Management reporting is only efficient when it’s done right. Learn the 8 expert tactics that can help you create useful reports.
Reporting | Oct 15
Marija Hladni on January 22, 2021 (last modified on April 20, 2021) • 36 minute read
Reporting on marketing performance is a critical skill that any marketer––from leadership to individual contributors––needs in order to convey the value of their work.
Driving traffic and leads is important. But, understanding where they came from, how they engage with your website, and ultimately what led to a conversion or purchase (amongst many other insights) is necessary for building a repeatable and sustainable marketing program.
The challenge? As marketing technology has exploded, digital marketing reporting has gotten more complicated.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about marketing reporting, including:
Marketing reporting is an exercise that involves regularly sharing updates on key performance indicators (KPIs), progress toward goals, as well as next steps with your team in order to identify priorities and make adjustments.
Reporting is typically done through regular marketing meetings, most commonly weekly and monthly. A marketing reporting meeting typically involves sharing numerous marketing reports in order to present a comprehensive view of the strategy and how it is performing.
What should be included in your marketing reports? We cover that, and more, below.
Related article: 17 Marketing Report Examples for Sharing Performance With Your Team.
A marketing report is a visual representation, usually presented in a dashboard or slide deck, of your marketing metrics and KPIs and their progress over a specific time period.
One reporting meeting may contain several marketing reports. In fact, it should.
For example, you might present separate marketing reports for your content marketing, paid advertising, and social media efforts. Each report would display marketing KPIs specific to that function.
This will help you uncover meaningful, actionable insights that will help your team identify opportunities and make adjustments.
Below is a marketing report example that helps to communicate current performance, progress toward goals, and month-over-month comparisons to help inform and prioritize next steps.
While there are any number of ways you could organize your digital marketing reports, we think it makes the most sense to organize them according to how frequently they would be shared.
There are, of course, situations when you need to create a specific KPI report for a particular purpose.
But, for the most part, here are the most common marketing report types as well as the specific reports you would share during a specified time range.
Monthly marketing reports are a management tool used by most marketers and agencies to demonstrate relevant marketing results on a monthly basis. In a monthly marketing report, we usually find metrics focused on web analytics and campaign performance.
A web analytics report displays the data derived from the monitoring of your website performance. You will usually find in it the following metrics and KPIs – online conversions, bounce rates, page views, referral traffics, etc.
A digital marketing performance report provides you with a complete overview of all your paid advertisement campaigns’ performance. It helps you discover the amount you have spent and if you were able to stay within a planned budget while still reaching your pre-set goals. It should also include the CPA metric so that you know how much you spent to get each new customer.
You can view weekly marketing reports as a status check for your goals and campaigns. They are used to generate actionable marketing insights on a medium-term and weekly basis. In the case of weekly marketing reports, the main metrics to watch are traffic and engagements.
A Website Traffic Report provides you with data on the number of people that have visited your site. Monitoring your website traffic can help you discover where your traffic is coming from and how it’s engaging with your site. You can find this and other useful data in your reports.
A Blog Traffic Report should be a weekly event, as your blog traffic tends to fall after the first week, after the promotions and boosts end. But continual monitoring of the blog traffic via blog traffic reports can show you what is your optimal number of visits over the course of a month, and longer.
A monthly Social Media Engagement Report is a great way to keep track of your growth and improve your social strategy accordingly. Understanding how your content performs through tracking account metrics and insights over time is key to building a successful social media strategy for your business.
An Online Advertising Performance Report provides you data on how your online ads are fairing. By analyzing it on a weekly level you will ensure that your ad investments are stable or adjust them timely if they need more optimization to deliver specified targets.
In most cases, daily marketing reports are used for internal company purposes. Their main goal is to spot changes or threats as they appear and react immediately. A daily marketing report should include some of the following:
Average session duration provides you data regarding user engagement from different sources and how useful your content is for each user.
