time zones," says Douglas.
Leftronic's capabilities are not limited to web analytics. The COMP Performance Group has another dashboard in the marketing department, where vacations are posted and a funny picture of the week appears. "It's a morale boost for our department," says Douglas.
Over time, Douglas knows that the Group will continue to refine the use of technology. Currently, they are working with Leftronic to develop a board that will visualize the inter-company project management system and keep everyone organized.
Douglas encourages others to look into how the technology might benefit their companies. The low-cost charge associated with Dash Boards makes it feasible and with its flexibility, the possibilities are endless.