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Jul 18 2023
Regular reporting is an important part of your digital marketing measurement plan and helps provide data for analytic analysis. Be sure that your report drives the focus towards the KPIs that matter most, but also include measurements and other information to create impactful reports.
Most businesses report every month, but based on your investment, you may want weekly or quarterly reports.
Creating a report for a marketing director should be different from a CEO. Different levels in an organization need different levels of detail. Know your audience and, if needed, ask them what they want to best understand from the report.
This may seem obvious – you are reporting to understand how your investment is performing. At a high level, this is true, but different audiences may want to understand different things from the reports. Understand what your audience wants to learn as a result of the report.
Often reports include way too much content. Many reports include every number available. Most of these metrics aren’t important and don’t change over time. For example, the demographic composition of your social media following isn’t likely to change each month, so it doesn’t need to be included in a monthly report.
Focus on what matters most and include the KPIs on a cover page on the front. You may include numbers beyond your most important KPIs, but design your report to drive the focus to the numbers that matter.
It is helpful to provide context to numbers where you can. This means sharing the target or benchmark or the percentage increase/decrease vs. the previous month or year. Provide details with the numbers that add context to what they mean. Standalone numbers are difficult to derive meaning from.
A good report shouldn’t just include numbers – it should give insights. Share some details about how things are going and why. This is what matters – the analysis and insights about the performance.
Where appropriate, include qualitative examples. For example, sharing that you generated five new reviews isn’t always as impactful as showing the actual reviews. Show the impact with qualitative information.
Want to learn more? Check out our digital measurement course.
Rather than spending hours creating reports each month, many digital marketing management tools will create reports for you.
Consider how much time you spend creating reports and ask if it is worth investing in a tool that includes reporting. The reports from digital management tools often look better than manual reports and save lots of time.
Most tools have free trials, so you can test some out and see which ones work best for your business. Here is a list of a few we like:
Google has a free tool called Google Analytics that will incorporate data from multiple sources and display it in visual formats (graphs, charts, etc.) in one place. You can create a custom report with the data represented in a way that is useful to you and easily populate it on demand at the click of a button.
Cyfe is one of the newer all-in-one reporting tools available. It will incorporate data from multiple sources and visualize your business through a real-time dashboard. It includes social media, analytics, marketing, and sales. Free trial available with the lowest plan at $19/mo.
Mixpanel goes beyond just collecting and providing your data in a space to visualize to giving you reports on functionality and retention-based evaluations. If you are wanting to learn more about the why to your audience trends, then this a great tool to check out. Free trial available with the lowest plan at $20/mo.
tapClicks is an all-in-one reporting tool that looks at trends and opportunities in your data and provides a visualization. In addition, it has CRM tools to allow you to add shops, workflows, and more features. At $499/mo, this is the most expensive tool, but if you are looking for something that provides everything in one place, it is worth the free trial.
This is an excerpt from Krista Neher’s best-selling book, “Digital Marketing That Actually Works.” You can find this and more books at Boot Camp Digital.
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