Are you wondering how metrics reporting can improve your bottom line?
Many people think that marketing is all about the “creatives.” Catchy slogans, clickable titles, and hilarious memes are what really drives a business forward, right?
Because you actually need to see and measure the impact your creative team is having on your audience. And you also need to justify whether the cost of your creative efforts is bringing more money in–or getting spent down the drain.
For that, you need to have a clear system in place for your marketing reports. That’s why, today, we’re going to talk about metrics reporting.
First, we’ll get clear on what the term “metrics” reporting means. Then, we’ll tell you how to select the right data for all of your marketing reports.
Let’s dive in!
What Is Metrics Reporting? (And Why It Matters)
Trying to make any kind of decision about your business is impossible if you don’t have the right information at hand. This is true of your marketing efforts, too.
Metrics reporting is how you make sure that the information you need is available at the time you need it. It’s a regular snapshot of the key metrics or KPIs which show whether you’re on track to meet your goals.
Also, don’t let the term “metrics reporting” fool you. Your reports should focus on KPIs rather than metrics. You can read more about the difference between KPIs and metrics here.
But, apparently, “KPI reporting” isn’t as catchy, so we’ll go with the classic lingo. 😉
Here’s how metrics reporting (ideally) works:
You compile your chosen metrics into one easy-to-read report. This should be a quick task, especially if you have a good reporting tool to help you. Metrics Watch, for example, has a drag and drop builder to streamline this part of the process.
Then, you should be able to quickly send these reports at regular intervals – usually weekly or monthly. They should present your metrics in a way that’s easy to understand at a glance for your team, your clients, or your shareholders.
If you’ve chosen your metrics carefully, monitoring them closely can help you in several ways, including:
- Identify which marketing channels bring the greatest ROI
- Show you which content works best to engage your audiences and generate leads
- Alert you to red flags quickly, so you can make changes to address them
- Monitor brand awareness and conversion rates over time
- Provide evidence to clients or your leadership team that marketing is worth investing in
- Improve your overall marketing strategy, safe in the knowledge that you are basing your decisions on solid data
All of these advantages of metrics reporting boil down to one thing: using the data you have to grow your business. Period.
Now that we know what metrics reporting is and why it’s so important, let’s look at how you can select the right metrics for your marketing reports.
How to Select the Right Metrics for Reports: 7 Helpful Questions
The next step is deciding which metrics you need to include in your reports.
The problem here isn’t that there are too few options, but rather that there are too many. Every marketing platform out there will give you plenty of data.
Trying to keep track of all of it will make your reports next to useless – too long and with way more detail than you could ever need. This means important information is likely to get lost in all the noise.
Instead, you’ll want to be strategic about which metrics you include in your reports. Which is why I’ve created 7 helpful questions to determine which KPIs are right for you.
Remember, your answers may also change depending on who the report is for. Your marketing team might be interested in a wider range of metrics than your clients or senior management team, for example, who just need the big picture.
In fact, this leads perfectly into my first suggested question when trying to decide which KPIs and metrics to include in your reports
1) Who will see the report and how does it fit with their goals?
There are some metrics that are relevant to the whole organization. These need to be included in every report you generate. They’re usually ones that relate to the strategic direction of the business.
These overarching KPIs relate to your company’s goals and should be set as part of your strategic planning.
Then you need to decide which metrics most closely indicate whether you are on track to meet those goals. Include them in any reports that are seen outside your own team.
In the meantime, you’ll also have a plan for your team’s activities. Some metrics will be relevant to your team’s goals but aren’t necessary information for people outside those directly involved.
As a side note, you’ll notice that you’ll likely need to generate more than one report. Choosing a reporting tool that lets you customize and automate reports to different people will save you a lot of time, hassle, and headaches.
2) Are your chosen metrics available to you?
It might sound obvious, but you’re limited by the data you have available to you. There’s no point deciding to include a metric in your report if it turns out that you don’t actually have that information or you have no way to get it.
There are also some measures of success that aren’t easy to quantify.
You can’t, for example, include an actual measure of how much your audience likes your brand, because that isn’t a number – it’s a feeling. In cases like these, you have to choose the nearest quantifiable equivalent. In this example, it might be your engagement rate or your unfollow/unsubscribe rate.
Either way, research which marketing channels you currently use so you have a better idea of which KPIs are actually available to you.
c) Is the metric something you will use to take action?
