Digital Marketing Reports: Stop Vomiting Numbers at Me!!!!

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Krista Neher

Mar 22 2016


I recently reviewed a social media marketing report that a social media agency sent to their brand. The report was beautiful. It had lots of colorful charts.There were lots of numbers and lots of information. It looked great!

After reviewing the report I asked a few questions:

  • Are the numbers good?
  • Do they indicate success or failure?
  • How do the numbers relate to our investment?
  • For the demographic data, has it changed?
  • What should we do based on the demographic information?
  • Are the demographics what we would expect?
  • What will we do differently because of this report?

None of these questions could be answered.

As social media and digital marketers we are so used to throwing numbers together that we forget to spend time figuring out what the numbers actually mean.

Answer the Big Questions:

Most brand managers and executives look at the reports but are left with more questions than answers. The biggest question is: Do the numbers show success or failure? Is this a good investment? Are we doing well?

Rather than vomiting data and charts, try providing less information and include more analysis. This means provide a detailed analysis of what the numbers mean and what we are learning.

An Analysis Framework to Help:

What – what does the data tell you?

So What – what does the information mean and what conclusions can you draw?

Now What – what should we continue to do and what should change?

Answer these three questions and you’ll provide actual insights vs. just data. This is how you’ll provide meaningful measurement and reporting. By answering questions, not vomiting information.

One Reply to “Digital Marketing Reports: Stop Vomiting Numbers at Me!!!!”

  1. Very good points. If we can’t extract value or actionable conclusions from the data, then it’s just more noise.

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