We must admit: one of our obsessions is the marketing report. Putting out the best work in the industry is for nothing if we don’t communicate to our clients the tasks we are working on and the results we’re achieving. Not only to prove how our efforts are helping the businesses succeed, but also to show transparency and to educate the clients on how to understand various online metrics.
As an agency, we never assume that our clients are understanding all the data we include in reports. That’s why our mission is to teach them what the information included represents and how to use it in order to achieve their goals. Because marketing is a long-time effort that comes from both sides: the agency and the client alike.
What data do we include in the marketing report?
We choose the data we include in reports based on the business’ objectives and KPIs, and we adapt it depending on the client’s focus. For instance, if our client is implementing a new sign-up form on the website, we include data about it in the next report.
There’s nothing worse than a pointless meeting or a useless report. We make sure there’s added value for clients in there.
We like to generate more than just a regular customized template. Here are some of the aspects we focus on:
General traffic data
The first page is always providing an overview for the last month’s online performance. We like to include metrics such as the number of transactions, e-commerce conversion rate, number of sessions, bounce rate, number of pages/sessions etc. Moreover, we always compare these metrics with the previous period. We include graphics with sessions & transactions’ performance from the beginning of the year up to date.
If there were some changes that had a positive/negative impact, we annotate them, so the client can acknowledge them as well.
What’s really helpful is to have an idea of the transactions/medium and to be able to compare the performance with previous months. This way, evolution is more visual and easier to interpret. We like to add inputs regarding the transactions/user type and year to date performance. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! And helpful!
What’s interesting to check is the mediums which assisted conversions. Why are assisted conversions important?
A common mistake is to attribute all the credit for transactions to the primary source.
Here’s an example: Selena is looking for a new computer. She’s starting a search and she clicks on your ad. She’s analyzing your products and decides to look to your competitor’s websites, to compare the offers.
After a few days, she sees your Facebook remarketing campaign. She’s clicking the ad but is not completing the order, since she’s not decided yet. After a week, she’s typing your website’s URL in the search bar and she’s ordering the computer.
By analyzing the Google Analytics report, you see that you had a conversion coming from the “direct” source. If you analyze the assisted conversions report, you will be able to see how important your ads were in the purchase.
Check out events
If you are familiar with our way of working, you know how important website tracking is for us. We like to rely on facts rather than on guesses. A user can interact with a webshop via a frame, form, keyword or mouse. We implement event tracking in Google Analytics for all these categories, in order to smartly analyze and optimize our marketing efforts. We always include the check out data in reports.
By being able to see the data and analyzing it with the previous month, we can discover potential issues or pain points. For instance, if we observe a tendency of users abandoning somewhere in the checkout process, we know we need to investigate the problem.
It’s important to constantly analyze ads campaigns’ results and report them to the client. We include data such as costs, the number of transactions, cost per transaction, return on ad spend, e-commerce conversion rate, top performing campaigns etc. We split campaigns’ data through each channel in order to analyze their profitability. In online marketing, it’s important not to get attached to campaigns or channels that just don’t drive results.
Which cities are bringing more traffic to our client’s webshop / are the best converters/ have the highest bounce rates? These are just some questions who need to be answered in the demographic report. It’s important to constantly analyze demographic data in order to adapt the marketing efforts.
Of course, based on each client’s focus and particularities, we choose the dimensions & metrics we include in the report. There’s no such thing as one apply-it-to-all solution report. And that’s the beauty of it.
The dashboards we use
The marketing reports we send to the clients are measuring the business goals and priorities over time. Our dashboards:
- Fit into one single screen, which makes them easily digestible at a glance;
- Are keeping the important information on the top, so the client can easily make some conclusions after seeing the data;
- Are well structured, each page answers to questions related to a single topic;
- Contain remarks and observations, not only stats and numbers. Because in the end, the client hired a team of specialists.
We keep in mind that many clients are starting our collaboration with very little or no understanding of digital marketing or web analytics. That’s why we don’t leave the task of interpreting the data on them. We think it is part of our job to educate them on how to look at the data they receive. Each monthly report is followed by a long email/meeting of conclusions, remarks and plans for the following month, based on last month’s performance.