How Simple Machines Marketing Made Client Reporting More Efficient

Discover how Benjamin Bullock, Director of Marketing Operations at Simple Machines Marketing, simplified their reporting process with Databox. By ditching manual reporting, they saved 3 to 4 days each month.

Improve Reporting Processes
Meet Benjamin Bullock
Director of Marketing Operations at Simple Machines Marketing

The thing about agencies is that every process involved in their work gets multiplied across each account. That means inefficiencies and time-consuming tasks compound with each new client onboarded.

That’s the challenge Benjamin Bullock, Director of Operations at Simple Machines Marketing, confronts daily. Specializing in serving B2B manufacturing, technology, and financial firms who want to take the next step with digital marketing, Simple Machine Marketing has made growth a top priority. But to do that, they had to find a way to spend less time on reporting each month.

Building Reports From Scratch Every Month With PowerPoints

Before finding a reporting software, Simple Machines was doing everything manually – working from scratch every month. They’d pull data by hand from all the disparate platforms they used for clients and build PowerPoint presentations. Benjamin describes their approach: “We had a PowerPoint presentation and we’d marry together all the data sources we had through a completely manual process – screenshots, tables, graphs.”

This labor-intensive method led to constant delays and left the team struggling to manage their workload effectively. “There was a huge investment at the beginning of the month to put together all the reports, review them, approve them, and then send them to clients. We were banging our heads against a wall… there wasn’t much time to do actual work,” Benjamin explains.

Realizing the agency could not grow this way, they needed a solution that would automate the time-consuming aspects of their monthly reporting, pull the data together into one unified report, and give the hours they spent on reporting back to the team. He recalls, “We realized as we were growing as a company, this wasn’t scalable. A single person couldn’t do this for 10 or 15 clients every month.”

Finding an Easy-To-Use, Customizable Analytics Tool

The team initially experimented with another reporting solution. One that aligned more closely with their preferred PowerPoint PDF format. But the lack of easy customization meant the tool didn’t actually solve the problem they were having. Benjamin notes, “It was becoming cumbersome. We spent more time on reporting than I felt necessary. We needed to make another pivot and find a better solution.”

During their search, Databox caught their attention. “Databox seemed to fulfill all our requirements… we decided to go for it,” Benjamin says. Taking a step further, he scheduled some time with Databox experts. Their collaborative efforts resulted in a proof of concept, ultimately confirming and solidifying their decision to choose Databox. Benjamin notes, “We were able to see an example of what we were looking for. That’s when we knew we needed to use Databox.”

Building Custom Dashboard Templates

Initially, Benjamin and a colleague dedicated time to building dashboard templates using internal data. They first created an Overview dashboard to highlight key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals. After that, they worked on a Drilldown dashboard, combining website traffic and HubSpot data over a 12-month period.

To help automate reporting, Benjamin then used these templates across all client accounts, with minimal customization required. He explains, “We started with Simple Machine, plugged our data into Databox, and got to a point where we felt the template was good and covered 90% of use cases for our clients…we were able to share that template with all the other client accounts and make the customizations we needed to from that point.”

Giving Clients Access to Real-Time Insights

From a process standpoint, Benjamin and his team felt good about their progress. Monthly reports were pre-assembled, and the data updated in real-time, making it easy for clients to view their performance. “Some clients want to see a live dashboard. With Databox dashboards, you can engage with them, change things, and explore different data points. And clients can hop into that dashboard whenever they want.” he explains.

Internally, the team also set up alerts for their KPIs and goals. This meant that throughout the month, they would receive an email notification about their progress, showing how close they were to hitting their goals or if they were at risk of missing them.

Saving Days On Reporting Every Month

From Benjamin’s perspective, the most significant benefit of using Databox is the considerable time it frees up for his team, allowing them to focus on generating impactful results for their clients. Benjamin emphasizes, “There’s no more processing we have to do in Databox. We can immediately go through and analyze it and add our summary. It saves us 3 or 4 days per month, giving us a few more extra days to focus on work for clients.”

40% reduction
In time spent pulling data.
70% improvement
In data management.