Are you considering automated reporting, but not sure if it’s worth the time or effort?
As the founder of Metrics Watch, you can probably guess that I’m a bit biased: automated reporting is AWESOME.
I understand peoples’ hesitation, especially as most business owners are juggling a hundred tasks and putting out a thousand fires a day. With all that, how could possible have time to put new systems in place or get new wheels in motion?
The good news is that by setting up automated reporting systems, you can save yourself a ton of time, energy, and headaches in the future.
That’s why, today, I’m going to share the benefits of automated reporting with you.
Before we get started, though, let’s get crystal clear on what I mean by “automated reporting.”
Automated reporting means using software to create reports and schedule them to send automatically at a frequency you choose. Most tools will let you send them to multiple recipients. You can also create different templates according to what each person needs to see.
In other words, you know that tedious task of looking up metrics from all your different marketing platforms, entering them into a spreadsheet, figuring out how to turn them into helpful visualizations, and then sending them around to a bunch of other people?
No one likes that task. Automated reporting is how you stop needing to do it.
The reporting tool will link with your digital marketing channels, such as social media, Google Analytics, Mailchimp, AdWords, and so on. Instead of you spending time checking each platform, automated reports will appear regularly in your inbox with the most up-to-date figures.
All your data, in one place, displayed beautifully and delivered straight to you.
In short, automated reporting is a digital marketer’s best friend.
Not totally convinced? Let’s check out 6 reasons why you need to consider automated reporting for your business.
It’s hopefully already clear that automated reporting has numerous benefits for busy marketers. There really is no need for any of us to be compiling marketing reports manually in the 21st century.
But if you are still on the fence, perhaps a closer look at some of the benefits can help convince you.
I know it seems obvious, but it is worth reiterating. Compiling reports manually is a time-consuming task. Checking each platform, pulling everything into a spreadsheet, battling with formulas and graph functions – it all adds up.
And as more and more options for digital marketing appear, creating reports yourself is only going to get more labor-intensive.
There are so many better things you could be doing with your time. Using an automated reporting tool will give that time back to you, so you can spend it on more valuable tasks (such as coming up with your next high-converting campaign).
Yes, automated reporting software doesn’t come free (although you can normally try out tools before you commit your cash).
But that monthly fee is a small price to pay because automating your reports can save you plenty of money. Firstly, it frees up your team’s time, so nobody's salary is being wasted on hours spent compiling tedious reports.
And secondly,it makes sure you have the information you need to maximize the profitability of your campaigns. Because reporting tools are developed specifically to create useful visualizations of your key performance indicators (KPIs), they make it easier to uncover significant trends.
You can then use those insights to boost your return on investment (ROI).
Here’s the tricky thing about reports: they need to be done regularly and consistently if you want the data to be any good. But when the task is just another item on an ever-growing to-do list, it is easy for it to be pushed aside for higher priority jobs.
And that can quickly lead to a lack of consistency. A report that is supposed to be generated on the first day of every month is sometimes done on the fifth day instead.
Also, staff members change, and whoever takes over the reports does it slightly differently from the person before. Meaning that the figures are no longer truly comparable.
Automating your reporting eliminates these issues. Once you have your reports set up, they’ll arrive reliably at the right time. And they’ll present the data the same way. This lets you build that long-term, holistic picture of your marketing performance.
Not only do humans get overwhelmed by their to-do list and fail to generate reports when they’re supposed to, but they also make mistakes.
If you’re copying and pasting metrics from lots of different marketing channels, it is almost certain that an error will occur at some point. It might be as simple as a typo or entering a number into the wrong cell.
With any luck, you’ll spot most errors quickly. But if they go unnoticed, they can throw off your whole dataset, potentially leading to costly mistakes.
Using an automated reporting tool ensures that your reports contain accurate data. You can then make decisions without worrying about whether the figures you are working from are correct or not.
Many reporting tools include an alert feature that can let you know when there’s unusual activity on your marketing channels.
Unless you’re manually checking every channel daily, it can be easy to miss these sudden spikes or dips in activity for a few days. When it comes to the world of digital marketing, a few days later is way too late.
Even Google Analytics can take as long as 24 hours to let you know if there’s something unusual going on. And you need to know straight away.
Automated reporting software can keep you fully updated with what’s happening across all your channels.
One of the advantages of using an automated reporting tool is that it doesn’t just keep you up to date. It also makes sure other people are in the loop.
Marketing may belong to one team, but it affects the performance of an entire company. That means there are going to be plenty of people who are interested in knowing what’s happening and how it will affect their own work.
Some of those people might chase up late reports. And needing to contact you time and again for late reports can harm the relationships between your team and clients.
And other people might not even notice that they aren’t getting the reports. This is almost worse because neither you nor they will realize that they’re operating without the entire picture.
Either way, automation solves the issue by making it easy to send regular reports to a whole range of stakeholders. Creating and sending reports also becomes much simpler when you use one of these tools, so you can make sure everyone is receiving KPIs relevant to their area of work.
The easiest way to start automating your marketing reports is to use a tool like Metrics Watch:
Metrics Watch is one of the best marketing report building tools available. That’s because it lets anyone quickly and easily create automated reports in minutes.
With our drag and drop editor, you can pull KPIs from your favorite marketing channels, such as:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Facebook (organic and paid)
- Instagram (organic and paid)
- LinkedIn (organic and paid)
- And more…
This lets you create automated reports across multiple channels, so you can get the right information to the right people at exactly the right times.
Plus, we offer the most frictionless report sharing feature on the market.
That’s because many report building tools rely on PDF attachments and 3rd-party user dashboards to share reports.
The former requires a high amount of organization (from you and your clients), and the latter requires constant user role management for the 3rd-party dashboard.
But with Metrics Watch, you can have your reports automatically sent straight to your recipients’ inbox on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
It really doesn’t get much easier than that.
Ready to see it in action for yourself? Click below to get started with your 100% risk-free Metrics Watch trial (no credit card required):
And that’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, you might be interested in the following articles:
- Cross Channel Marketing 101: What It Is and How to Use It
- Client Reporting: 7 Reasons to Keep Your Client in the Know
- How to Make a Marketing Report (That Actually Boosts Your ROI)
These articles will have even more helpful resources to get your more efficient (and profitable) marketing reports.