The Quick-Start Marketing Reporting Guide
July 29, 2015
By Carly Ries
It’s not a secret, to truly succeed in today’s marketing world, you need to be able to track and report on the results from your efforts. But where do you begin? How do you consolidate your findings and present them effectively to your team or client? We’ve got you covered. Below is a quick-start marketing reporting guide to help you kick off your efforts.
Tell a Story
I’m sure you’ve heard this line a million times but it’s so true: Tell a story. Stories captivate people and make things interesting. A client may not love seeing a bunch of numbers on a screen, but putting a story around those numbers makes them interesting.
It’s important that from the get-go you understand your client's goals and objectives that they want to achieve from marketing. It helps to dictate your efforts but it also allows you to tie your results back to the previously stated goals, making everything come full-circle.
Have you ever heard of closed-loop marketing? If not, it’s time you have. Closed-loop marketing tracks marketing channels from the time a visitor lands on your site to the time your sales team closes a new customer. By implementing closed-loop marketing, not only will you be able to tell a fantastic story, you’ll also be able to show ROI to your client, which at the end of the day, that’s something almost all clients care most about.
Look for Trends
When you start to develop your story, it’s important to keep tabs on trends you’re seeing month over month. A one-off event may not be representative of current happenings with your campaign and you should pay attention to patterns. With that however, if there is a significant event that happens randomly in your month, it’s important to understand what it’s from, although it may not be necessary to factor in for your plan moving forward.
Assess Which Key Metrics to Include in Your Reporting
Your marketing reporting should be tailored specifically to the team/client you are reporting to. As mentioned previously, the metrics you report on should matter to your client and be relevant to your campaigns and marketing efforts. Honing in on the proper metrics may take some thought. Below are a few to keep in mind when putting your report together:
- Total Reach
- Reach by Source
- Total Website Visits
- Website Visits by Source
- Total Leads Generated
- Leads Generated by Source
- Total Customers Driven by Marketing
- Marketing-Generated Customers by Source
- Visit-to-Lead Conversion Rate
- Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate
- Visit-to-Customer Conversion Rate
- Blog Performance
- Page Performance
- CTA Performance
- Campaign Performance as a Whole
- Landing Page Performance
Set Up Your Presentation
Depending on the size of your marketing campaign set up monthly or quarterly meetings with your client or team to present your findings, whether they be in-person or via a conference call.
Prior to the call, make sure you’ve put together a proper deck that relates to this client specifically. If you report on similar metrics month over month, it’s OK to create a template for your monthly reports, but remember you don’t have to strictly stick to it if you have other numbers and trends to report on. Some recommendation to include in your presentation include:
- Performance from the previous month or quarter
- An analysis of that time period
- A plan of attack moving forward based off those findings.
During the presentation, don’t feel the need to touch on every single detail in your report, or reflect on every number. However, you need to be prepared for people to ask about them. Be the expert on all things related to the campaign so that if somebody throws you a curveball question, you’ll be prepared to answer it. With that being said, if somebody asks a question that you don’t have the answer to, don’t make something up. Acknowledge it and respond by saying something like “You know, I’m not sure at the moment but let me do some research and I’ll send you a follow-up email. Does that work for you?” Be honest with the people you’re presenting to. They can tell if you aren’t.
Although you should keep the meeting professional, a successful meeting will also allow some time for you to get to know your client as a person. Find similarities and fun conversation talking points. The better a client knows you, the more likely they’ll be to trust your recommendations, and the flow of the presentation will go much smoother. Plus, you’ll look forward to the calls with the team because you’ll have fun things to talk about in addition to business.
Marketing reporting doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Once you figure out a formula that works best for you in putting these reports together, you’ll find that they’re not only useful for your client, but for yourself as well to help you put the best plan together as possible for them.
What have you found useful when reporting on your marketing efforts?
About the author
Carly Ries was formerly a Senior Inbound Marketing Consultant for SmartBug Media. With over 7 years of marketing and account management experience, Carly helps clients develop and implement inbound marketing strategies to grow leads, conversion, and revenue. Read more articles by Carly Ries.