Creating client reports is a necessary task for digital marketing agencies, but each report needs to be tailored to the client. A report created for a marketing manager is immensely different from that for a CEO.
But what makes it different?
First, we need to establish the importance of marketing reports for client management through the identification of the correct audience and report structure.
Then we’ll get into what different KPIs and metrics are most important for your report to focus on.
The importance of marketing reports in client management
Client reports are a great way to showcase your company’s value and its contribution to your client’s company.
Reports are an easy way to show value and communicate:
- Progress, results and their rationale: by highlighting why their investment in you and your work is and will continue to be returning a positive ROI.
- Actions are taken and the necessary work needed to achieve goals: by showing you are continuously improving and fine-tuning results.
- Ideas and insights: by showing that you care about their business and understand what information they value most.
This information reinforces proof of your expertise, that you care about their business and why you are a valuable asset and investment, in turn, building trust. And, if your client increasingly trusts you with their digital marketing strategy, you can gain more free-reign over time.
Identifying your marketing report audience
Using your buyer persona profiles, identify who your audience is.
Do they have a background understanding of marketing and want to impress their boss? Or are they a time-poor CEO who is focussed on ROI goals?
For example, if your audience is a CEO:
Don’t give them information about social media followers or website sessions, and avoid percentages where possible.
Do give them information about the number of conversions, and how much of the goal still needs to be achieved or exceeded. Aim to use concrete numbers if you can.
Frequency of reporting
Depending on your campaign timeframe and goals, the frequency of your reports will vary between weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual periods.
If you’re undertaking Facebook ads or Google ads strategies, focus on the quarterly data to report about which ad displayed the highest potential to increase customer leads. You can even use a quarterly report to supplement a quarterly strategy meeting.
If you’re working on a 12-month campaign, remember that this period is quite long, and leaves room for possible changes. For these campaigns, monthly and quarterly project status reports are a good way to check-in to ensure the goal post and goals haven’t moved or changed.
You may feel the more often you have to report, the more time it will take to sift through and evaluate all your data. But it doesn’t have to be so.
You can build your own digital marketing dashboards that compile, monitor and evaluate relevant data for your reports. Automated dashboards will save you the most time, but starting with manual dashboards will help you understand the benefits of visually displaying your data.
Always start with a summary
Regardless of your audience, you should always state the most important facts and relevant information placed first in a short, sharp and succinct manner. This is often called an ‘executive summary’.
When it comes to writing a summary for a CEO, simply state what work you have done (since the last progress report) and what it has achieved. Use KPIs and metrics to support these facts.
KPIs and metrics
Like twins, KPIs and metrics may be similar and relate to each other, but they are different. And this difference can be significant.
See KPIs (key performance indicators) are used to denote important landmarks for critical objectives based on individual business goals. These markers essentially tell you how well you are running your campaigns, such as ROI and total sales.
Meanwhile, metrics track the status of a specific process by analysing quantifiable measures from real-time data, such as the number of post likes, click through rates and SEO keyword rankings.
Your digital marketing report must justify both KPI and metric measures by providing a recap of what objectives were agreed upon by both parties. This is necessary as these KPIs and metrics will have been tailored to the desired goals of your report audience.
What KPIs and metrics to measure and report on
The specific KPIs and metrics you will choose for your digital marketing report is dependant on the set goals, campaign and what type of agency you actually are.
But here are a few of the most important KPIs and metrics relevant to most agencies:
- ROI or ROAS
- Total Sales
- CPL (cost per lead) or CPA (cost per acquisition)
- Traffic to lead ratio
- Lead to customer ratio
- Customer conversions based on marketing channels
Everyone wants to know their ROI to assess monthly and annual performances and forecast budgets for the following period.
These are based on how effective your digital marketing strategies were in regards to consumer purchases. Think of this KPI as the company’s bottom line that indicates how healthy their financials are.
is a great indicator of how much you are spending in order to bring revenue through each lead. This metric will indicate how much of their budget may be necessary for the future to ensure profitability and managing to break-even. This is most applicable for lead generation websites and dependent on the goal.
Remember, you want to make sure your marketing expenditure CPL is lower than your client’s CPL… otherwise, you’re making less than what they’ve paid for.
CPL formula example:
Cost Per Lead $13.30 = (Ad spend $800) / (Total attributed leads 60)
is based on the top part of the funnel. This KPI is a great indicator of brand awareness success, such as the content, design and offers you put on the website. This KPI can be displayed as percentages or numbers and indicates the quality of your website, the lower the traffic to lead ratio, the better the result.
indicates how many leads your sales team were able to close. These can also be displayed as percentages (the number of customers divided by all leads x 100) and numbers by following this formula.
Lead to customer ratio example:
[(Number of clients 50)/(All leads 400)] * 100 = 12.5%
You’ll also want to measure the deals won, deals lost and deals pending. Over time, you’ll be able to see trends and understand how to best reduce the gap between a prospective lead to a paying customer.
This can give insight into what lead nurturing campaigns and sales tactics to implement, and help businesses predict upcoming (potential) revenue.
can highlight the effectiveness of individual platforms, such as social media channels, advertising channels, email marketing and more.
These KPIs can be based on the number of leads and customer conversions generated by the site, including each channel sources number of; leads, customers, conversion rates, CPL or cost per acquisition (CPA), and ROAS.
However, keep in mind that some C-level executives don’t even want this much detail, to provide only as much as you see fit. If deemed necessary, a nice middle point is to offer a top-level view of this KPI.
Whether your client reporting process is weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually – all marketing reports for time-poor CEOs and COOs should contain a summary, recap of goals, relevant key KPIs and metrics in a well presented and easy-to-read structure.