SEO Overview, when reported on a daily level, shows you the increase and decrease of your site metrics, which can help you see, on a daily level, what has a positive or negative impact on your SEO efforts.
Keyword Rankings should be reported daily as they fluctuate every single day. If this is something relevant for your company and your clients daily reports are crucial.
The Annual Marketing Report is meant to deliver the milestones and KPIs (key performance indicators) that you and your clients need to know. It helps you define the key successes, to evaluate what could be improved, and to communicate all that with your team and your clients.
A CMO usually reports to the CEO. These reports should represent everything the marketing team has accomplished over a course of a year. Whether they have hit all the set goals and what were the possible shortcomings. It is there to inform the company management of the overall success of the in-house marketing team.
With the annual Marketing KPI Report, you can see the performance of your online marketing campaigns and monitor trends over the course of the previous year.
A quality marketing report provides you with actionable and easy to read snapshots of your campaigns. What to include in your marketing reports depends on your goals and what you are looking to achieve with your marketing efforts.
But, generally speaking, a good marketing report should cover the following:
Related article: 34 Marketing Metrics to Include in Every Marketing Report
This depends on the type of report and the preset agreement you have with your team or your clients.
Marketing reports are the outcome of your data-driven marketing. Their main purpose is to help interpret all the data you have collected through easily understandable visualizations. Marketing reporting helps you build context around your data and present your efforts and successes to your clients in a manner that will be clear to them.
Here are just some of the things marketing reporting enables you to do:
Regular marketing reporting helps you obtain data that shows how close you are to reaching your pre-set marketing goals. Based on that data, you can make the necessary changes to ensure that all the goals are met in time.
Marketing outputs, in the end, enable marketing outcomes. Marketing Reporting lets you track both and see when and if there is a need for adjustment so that you can reach the desired target.
Marketing Reporting enables you to keep a close eye on the current and emerging trends and to act on them in real-time. Thus improving your chances of reaching the pre-set marketing goals.
We want to know what works and what doesn’t so that we can replicate successful tactics. By analyzing what was successful through Marketing Reporting, we can build a far more stable marketing strategy for the future.
When we have the right data, we can make educated predictions regarding some of our desired marketing outcomes. Marketing growth forecasting includes marketing reports that pay special attention to the following – sources of traffic, target audience, click-through rate (CT), conversion rate, number of transactions, the value per transaction, cost per transaction, and return on ad spend.
An effective marketing report needs to be both accessible and actionable. This means that in addition to the numerical figures themselves, it’s helpful to have a data visualization to go along with each metric in your marketing report.
While most marketing technology tools boast their own analytics, this requires you to log into dozens of separate tools in order to get a comprehensive view of performance.
This is why dashboard tools like Databox (Okay, we’re biased. But, it’s free.) are helpful in that they allow you to collate marketing metrics from multiple sources into one place.
To build your marketing report, you first should understand some of the most common sections.
Every report should include Outcome Metrics of some kind. Things like Sessions and Signups.
Then, you should also include drill-down metrics that allow viewers to better understand the performance of a specific metric. For example, instead of simply tracking Sessions, you should include a drill-down metric that measures Sessions by channel source in order to see which channels are paying off.
Next, you should also include a quality metric of some kind––a metric that allows you to measure to overall quality of an outcome metric like Sessions. For Sessions, we’d recommend something like visit-to-conversion rate.
Finally, you should also track Output Metrics that show the activities your team has executed on. This allows you to draw correlation between activities and results. This way, you can ensure that your team is only spending time on high leverage marketing activities.
In the example below, you can see “Total blog posts published” as the Output Metric.
Or, you could even add a visualization that measures the volume of each content type your team has published. This way, you can draw correlation between results and the specific types of content your team publishes.
Marketing metrics are specific measurements of the actions or behaviors exhibited on your website. This would include metrics like sessions, bounce rate, average session duration, etc.