Just like there’s no point in trying to include things that can’t be measured by data you don’t have, there’s no advantage to including metrics in your reports that won’t impact your behavior.
You want to choose metrics that relate to your actual activities and KPIs that will be useful in planning future marketing campaigns.
Before deciding whether to include a metric in your report, ask yourself what will happen if that KPI consistently falls below where you want it to be. Is there someone who will change their approach to address it?
If not, it’s a good sign that this metric isn’t worth including in your reports. Or that your team needs a restructure.
Regardless, your KPIs should have a measurable impact on your team’s or clients’ actions.
4) Is the metric comparable?
One of the major uses of a metrics report is to help you to spot trends in your audience reactions and campaign performance over time or across different platforms.
Choose metrics you can compare easily. This lets you double down on what’s working and refocus on what’s not.
As an example, your total follower count on a social platform is hard to compare with your follower count on another platform – you might have been on Instagram much longer than Twitter, for example.
Or your audience might be naturally more attracted to how you post on one platform instead. Follower count, in this example, simply isn’t helpful.
But your follower growth rate is comparable both between platforms and over time. You can use this KPI to find which channel is growing the most quickly and, from there, put more energy into that.
Look for metrics like from the example above that will give you a fuller picture of trends, rather than a single snapshot in time.
5) Does the metric help you measure your ROI?
No matter what size your business is, you need to use your marketing budget strategically. And that means being able to demonstrate a solid ROI from your campaigns. You need to choose metrics that help you do that, especially when reporting to senior management.
Brand awareness is a valuable outcome from your marketing, so don’t think that this means you have to only include metrics that relate to direct sales in your reports.
But you do have to know what that metric tells you about the value of your marketing activities – and be prepared to explain this to others who are less familiar with how marketing works.
You should be able to quickly and efficiently explain how each metric on your marketing report is having a direct or indirect impact on your bottom line.
6) Does the metric help you plan your content in the short- and medium-term?
We’ve talked a lot about the longer term, strategic goals. But you also need your metrics more immediately to show you what content works well for your audience and what gets less engagement.
These metrics might not make it into your reports outside your team. But, for you, they’ll be a vital help in planning your content and ad campaigns. It is much easier to think up new ideas when you have some good data to work from.
7) Do the people receiving the report understand what the metric means?
Without interpretation, metrics are just numbers. When you choose what goes into your reports, you need to think if the metrics can stand on their own or need an explanation.
Hopefully, if you’re consistent over time, whoever receives your reports will begin to understand the different metrics better. At the start, you may need to hold their hands a little more.
When you’re choosing metrics and KPIs for your reports, do it with your audience in mind. If you are confident you can explain the importance of each metric quickly, put them in. If you’d need a small essay each time to explain their significance, consider whether that metric is necessary or if there is a different way to show the same thing.
If you’ll be using a reporting tool, it is worth looking out for one that will let you add some notes for this exact reason.
Building Your Metrics Reports the Easy Way
So far, we’ve talked about how you can find the right KPIs and metrics to include into your marketing report. But now, you’ve actually got to build the thing.
And as you may have noticed, that can be a tedious process. Especially when you’re pulling from multiple sources. That’s the reason I built Metrics Watch:
Metrics Watch is the easiest marketing report builder available. It has a drag and drop builder to let you pull data from your favorite marketing channels.
Then the data you want is automatically compiled into one cohesive report. You select who should receive the report, put your branding and logo on it, and send it daily, weekly, or monthly directly to your recipients’ inbox.
There’s no messy PDFs to organize, and no user management roles to configure to access 3rd-party dashboards. Instead, you just send the most important data straight to the person who needs it.
This is why onvista chose Metrics Watch over 20+ competing report building tools: it’s the most frictionless way to create and share reports.
Want to see it in action for yourself? Click below to start your 100% FREE trial (no credit card required):
And that’s it! These have been 7 questions you can ask yourself to find the right KPIs for your marketing reports.
If you enjoyed this post, you should definitely check out the following resources:
- The Problem (and Solution) to Business Metrics Dashboards
- Facebook Metrics You Need to Track and Increase Revenue
- Instagram Marketing: 6 KPIs You Need + 3 Helpful Metrics
These tools will have even more information on critical KPIs you can start tracking to make a more productive (and profitable) marketing strategy.