In a data-driven world that only continues to expand, modern marketers feel pressure to locate data that proves the effectiveness of their campaigns and the value of their service to clients and stakeholders.
This is the reason why the marketing performance reporting process matters. The aggregation, analysis, and presentation of marketing data is essential evidence and proof of marketing’s function and purpose.
Once a reliable–and often highly manual– marketing performance reporting process has been established, the benefits of upgrading to report automation become clear: automation reduces errors, increases quality and enables reporting at a scale that is simply unobtainable through a manual process.
Why Marketing Reporting Matters
While it’s true that marketing success may seem like it’s impossible to track, with the technology and access to information available to digital marketers, the real hindrance to effective reporting isn’t finding the data, it’s knowing what to do with it all.
Most marketers envision their reporting process to be something out of Star Trek; dashboards and widgets, bells and whistles.
When in reality, marketing reporting can be a bunch of manual work, Vlook ups in spreadsheets, and a ton of emotions.
Without a marketing performance report, did the marketing even happen? The reporting process is so critical to the success of the agency/client relationship, it’s almost like a contract and proof of work in a single format.
For more on how to build stellar client reports check out our longer post, Client Reporting for Digital Marketing and Advertising Agencies. To summarize the key takeaways, when it comes to building an effective client report, marketers must:
- Understand the big picture - Align your metrics and campaign strategy with business goals that resonate with your stakeholders, before you present one slide to a client. What does success look like in their eyes?
- Speak your client’s language - Does the level of insight, analysis, and granularity of your marketing performance presentation match the name on the desk of those in the audience? Mid-level marketers will require a much different deck than a high-level branch manager. In effective marketing reporting, context is just as important as content.
- Inquiry > Information - Build your marketing performance presentations to inspire inquiry, rather than iterate on information. Don’t just provide slides and charts. Annotation, insight, and curation of information, are where your true value can shine through.
Effective client reporting is about effective communication. And effective communication is only possible when the information being transmitted and received is based on good data that’s clearly understandable, and easy to pivot into actionable insights. This is where automation can help.
How Report Automation Can Improve Marketing Strategy
When you hear the word “automate” in business, you might envision robotic conveyor belts with PDF’s churning out one end and marketing data feeding into another. While this may be a helpful mental depiction of a complicated process, it may obscure the use case for smaller to mid-sized agencies that feel they don’t have to bring robots in to help them handle the reports.
The benefits of report automation can impact a marketing department over different timescales, and bring improvements to the agency that are involved directly, and indirectly, with the client reporting process.
Automated reporting empowers agencies to easily format reporting across all their accounts, eliminate data inaccuracies by establishing reliable connections to marketing channels, and deliver pixel-perfect reports at a pace that matches an expanding list of clients.
Format Reporting Across Multiple Accounts
Whether it’s an executive summary, a roll-up report, or a deep quarterly dive into the analytics for stakeholders, marketers have to be prepared to deliver reports and dashboards that are comprehensible to the intended audience.
Ensuring reports are insightful and compelling is difficult with one report, now imagine having to ensure the integrity of thousands of reports?
Report automation that you can trust, built with data you can verify, that creates presentation-ready dashboards and reports that are prepared for annotation before they ship at scale, is the only way to move forward with confidence for modern marketers.
Reducing Data Inaccuracies Through Report Automation
So much of performance marketing is about having reliable marketing data pipelines, to ingest all of your data from multiple channels. Marketing report automation shouldn’t require a team of data analysts to ensure integrity, in fact, that’s why the process is being “automated” in the first place.
The benefits of a data pipeline connected to automated marketing reports are:
- Greater access to larger databases
- Automated data pulls
- De-duped and normalized datasets
- Opportunity for better analysis
Marketing report automation solves a complex problem, organizes your data sets, and allows agencies more time to annotate and add insights.
Marketing Reporting Automation Grows With Your Business
Most marketers use a pastiche of software and tools to deliver reports, and while this may work for a few PDFs, the ability to take on more accounts and create more reports will be forever limited. When you automate your reporting based on processes you trust, on a centralized platform, like NinjaCat, where you can monitor, manage and ship reports at scale, agencies are better positioned to expand their book of business confidently.
Automating Reports Yields Better Insights
The value of marketing automation isn’t in the number of graphs you can include in a deck, or in the number of presentations you can ship.
Making the decision to automate marketing reports is the first step towards a higher quality, and higher valued, version of your agency.
The true value of automating your marketing reporting is in the quality of insights, the ability to present a story about the facts and figures at scale, and establishing protocols for presentations that help your agency put your best deck forward, every time.