Reporting your digital data via monthly marketing reports has become the standard way to justify a company’s marketing spend with upper management and clients. But here in the age of data overload, not all data is relevant to all levels within an organization.
While there are many marketing reporting dashboards, free and paid, available to help compile monthly marketing reports, these tend to simply regurgitate data, without context or analysis.
When developing reports, your goal should always be to create customized reporting that speaks to the audience you are creating it for and includes metrics and insights that they will find relevant, valuable and actionable.
This post outlines some strategies for how best to tailor your analytics reporting to c-suites, (CEOs, COOs etc.), marketing managers and marketers respective needs, including recommendations for the key performance indicators (KPIs) most relevant to each.
Strategic Reporting with recommendations, analysis and the data necessary to back it up.
Your company’s C-Suites (CEO, COO, CMO, etc.) want to see a thoughtfully processed report, relevant to business goals, with an included summary of recommended actions. There is a desire amongst executives to see a snapshot of this data and how it affects organizational objectives and the bottom line. However the impact of data - with its subtleties and complexities - on the business as a whole can’t be understood by managers and executives with a simple number. Those closest to the data, analysts and specialists, should write this report to provide context, insight and recommendations that accompany the data that is tailored to the C-Suites KPIs.
C-Suites KPIs are:
- High level
- Business Impact
- End-to-end picture of business
The C-Suite strategic dashboard should provide performance analytics, insights and business impact of this data, written in plain English. Your target should be a 50/50 split - 50 per cent written and 50 per cent data. Yes, the data is important, but more important to the executive team is what the data tells you about the business, your customer and the high-level impact of your marketing. The value of this report goes beyond delivering data, but rather what to do with the data and what actions to take.
Analytics to include in C-Suite dashboard
- Data that deals with the total cost
- I.e. Marketing, salaries, revenue, and customer acquisitions
Marketing Managers Reports
A tactical overview of performance that provides insight on trends.
Your company’s marketing managers and VPs want insights into the data, not a repetition of what the data already says. They want to know what caused the numbers to go up or down, the reasons for the performance identified by analysis and situational factors. This report should include insights into which tactics worked and which need revising, with initial recommendations for action.
Marketing Managers KPIs are:
- Targets met
The Marketing Manager's Tactical Dashboard should be an aggregated overview of performance, with both data and written English. This report should provide ample context for the management team to help inform decisions on where to focus and figure out what parts of your marketing process are broken. Be careful not to simply repeat what the data says, but rather provide the reasons why the data is higher/lower than was projected in your targets.
Analytics to include:
- Traffic, sales, and views
- Segmented for each channel
- How do these numbers compare to last years/last months
- Cost per lead, cost per follower, cost per page view
- Segmented for each channel
Detailed data summary with initial recommendations for action.
Marketers who live and breathe your marketing tactics on the daily are close to the data and can interpret raw analytics reports. While they may not have time to delve into all the data available to them, they have a desire to analyse. This detailed data report can come directly from digital analytics tools and can still be customized. Google Analytics Custom Reports are a fantastic tool to provide marketers with the data they require to inform initial recommendations for action.
Marketers KPIs are:
- Micro focused
- Which campaign, post, video generated high numbers
The data from a GA custom report can inform marketers on what dates and times are best to share content that generate sales and what content makes your customers click. With these analytics, marketer reports should provide initial recommendations for micro-level marketing tactics.
Metrics to include
- Traffic, leads, and customers
Impacts, Insights, and Actionables
Getting into the habit of reporting analytics on a monthly basis with all levels within your organization is essential to the success of your marketing initiatives.
A snapshot of your data in its raw form - a dashboard or excel spreadsheet or a pie chart - are not reports. Be sure to include business impact (C-suite), insights (marketing managers) and actionables (marketers) summaries.