The ABCs of Marketing Reporting
Most people will agree marketing plays an important role in the success of a business. However, the way people view marketing methods for their business tends to vary. Some see it as a key investment for business growth, while others consider it a necessary evil. This point of view often depends on how well you can see the impact of your marketing efforts. That’s where marketing reporting comes in.
So, what is marketing reporting? Simply put, marketing reporting is the process of using data to measure the performance of a marketing strategy. The data gathered by marketing reporting offers tangible proof of your marketing efforts, provide accountability for the marketing team and the channels being utilized. It’s easy to lose sight of tracking results all the way through to ROI. Many companies only focus on impressions and clicks which can be very misleading.
A well-done marketing report is both comprehensive and easy to understand. It offers in-depth insights to help you evaluate what’s working and what’s not. From there, you can easily adjust your existing strategy or create a new plan altogether.
Marketing reporting allows you to quickly identify these marketing insights:
- Where leads and sales are coming from (channel, geography, audiences, messaging)
- Which campaigns need to be ramped up and which ones need to be dropped
- Where to invest more of the budget
- Where your efforts should be focused
The Fundamentals of Marketing Reporting
Marketing reports are used to track campaigns regarding SEO, social media, paid search, email marketing, programmatic (banners, video, native) and content marketing. Each report can be customized to suit different types of campaigns. The metrics tracked in a report depend on where marketing efforts are focused and the desired outcome of the campaign.
While a report is tailored to each individual campaign, the structure is generally the same. Each report starts with a summary to highlight key points in the report. The summary addresses areas of success, challenges, and goals moving forward. After the summary, the marketing metrics are laid out which typically track traffic, engagement, conversions, and business impacts.
Identifying Which Metrics to Report
Figuring out which metrics to track in your marketing report first starts with identifying the goals of your marketing campaign. Is the goal to increase revenue? Are you trying to simply generate awareness or improve engagement (click-through rates) to your website? Clearly defining the desired outcome will help determine which marketing metrics will properly show the ROI of the campaign.
The most common types of metrics tracked in a marketing report include:
- Channel Sources
- Conversions (leads, sales, signups)
- Bounce rate
- Purchase/lead funnel
- Average order value
- Cost per acquisition
- Top-rated organic and paid keywords
- Social engagement
- Paid ads and quality score
- Customer lifetime value
How Often Should You Pull a Report?
The goal of marketing reporting is to track the progress of your marketing efforts. How often you generate the necessary reports will depend on the type of marketing campaign. A good rule of thumb is to generate a marketing report at least once a month. However, some campaigns will benefit from being analyzed on a daily or weekly basis, such as ecommerce campaigns, social media and content marketing campaigns.
On that same note, some types of campaigns are harder to analyze in shorter time frames, such as SEO focused campaigns. Because SEO is more effective over time, SEO driven campaigns tend to take much longer to produce tangible results. A weekly–and sometimes monthly–report may not offer enough time to properly gauge the results. In those cases, generating a marketing report on a quarterly basis may provide better data regarding page and keyword optimization.
What to Do with the Report
By consistently tracking the results of your marketing campaigns, you can fine-tune your efforts. Over time, patterns will begin to emerge from the data. In addition, you can analyze the performance of keywords and identify which ones are producing the least results. The marketing report can help you decide what to do next. Either scrap the marketing efforts that aren’t working, or test different theories as to why they are underperforming.
OpGo Marketing provides done-for-you marketing reporting to provide a tailor-made strategy to optimize your business. Contact us for more information about our services.