Marketing KPIs are an agreed-upon set of metrics that have been determined to be of importance to your company’s goals and overall business. This could also include metrics like sessions, but more commonly KPIs are reserved for Outcome and Output Metrics that have proven to have an impact on a company’s revenue growth.
In short, while all KPIs are metrics, not all metrics at KPIs.
Below, we’ve included some of the more common marketing KPIs and metrics that teams track and report on.
Simply put Website Analytics Metrics tell you whether your website is getting results for your business. Website Analytics includes the collection, reporting, and analysis of website data. You can then go on and use that website data to determine the success or failure of your pre-set goals and to drive strategy and improve user experience.
Marketing performance metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) represent a source of useful data for not just marketing professionals but also the company CEO, sales department, and the senior management team. They can all use marketing KPIs in order to get a clear insight into how marketing activities and spending impact the company’s bottom line.
This is especially important since more and more marketers are required to show a return on investment (ROI) on their activities. And performance metrics are here to help you understand the extent of how much marketing spending contributes to profits. Monitoring marketing’s progress towards its annual goals
By carefully and accurately establishing marketing performance metrics marketers can help companies achieve customer satisfaction and monitor the progress towards the pre-set goals.
We can define Website Traffic as the number of visitors your site gets in a set timeframe. However. there is a lot more to it. A website traffic metric is viewed as a quantifiable indicator of an aspect of your website’s popularity. There are a lot of different website traffic metrics that you could be tracking, as different metrics tend to answer different questions you might have about the efficiency of your website.
If you want to know how much traffic your blog is attracting, you need certain sets of data to do the calculations. This is where tracking Blog Traffic Metrics comes in, you could bet measuring just traffic to your blog, and in that case, a blog post with 100,000 visits looks like a dream come true. But what if everyone who visited your post left within 15 seconds of the page loading? That is why more metrics need to be included for you to get more precise data.
According to marketing consultant Mike Sonders social drives an average of only 2.2% of traffic to the top 50 public SaaS companies. There is no doubt about the importance of social media metrics now more than ever. But it is equally important to know which ones you should be tracking.
By tracking Content Quality Control Metrics you will be able to see how well your content is performing and contributing to downstream metrics like conversions, opportunities, and sales. Some of the content metrics you should consider tracking are as follows:
Building and sharing marketing reporting dashboards is the essence of modern marketing reporting. If you are just starting, using plug-and-play marketing report templates is the best option. Databox has a great selection of Marketing reporting templates for you to choose from, depending on what you want to include in your marketing reporting.
Marketing automation is defined as the process of utilizing technology to streamline marketing efforts and make them more effective. The current Marketing Automation Databox Templates include:
And many more…
An eCommerce dashboard can be defined as a hub for important business and performance data. It enables you to get a snapshot view of your business and dive into your most important data. Databox offers a wide range of Ecommerce Templates, here are just some that you can get right now:
And many more…
CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is an important tool to help you turn a lead into a paying customer. A well designed CRM & Sales Dashboard will help you see where every individual lead is within your sales pipeline. The selection of Databox CRM & Sales Templates definitely has what you are looking for.
And many more…
A simple definition of a project management dashboard is that it is a data Dashboard containing key performance indicators related to specific projects. There is a great selection of Databox Project Management Templates to choose from.
And many more…
A great Analytics Dashboard needs to contain all your key indicators of acquisition, retention, and referrals in one place. With Analytics Databox Templates you are bound to find the perfect fit. Here are just some of the options:
And many more…
Help Desk Dashboards are a great option in case you are having trouble understanding Help Scout or Drift. Here are just some of the Help Desk Databox Templates:
And many more…
Social Media Dashboards are a great way to showcase your social media efforts to your team or your clients. They are easy to follow and can track your most relevant metrics. Social Media Databox Templates include some very useful Dashboards that you might be interested in.
And many more…
Connectors & Development Dashboard will help you have a better overview when it comes to how successful you and your team are at hitting sprint targets and responsiveness to user demands. There are several Connectors & Development Databox Templates to choose from.
