What is marketing reporting and why is it essential?

Creating marketing reports for making important decisions on behalf of the company is probably a crucial task of every marketer. However, how essential is marketing reporting to your company’s success? How can weaving a company’s data and metrics become a critical part of your marketing plan? And most importantly, what is this marketing reporting?

If you have asked yourself any of these questions, then this is what this article will answer. Today, we will explore marketing reports and why they are the most indispensable for your company to make informed business decisions.

So, let’s dive in!

What is marketing reporting?

Marketing Reporting is the process of overviewing the performance of your marketing strategies by collecting and analyzing data from different sources and identifying valuable marketing insights from the analysis. The data sources for your marketing reports may include social media, product data, SEO tools, email marketing, and more.

What is the purpose of marketing reporting?

The purpose of marketing reporting is to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing strategies for insights on how best to implement them to achieve your company’s goals and objectives. An evaluation can measure several key performance indicators, like the return on investment of your paid ad campaigns or the number of marketing qualified leads you got from a webinar series. 

Creating daily, weekly, or monthly reports can take long hours or even days. Luckily, you don’t have to build your reports from scratch. Instead, you can find free marketing report templates for Google Data Studio to create your reports faster and more efficiently. A good template provides a solid frame to create your reports, thus saving much of your valuable time.

The four main elements a marketing report should have

Goals and objectives

In any business activity, you must specify, prioritize, and struggle to achieve specific goals. Similarly, among the first things to define in your report are your marketing goals and the key performance indicators. Goal definition includes indicating where you are at the moment towards achieving them.

We recommend using gauge charts or Gantt charts to elaborate on your progress. The chart you will choose will depend on the type of data you are highlighting.

Previous marketing outcomes

A marketing report includes what you and your team have worked on since the last project to determine your achievements and progress. You can introduce things like the results of paid advertisements, social media activities, and email marketing campaigns.

Also, mention any changes that you may have made to your website, design materials, or any other factor that may have contributed to your current state.

Website performance data

New users often find their way into a company via the company’s website, where they find their first impression. More so, that’s where you can turn them into active customers, or you lose them. Every marketing report must, therefore, contain the performance of the company’s website and a critical analysis of the users’ behavior.

To highlight SEO-related data, you can represent a change in web traffic with line charts or pie charts. Also, you can choose bubble or scatter charts to explain the relationship between variables like session depth and traffic sources.

Research shows that about 88% of online users are unlikely to return to a website after encountering a bad experience. Therefore, if your report captures some issues earlier, it will give you room for improvement to retain your users.

Leads data from current marketing campaigns

Finally, to conclude your marketing report, include your wins. Compare the previous reports with the results you gained during your reporting period, then draw meaningful conclusions for your campaigns.

Lead generation is a significant task for most businesses; after all, it is the true reflection of the value of work done. If your campaign is lead-driven, don’t forget to include all data about your leads.

Understand the source of your leads which can be direct search, email campaigns, paid ads, and more. Also, explain how lead sources are distributed in your report, for example, by using pie charts.

Why is marketing reporting important for your company?

Reports show the effectiveness of your marketing efforts 

Marketing is essential for any business, so your company can use reports to understand the effectiveness of the marketing team’s efforts. That is, marketing reports are helpful when you want to see if the efforts are actually paying off.

Marketing reports show how marketing campaigns bring revenue, generate leads, and fulfill company goals. And, of course, that’s what you should care about. If your investment in marketing is paying off, but if they are not, you can adjust your strategies to avoid more losses.

Therefore, a marketing report acts as a guide for your marketing efforts. By looking at the report, you can know — when you are succeeding or falling short — and where. If you notice any problems, you can identify areas that need improvements. You can easily identify the channels that are not working correctly, then adjust them accordingly.

Without marketing reports in your company, your marketing teams will be working blindly and aimlessly, creating content whose results aren’t clear. And, probably, they’re not generating any leads or revenue for your company. So, it would help if you made marketing reports the core of your daily marketing operations.

Gather data for decision-making

Marketing Reports provide valuable data for decision-making. To make data-driven decisions using data from marketing reports, you have to do your analysis on the right sets of data. Analyzing the correct data set enables you to make accurate conclusions that provide valuable insights for locating the quickest path to your company’s success.

Picking the correct data for your marketing report is not easy. However, here is a pro-tip: avoid lonely numbers. A lonely number is one with which you don’t have another number to compare. You can then use charts and graphs to generate comprehensive reports that don’t leave lonely numbers and show connections between data sets.

A good marketing report simplifies business data and makes it sensible and digestible to everyone, even inexperienced traders. And for this reason, you should choose a good analytics tool to create helpful marketing reports.

Provides real-time data

When you are doing marketing reporting, you are going through your company’s data every day, every week, or every month, depending on the type of your marketing reporting. Using this data, you can make changes and adjustments on a real-time basis to ensure your campaigns remain relevant for the next marketing reporting period.

It is reasonable to choose a timeframe for your reporting, like weekly or monthly, that is ideal for your team to make crucial decisions. However, be keen not to wait too long before doing your reports because you may lose a lot of data, which could have been necessary for quick and timely decision-making.

If you need timely data without waiting for a given timeframe, you can try real-time data reporting tools to help you make accurate and time-bound decisions. Remember, the earlier you notice any issues and correct them, the better your chances of improvement.

Reports provide an audit trail

Apart from evaluating the performance of your business, helping you make decisions, generating sales, and shaping how you create marketing strategies, an effective marketing report also keeps your company’s records digitally without using loads of paperwork.

One of the main benefits of an audit trail from marketing reports is that it encourages the marketing team to be accountable for their marketing activities. That way, it helps maintain a well-functioning business that further cuts down on losses to maximize profits. 

You can track sales, initiatives, and customer behavior from the reports. All these entities are helpful for you in the future in case you may need to get a loan from the bank or when you are selling the company. The new owner of the company will easily access records of the company and hence can be able to bring in the new management quickly.

To update other teams in the company

Your company’s sales and marketing teams are most probably working together. Sometimes, a biased opinion can arise that the marketing team is ineffective in its responsibilities. In this case, there is a need for proof of what a particular team should accomplish for the company.

A marketing report provides the goals and actions of your marketing team and their relationship with your company’s success. In a recent B2B lead marketing report, misalignment between the sales and marketing teams can lead to a loss of up to a trillion dollars in a year.

Therefore, a marketing report could save such losses for your company. Ensure that you create a clear, straightforward report that allows everyone to understand the marketing team’s efforts as well as the other departments in the company. Also, remember that a good report should also explain all abbreviations and complex metrics in it.

Wrapping it up

Marketing success is all about correctly playing around with numbers — your company’s data. To represent the numbers correctly, you first need to create a good report that reflects your efforts and their effectiveness. A good report helps you to evaluate the success of your ad campaigns faster, hence helping your company to achieve a higher growth rate and revenue.

Don’t always assume that your marketing strategies are working out well. Use Dataslayer today to create effective marketing reports to help you keep track of your company’s data.

Let’s get all your marketing data in one place

Dataslayer automatically pulls all your marketing data from over 40 data sources to your favorite destinations, be it Google Data Studio, Google Sheets, Google BigQuery, or BI tools (Qlik, Tableau, Power BI) with API.