Nikith Deo

Marketing Reports 101

Intro

What is a Marketing Report? Marketing Reports evaluate the progress and performance of your marketing campaigns against predetermined KPIs. Marketing Reports are NOT a data dump. Your marketing dashboard isn't enough to be a "report". Your objective should be to not just provide data but to interpret it and share your learnings from it.

Why should I make a Marketing Report?

Chances are you're probably doing some meaningful work for your clients. Marketing Reports give you a chance to showcase that! It can also help your agency grow since it's a way to sell clients on new ideas you have for your campaigns based on results you can show them. Make sure you and your client have a clear goal you're working toward. Utilize reports as a way of gauging progress toward meeting these goals.

What are some benefits of creating Marketing Reports?

  1. Prove you're worth it: Showcase your worth to clients. Let them know their money is being put to good use. If they see you're making them money or are bringing them lots of followers, they'll be more likely to stick with you.
  2. Everything's in one place: Rather than your clients having to fish for information themselves, reports give them one thing to look at. It'll also be easier to show them why they're being asked to pay for certain things if they see that it's helping them.
  3. Plan for the future using data: Marketing Reports give you a way to know if you're meeting your marketing objectives. Without them, you won't easily be able to tell if your time and effort are paying off. You'll be able to see what's working and what's not, enabling you to make smarter decisions in the future by learning from your mistakes.

How often should I create and present Marketing Reports?

No, "as frequently as I'd like to" isn't the right answer, sorry. You don't want to burn out your clients. If you send them reports too often, they may not read them. You'd be wasting both your time and theirs. Your clients are busy too! Here are three options for how often you should do a Marketing Report:

  1. Monthly: Monthly reports are best suited for tracking incremental progress. Campaigns with tighter budgets and social media campaigns can be reported every month. You need to have enough time to truly assess if your campaign is working. Don't forget to take seasonal trends into account. If your client is in the eCommerce industry, chances are their revenue spikes during holiday seasons. It may not make sense to compare November with December for them, because their December numbers may be way higher than the average.
  2. Quarterly: Most likely reporting quarterly will give you enough time to evaluate the success of some of your larger goals. A quarterly report can tell you if a long-term campaign is successful. For example, you can evaluate the efficacy of a seasonal campaign on increasing revenue and engagement. This also gives you a chance to regroup and reset your goals every three months. Your goals at the beginning of the year may be different from your goals toward the middle and end of the year. Quarterly goals give you a way to see if you've met your goals during those three months.
  3. Annually: In addition to providing monthly and/or quarterly reports, you should also provide an annual Marketing Report. Review your work for the entire year and showcase the impact your campaigns had on your client's business. Companies can also use this to assess ROI for the year when determining a marketing budget for next year. This is a great way to demonstrate your worth and potentially have more money to work with for next year!

Things to consider before creating a Marketing Report

  1. Why am I creating this report?: Was your campaign a success or a failure? Are you providing a progress update on a campaign or evaluating the campaign as a whole after it's been completed? Knowing why the report is being created will make it easier to figure out what to include in it and how to present it.
  2. Who am I presenting to?: Know your audience! A presentation to a restaurant owner will be vastly different from a presentation to a social media influencer, or to the CMO of a large company. They most likely all want to know different things and expect data to be presented to them in a way they understand and find useful. Keep that in mind when figuring out what you want to include in a report to them and present it to them in a way that suits their "skill level".
  3. Did I meet my goals or not?: Ultimately, this is the most important question to ask yourself. Don't worry, even if your goals were not met, still share your learnings. Include meaningful data that can be used to evaluate your efforts, don't just include data for the sake of having something to report. Clients want to see that your working towards or have already met your goals. Showcase that to them in the easiest way possible for them to understand.

What to include in a Marketing Report

The question you've all been waiting for is "what do I include in a marketing report". Fear not! Here are five things to include in a marketing report:

  1. Client-Specific Data: What do clients care about? Results! All the glorious numbers YOU find important don't matter to THEM. Are goals being met? If yes, then there should be no problems. If no... Why not? and How are you going to fix this?
  2. Website Data: Chances are the goal of most of your campaigns is to get people to visit your client's website. Google Analytics is a great tool that can help! Use it to track Total Sessions, Conversion Rate, Bounce Rate, New vs. Returning users, Website Traffic or Website Visitors, and Pageviews.
  3. SEO Data: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, but you probably already knew that. Optimizing your client's website for search engines can give them a competitive edge by boosting them up the search rankings. This will bring in a lot of visitors through organic searches and make them a lot more money. Some SEO metrics to track are Keyword Ranking, Organic Traffic, Pair Search, Pages Per Session, Backlinks, and Best Performing Landing Pages.
  4. Social Media Data: Most of your clients probably have social media accounts. Social media campaigns are probably the most popular way to increase website traffic. An effective campaign can increase brand visibility and brand recognition. In your reports, be sure to include social media KPI's such as Clicks, Likes, Followers, Impressions, and Engagement Rate.
  5. Digital Advertising Campaign Data: In addition to social media campaigns, you may also be running PPC advertising or email marketing campaigns. This data shouldn't be forgotten! This information is extremely important to clients because it shows them if campaigns were effective, how much money was spent, and most importantly, what the ROI was. Some KPI's to track are ROI, CPC, Budget, Total Cost, Cost for each campaign type, Conversions, Cost per Conversion, Conversion Rate, and Click-Through Rate.

How to Present a Marketing Report

After gathering all this data, now's the time to present it! Presenting a simple Excel Spreadsheet may be easy but it is also boring. Spreadsheets are so dull, you need to make important information pop out and be easily visible to your client. Add graphics, images, section headers, and your own insights. To really impress your clients, customize your reports to look amazing and professional. Make them reflect your agency's identity!

How Sparrow Marketing can Help

For those who don't know about Sparrow Marketing, Sparrow is the fastest way to put together client performance reports, leaving you with more time to do the actual marketing work. To learn more about Sparrow Marketing, schedule a call with our amazing founder and CEO Braden Ericson to discuss your analytics and reporting needs, and dig into the capabilities of the Sparrow platform.

Conclusion

Writing the perfect Marketing Report can be time-consuming and stressful. Planning beforehand and using a template can help save a lot of time and effort. At Sparrow Marketing, we can make reports for you, in a template of your choosing! What are you waiting for? Let us help you!

About the Author

Nikith Deo is the Digital Marketing intern for Sparrow Marketing. He is a senior marketing student at San Jose State University.