A Paid Search Dashboard is a great way to pull and visualize paid search data so that you can analyze trends and optimize performance. You have a great selection of Paid Search Databox Templates to choose from depending on the data you want to show.
And many more…
Simply put, Paid Social Dashboard is best used to summarize ad engagement and conversion behavior driven by paid social platforms. Depending on the social platform you are using, there is a whole selection of Paid Social Databox Templates at your disposal.
And many more…
Accounting & Payments Dashboards are here to help visualize key accounting KPIs and provide a more comprehensive view of business performance. By doing so they are saving time, offering clarity, and improving your decision-making capabilities. You can check out some of the available Accounting & Payments Databox Templates to see whether they suit your business needs.
And many more…
Website Marketing & Sales Dashboards help your team react better in real-time. They pull data from various locations and provide you key data that reveals product sales, customer engagement, and more. Depending on your team’s needs you can select from many Website Marketing & Sales Databox Templates.
And many more…
An App Store Dashboard is here to enable you to gain insights into your sales trends and easily download data for your organization’s apps to analyze it more efficiently. Here are just some examples of App Stores Databox Templates:
Your Email Dashboard should contain key metrics to demonstrate the performance and ROI of your email campaigns. There are several options to select from when it comes to Email Databox Templates.
And many more…
Your Video Dashboard should contain all the relevant metrics related to the performance of your videos. Some of the options offered are the following Video Databox Templates:
And many more…
The main purpose of a Database Dashboard is to combine the use of metrics and KPIs to produce a visually appealing design that is easily interpreted. Here are just some of the Database Databox Templates:
By using SEO & SEM Dashboards, you can easily track your efforts when it comes to SEO, Advertising Campaigns, Revenue, Goal Completions, Locations, Channel Groupings, and numerous other relevant data. SEO & SEM Databox Templates have a lot to offer when it comes to visualizing these particular data sets.
And many more…
Editor’s note: Did you know that any Databox dashboard can be displayed on your smart TV? Broadcast your TV Dashboards for free now.
Marketers tend to judge their performance based on their outputs, but it isn’t possible to have a full picture without calculating the outcomes. On the other hand, tracking only the outcomes means your team lacks visibility into the specific activities that actually drive those outcomes. Understanding business analysis better can be beneficial when it comes to improving your overall business performance.
But, first, let’s understand the terminology a bit better –
Outcomes represent what your business wants or needs to achieve. While outputs represent actions or items that contribute to achieving an outcome that you have set.
Much like there is a clear difference between outcomes and outputs, there is a distinction between the metrics that we use to measure them.
Output metrics measure your marketing activities. They are direct measurements of the work you’re doing on a daily or weekly basis. An additional benefit of output metrics is that they let you prioritize your daily activities by keeping you focused on things you can control right now.
When it comes to outcomes metrics, they need to help you collect specific data to get insights into the extent to which expected outcomes, like changes in user behavior or knowledge, have been achieved. Simply put, they measure the impact of your outputs.
There is a distinction between leading and lagging outcomes. Unlike with outputs where you can control your activities, outcomes often depend on people outside of your organization taking action. We don’t have control over outcomes, but some provide faster feedback than others.
A leading outcome would be a web traffic spike to your website after content sharing, while a lagging one is determining the success of a single blog post.
To truly determine the impact of your marketing efforts, it is important to look at both output and outcome metrics side by side. Sure, we can say that the ultimate outcome for a business is – growth, while the ultimate output goal is facilitating that growth. But how do we get there? We start by measuring outputs and outcomes.
Measuring outputs is done by activity-based metrics that are easily quantifiable, for example:
Measuring outcomes is not as direct, it depends on the desired outcome. By knowing the outcome you want to achieve, you are able to determine the activities that need to be completed and how integral each of these activities is to success.
Having clear objectives that you want to achieve through your marketing efforts is essential for tracking marketing success. This is why setting goals is relevant to all marketers.
