An executive summary report delivers at-a-glance insights and top line KPIs, metrics and annotations. It should demonstrate the impact of your marketing strategy, help the reader visualize marketing performance results, and clearly outline action items. The information in an executive summary should be heavy on insight and light on granularity.
Marketing today has to move at the speed of insight. Advertisers and clients have access to enormous amounts of performance data, which makes executive-level reporting a critical step in filtering and presenting marketing campaign information. Whether it’s a roll-up report or an eagle-eye dashboard, the purpose of an executive summary is to curate and consolidate marketing performance data in an easily digestible format, annotated with insights at the 10,000 foot level without getting bogged down in the nitty-gritty details.
Learn more about how to report marketing performance results to business stakeholders.
Front and center in your executive summary include a scorecard with the most important metrics that show the business value achieved from your marketing program. The specific metrics will depend upon your business and campaign, but the key here is that it’s important to level up from a narrow focus on marketing metrics and to show top line business results like projected revenue, total investment and return on ad spend (ROAS).
Provide one layer of detail around one of your KPIs, focused on a goal or conversion metric that will move the needle on top line business results. For example, if a primary focus of your marketing program is lead generation, combine the ad spend and management fees to sum up the total investment. Provide a simple breakdown of which channels drove the total lead count (e.g. emails, chats, forms, calls, etc.). Calculate the average cost per lead by dividing the total investment by the total number of leads generated.
You might include one section in your executive summary that focused on a technographic or demographic detail. For instance, breaking down sessions by device type, accompanied by a donut chart to visualize the total audience makeup; or a column graph that shows conversions and leads stacked up by device type.
The qualitative analysis provided by an executive summary report should not be overlooked. In fact, this may be the most important piece of your executive summary report. It’s where you show your ability to interpret the data, derive insights, and to recommend ways to improve or optimize. Distill a few highlights, but quickly move on to suggestions and opportunities. Actionable next steps are the end goal of any report; don’t just take a look back. Always provide a look forward to how you will optimize and improve.