Data Reporting for Marketers: The Ultimate Guide

February 26, 2021

Data Reporting for Marketers: The Ultimate Guide

Experienced marketers understand that data reporting can influence client decisions, public perception of important topics and products, and can demonstrate the value of campaigns with tangible numbers. However, incomplete data can only tell part of the story and can limit the impact of the true value that agencies offer to their clients. 

A winning data reporting strategy transcends the Excel spreadsheet. Numbers, while important, deliver far less insight without context and transparency. 

In this Ultimate Guide, we’ll discuss why you should rethink data reporting for digital campaigns. Let’s break down some elements of an excellent data reporting strategy:

Data Transparency

When delivering campaign performance data to your client, it should be completely transparent. Many marketing professionals tend to hide unsavory metrics from their clients out of fear of currying dissatisfaction. 

When the client has a full report of campaign performance data in front of them, you can initiate important discussions that can benefit both parties. For example, if an aspect of the campaign requires optimization, you can identify this and demonstrate your ability to correct it. 

Context

For those of us who live in digital marketing day-in and day-out, we immerse ourselves in data. However, when our clients are focused on running their own businesses, we cannot expect them to do the same. This is where your knowledge of their campaign performance within the context of their business goals proves immense value.  

We may understand what certain metrics mean and what those numbers are reporting about a particular campaign. Beyond this, though, you also need to know how to put this information into the proper context for the client. 

For example, if the client has a complicated home page on their website and Google Analytics reports a high visitor bounce rate, the marketer should use this information to advise the client that something is not connecting with the target user. This can open a discussion about redesigning the home page for better navigation and user experience. 

Value

The client invests all of their marketing budget, or a significant portion of it, into your campaigns. They want to know whether their capital is generating returns that justify their spending and correct campaign aspects that are not accomplishing this goal. 

Data reporting can demonstrate this value. Is the client receiving an appropriate return on their investment? If not, the marketer has the opportunity to advise new optimization strategies and other tactics to correct performance. 

Timeliness 

Ideally, every data reporting system should provide regular updates with 24/7 access. Without consistently updated data, context and value are diminished. 

Live reporting also aids marketers in swiftly providing more accurate insights. Rather than digging through reporting platforms to find the most updated information, a live report will offer it upfront. 

A high-quality live report should also offer date range filters that enable the user to distill data to a specific period of time. You can cross-compare campaign performance at different stages and identify exact moments where it might have improved or dipped and develop both a diagnosis and solution to correct it. 

Accessibility 

Gatekeeping with data reporting is extinct, or at least it should be. Keeping this in mind, the client should also be able to access this information with the same ease. 

As we mentioned above, no one wants to report poor-performing data. It can create a tense, uncomfortable conversation, but at the same time, hiding this information will only damage a client’s trust in what you are doing for them. 

Instead, use any poor-performing data as an opportunity to offer solutions and drive further value. This will strengthen the client relationship and foster more trust. 

Flexibility 

A suitable data reporting platform for marketers should be flexible to provide context that is specific to the product driving a campaign. For example, a paid search report should contain different metrics and insights than one for paid social. Using a boilerplate template for all products does not deliver tangible value.

Data Reporting Best Practices 

We’ve just covered the essential elements of excellent data reporting. Now, when it comes time to deliver this information to your client, there are some best practices to keep in mind to ensure a more fruitful dialogue. 

Understand What the Metrics Mean

Data reports track aspects of campaign performance categorized as “metrics.” These can include impressions, clicks, conversion rate, and many more; depending on the digital product. Knowing what each one means can allow you to provide the best insight possible to your client. 

Share Your Live Report with Your Client

Provide full access to your client. When both of you can view the data holistically, this creates a common point-of-reference when discussing campaign progress and future optimization strategies. They are allocating the budget for the campaign, so it is important to let them see all the paths their investment can take. 

Prepare to Offer Insights

As a data-savvy marketer, you should be ready to apply your knowledge of metrics and campaign performance benchmarks to answer any client questions. This can strengthen client trust and position yourself as an authoritative analyst when explaining what the numbers mean. 

Use a Holistic Live Data Reporting Platform 

A live reporting platform suited for the agency industry should be able to deliver product-specific data for each solution you offer to your client. Boilerplates cannot account for the nuances of each platform you are running campaigns on. 

We know this all too well. That is why we’ve developed our own live reporting platform to account for each service that we offer to our partners. Reporting Ninja’s Live Report technology allows us to provide product-specific data and real analyst insights to each client campaign in real-time. This enables us to have productive and fruitful discussions with partner agencies when reviewing campaign progress so that all parties can optimize for success! 

Activate Better Marketing Data Reporting 

Are you interested in taking data reporting to the next level at your agency? If you answered “yes,” we want to help you make that a tangible reality. 

We partner with agencies serving over 95 markets to deliver not only excellent campaigns but to also fundamentally transform the way that data is reported. To learn more, visit our agency partnership page or get in touch with us anytime. 

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