Marketing Goals are defined as a set of specific objectives you describe in your marketing plan. Goals vary depending on your marketing strategy, They can be tasks, quotas, improvements in KPIs, or various other standards based on which you have decided to measure your marketing success. That being said, it is important to note that marketers often opt for the SMART mnemonic when defining key goals. This helps present a far clearer picture of their intended outcome. So what does SMART stand for?
An output goal is simply defined by your desired output amount. You set output goals based on your outcome desires and track them through chosen output metrics.
Outcome goals are the ones that define which output metrics you are to track. Outcome goals are harder to obtain and they specify a result. So we can treat retention and/or increase revenue as marketing goals, outcome goals need to sound more like – retain 80 percent of our tier one customers resulting in X dollars revenue.
In general, white-label solutions allow companies to rebrand, developed by other companies, then sell them as their own. In this case, we are talking about Marketing Reports.
White Labeled Marketing Reports are reports that let you add your own branding to a report Dashboard created by Databox so that you can present it to your clients.
White Labeling of Making Reports helps your agency’s branding efforts. Even if you use an external tool to create your reports. Having the option of branding them as your own has a great positive effect on how your clients perceive your company and are great for brand reinforcement.
When creating your White-Labeled Marketing Reports, it is essential that you ensure that they have the following features:
Incorporating your company’s logo on a Marketing Report is a must. The best location is toward the top of each report in the upper left or right corner. The same location works for Dashboards You can use a watermark in place of the logo as well. To save space and make it more impactful, don’t include your tagline or slogan.
Using the header or footer as additional branding opportunities on your Marketing Reports is a great idea. You can include some of the following information in them – general contact information for your agency, your physical address, main phone number, email address, and website address. Having a white label solution that supports custom headers and footers is a great plus.
Make sure that the colors you choose to match your brand’s. But at the same time that they don’t diminish the visibility of the data presented.
Keep in mind that in case your company provides clients with a unique login to view their white-label reports or dashboard online, branding the Dashboard domain is a huge plus. This will make things a lot easier for your clients as all they need to do is visit a subdomain of your agency website to log in.
Since you are the one delivering the report to your clients, in most cases, this is done via email. It is important for better branding of your business that you send the report from an agency-branded account and not a solution-branded account. There is no need for your clients to know which Marketing Reporting tool you are using.
To finish off, we want to provide you with some useful advice on how you can always stay on top of your marketing game. In order not to miss a beat and ensure success one must keep a close eye on each and every part of their marketing process.
If you decide not to use project management tools, there is a good chance that you’re wasting a lot of time on the little things and doing more work than necessary. Keeping track of who’s working on what is not easy, and dropping the ball will lead to an inefficient collaboration among team members and teams and spread across email threads and chat software. This usually results in missed deadlines and dissatisfied clients.
Using project management tools make all the above-mentioned problems go away. You get to run a soothe marketing operation with everyone knowing what their tasks are and how they are contributing. Not to mention that it helps define a clear timeline and meet even the strictest of deadlines.
You don’t have to check daily when which task is due. By setting up notifications and alerts from anything from team meetings to posting content, you will stay on track and not have delays.
Editor’s note: Did you know that you can get KPI performance alerts right in Slack? Connect your data and start receiving performance insights directly in Slack now.
Weekly marketing team meetings are a great way to inform everyone what is the current state of affairs. You can share RMarketing reports and metrics to demonstrate how far your team is from reaching the set goals and exchange thoughts and ideas. Communication within a team and between different teams is essential for running a successful marketing department.
Chances are, you’re tracking a bunch of marketing metrics across a bunch of different tools.
You can visualize those metrics, alongside metrics from other tools you’re using, in one place with Databox.
And, it’s free. Just create your free account here, connect your data, and build your first marketing report in minutes.
Reporting | Oct 15
Reporting | Oct 14
Reporting | Oct 13