Another month has passed and many employees are preparing month-end reports for all sorts of aspects of their business including sales, marketing, production, customer service, finances, and more. Month-end reports are used by management and investors to measure monthly results, future trends, and the overall health of the company. As a Marketing Director, you are one piece of the big puzzle and tracking your marketing results is important for three reasons.
Three Reasons For Monthly Reporting
First, you need to show the value your marketing efforts are making to the bottom line of the company. Tie your results to the key performance indicators for your company. Show overall trends throughout the year. Compare your results to industry averages so you can identify if your numbers are good or bad. Are your results helping to beat your competition?
Second, during a monthly review can be a great time to identify which actions are producing positive results and which are not. Maybe you met all your goals, but not quite how you expected. Review the specific campaigns to see which outperformed others, and look for ways to build upon that success. Was it the channel you used, a new kind of offer, did you change the frequency or location of your advertising? Compare your results to averages so you can identify winning and losing campaigns.
Lastly, reporting monthly results can help motivate your team to reach the goals you set out to accomplish. Having tangible goals to meet can help focus your team on the outcome of their efforts. But without reviewing the results, it’s hard to instill excitement on reaching the goal. Use the same numerical results every month so everyone can compare and understand the results month to month. Remember to celebrate and revel in your accomplishments.
How Often Should You Prepare Reports?
Reporting does take away some time from executing your strategy, but without reporting you won’t know if your strategy is working! So how often should reports be created? We recommend monthly. Weekly can be too frequent to determine overall trends, and takes away time from execution. Quarterly can be too long to make effective changes that could improve the results. Monthly is just right, and producing your reports at the same time each month will provide useful comparisons.
What Marketing Metrics Are Important?
At ClearPivot, our report includes monthly statistics covering a year’s worth of data (if possible) so we can identify overall trends. The top-line indicators for inbound digital marketing are:
- Number of Visits
- Number of Leads
- Number of Customers
In addition to the overall totals, be sure to break down the numbers based upon channel so you can stay focused on the top performing areas. Your business may work best through certain channels so be sure to consider where to put forth your efforts to get the biggest return on investment. Typical channels include:
- Organic Search
- Social Media
- Paid Search
- Direct Traffic
In addition to the top three metrics, there may be other metrics that can provide supporting details. Click-through rates and conversions from your top blog articles for the month can help identify topics that are resonating with your audience which can provide direction for new articles. Open rates, click rates, and unsubscribe rates from your email campaigns can indicate if you are offering content your subscribers are interested in reading. Cost per conversion and and conversion rate should be reviewed on pay-per-click advertising to look for possible improvements.
In all your reporting, be sure to focus on the statistics that reflect the business goals you set out to reach, rather than useless, arbitrary numbers. If you can’t justify that the metric contributes to the overall business goals, then omit it entirely. Monthly reporting can also be a useful resource when discussing strategy and goals with management for long-term growth.
Probably the most important piece of reporting is sharing it with people that need to know, including your team, your boss, and your management. Take time to explain the results in a way that is relevant to their specific goals and needs, focus on progress toward the overall business goals, and keep it short so the impact is powerful.
Next step: Preparing for your next marketing report to management? Make sure you're showing them what they actually want to see by downloading this 10-page PDF guide: