‘Nothing is constant’ should be your marketing team’s motto – new pricing strategies, product updates, or market entrants mean your marketing cannot, and should not, stand still. This in turn means that the way you implement your reporting needs to be real-time, dynamic and able to facilitate fast optimisation, confident spend allocation and better decision making.
So, are you looking at your numbers in the right way? Do you have all the information you need to make a (non-judgement) call? Here are 3 signs suggesting you might need to look into a more strategic approach with regards to your reporting.
SIGN 1. You have all the data. But you cannot see any correlation.
This is usually the first, and most obvious, sign that your data and reporting need re-thinking. The world of digital creates just as many opportunities as it does tools, and establishing links between platforms and channels, to ultimately centralise data for better interpretation, is challenging and complex. If your data is scattered around different tools, and reporting is based on manual excel spreadsheet, it’s likely you are not seeing ‘the bigger picture’. This means that your budgets might be allocated to the wrong channels, that your team members are spending too much time on content that does not actually work for your target audience, or your creative is not being optimised for the best customer experience.
Instead of interpreting results in isolation, consider using a platform that brings all your data together. With one single view of your customers, real-time reporting into your activities and a more holistic overview of your campaigns, you will be able to easily see the relationship between different media and content channels.
You need to connect the dots with regards to various touchpoints, otherwise you’re flying blind.
SIGN 2. You see the correlation. But you cannot see the cause and effect.
To be truly effective in your role, it’s crucial that you understand how different marketing channels influence outcomes. Identifying relationships between all your different KPIs is a must if you want to base your decisions on solid intelligence, rather than a gut feeling.
To gain more insights as to the cause and effect of your campaign, look at your numbers and think about what happened during the time period and how it affected your KPIs. Did the website traffic increase because we had a press release coming out? Did the advertising do better because we switched the position of the CTA button?
There are many potential reasons customer behaviour can be impacted, and thus affect the outcomes of the campaigns you are running. Analyse important events that can influence how a customer engages with your product, solution or brand. If you see spikes or drops in your KPIs, don’t interpret them with bias, past experience, or instinct. Chances are there are solid reasons behind the metrics you are seeing, you just need to get to the bottom of what is happening at different levels of customer journey.
SIGN 3. You see cause and effect. But you’re not able to attribute it towards your company’s strategic objective.
The ultimate goal of your marketing efforts is to help achieve a specific company objective. Business strategy should be the reasoning behind your activities and your spend.
Though what we often see is a lack of alignment between business goals and marketing. Therefore, step number one should be alignment with your organisation’s wider strategy – is the focus on retention? Is it onboarding new customers? Is it increasing share price? In all likelihood, it’s all those things. So make sure you have the measurement tools in place to reference against those aspirations.
When reporting on these metrics, remember to speak your boardroom’s language, because they usually don’t understand impressions, click through rates or SEO. Your reporting needs to show them how investment made in marketing attributes to revenue growth, such as which channels power customer acquisition and retention the most, and why. For more information, check out this article to see which metrics your management actually cares about and how to relate them to your campaigns.
To help you relate your KPIs to the wider business goals you need technology that works in intuitive ways, allowing you to interpret your data. The best solution would provide a single dashboard that would let you see how each invested pound generates revenue. This will help you to have a very different conversation with your executive board the next time you’re face to face with them.
Any of these signs hitting close to home? Then it’s time for you to discover the platform that lets you quantify the collective impact of all your marketing touchpoints and take a more strategic approach towards reporting.