The Complete Guide to Marketing Reporting

Marketing reporting is essential for every marketer. From a new marketing intern to a marketing manager to a VP of Marketing, everyone needs to showcase their work and its impact on the business.

Marketing reports help capture the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of their jobs. Teams use marketing reports to:

  • Find out the source of leads
  • Discover the multiple ways in which the customer engages with the product
  • Understand the key elements that lead to conversions

Digital marketing reporting need not be complicated. In this guide, we’ll answer the question “What is marketing reporting?” and explain how you can use it to make better decisions and achieve business goals.

An introduction to marketing reporting

Marketing reporting is an organized process that curates, gathers, and analyzes marketing data and metrics to improve the marketing department’s performance.

Marketing reports are used to showcase campaign performance, make better decisions, and meet pre-set marketing goals.

A typical marketing report includes:

  • Product or service marketing strategy
  • Market analysis and competitor research data
  • Product or service promotion information
  • Paid advertising campaign data, including Google ads, YouTube Ads, and email campaigns
  • List of pre-established marketing goals and key performance indicators (KPIs)

Great marketing reports provide teams with the relevant data they need to review their past performance and course-correct for upcoming activities.

Marketing reports can be created for different periods: daily, weekly, quarterly, or annually. They also differ based on the nature of the industry, reporting needs, and audience requirements.

Why does marketing reporting matter?

Over 75% of teams use marketing reporting for their campaigns. Out of this number, 62% use marketing reporting software. To succeed in a dynamic marketplace, teams need to know which campaigns are striking the right chord and the ones aren’t.

Using marketing reports is an effective way to get clarity on campaign performance. Here are some key benefits that marketers can gain if they implement marketing reporting:

Consolidate valid marketing data

Getting valid and relevant data is a prerequisite for monitoring marketing performance. Using personalized marketing dashboards helps teams gather, curate, and organize data in one place.

This also helps eliminate manual errors and presents an accurate performance snapshot for key stakeholders.

Understand customer behavior

Being aware of customer needs is the key to success. When teams use marketing reports, they gain valuable insights into customer needs and wants. For example, a marketing department may discover that their target audience prefers shopping on their smartphone or is most active after 6 pm.

If they are aware of this, they will be able to craft more targeted marketing campaigns. Doing this can help them delight their customers and exceed their expectations.

Monitor campaign performance

The exceptional management leader Peter Drucker once said, “What gets measured, gets done.” This is also true for marketing performance. Stay on top of your campaign performance with digital marketing reporting.

By doing this, teams can do more of what works to boost campaign results while saving on company resources.

Support business decision making

Stakeholders need a clear overview of the marketing campaigns and how they performed. Identifying key marketing metrics and collating them into customized marketing dashboards is a great way to meet the decision-making needs of your senior management.

It can help them plan out upcoming marketing initiatives, monitor campaign progress, and achieve their KPIs.

Help teams achieve goals

Choosing to go with gut instincts does not guarantee success and can be a sure-fire path to poor campaign performance.

Focusing on data-driven marketing efforts, such as implementing marketing reporting software, can go a long way toward getting a higher return on your marketing investment.

What goes into a digital marketing report?

So, you’re ready to create a marketing report. But how do you go about it? 

Whether you plan to create a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly report, consider this list of the essential marketing metrics that should be present:

Summary of findings

The first page of every marketing report should provide holistic and actionable insights derived from the key data points included inside.

Adding the summary helps the report’s audience to gain valuable insights and make better decisions. Here are a few marketing data points that can be highlighted in the summary:

  • List of the primary marketing channels used
  • Scope of the report
  • Highlights of the marketing initiatives undertaken with their results for the reports’ time period

Sales leads and conversion metrics

Make sure that conversion metrics are appropriately highlighted in your digital marketing report. These metrics affect the organization’s bottom-line results, revenues, and profits.

They vary based on the nature of business, the scope of initiatives, and the marketing channels used. Here is a list of a few conversion metrics to consider:

  • Total number of leads obtained
  • Number of leads secured per channel, including website, social media platforms, email forms, and more
  • Number of leads generated organically or from paid advertising sources
  • Cost-per-click for paid advertising channels such as Google Ads, YouTube Ads, etc.

Traffic metrics

Traffic metrics display the number of prospective customers coming to your website or mobile application.

Learning more about customer sources is an effective way of creating more targeted content for them.

  • Total number of website visitors — weekly, monthly, or quarterly
  • Number of website or mobile application visitors per source — from an app, emails, social media
  • Number of unique visitors to your site (people who are visiting for the first time)
  • Paid and organic traffic numbers — how many people are coming on their own (organic) versus people coming from paid advertising (paid)
  • Mobile/desktop bounce rates — visitors who come but then leave the site without taking any action

SEO and customer engagement metrics

No marketing report is complete without adding end-customer engagement metrics to the mix. Here are a few search engine optimization (SEO) metrics that show how customers are engaging with your website:

  • Search engine results pages (SERPs) or page rankings
  • Average visit duration for customers for a week/month/quarter (time spent by an average customer in one visit)
  • Pay-per-click advertising ROI (return on investment) per channel — cost to get a single lead from a specific channel such as Google, YouTube, or Facebook
  • PPC campaign comparison — comparing different campaigns and their investment, leads, and returns across social platforms

Quality metrics

Quality metrics refer to marketing data that measures the overall quality of marketing results. Quality metrics include the following:

  • Number of returning website visitors
  • Return on marketing investment — tracks whether new marketing campaigns are attracting new leads or generating revenue
  • Customer click-through rate (CTR) — measures the number of visitors taking the desired action on the website, such as signing up for the newsletter or booking a demo

Business impact metrics

Business impact metrics showcase how different marketing initiatives generate business for the company. They show the transition of marketing metrics into genuine leads and customers.

Here is a list of business impact metrics that can be included in a digital marketing report:

  • Number of new customers in a specified period — daily, weekly or monthly
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC) — the cost of acquiring a new customer
  • Total number of sales-qualified leads per source (SQLS) — customers with a high level of engagement that are ready to interact with sales

Goal summaries

Make sure your team is 100% clear on where they’re headed. Connecting your marketing report to the bigger organizational goals helps team members understand how their roles are essential for goal achievement.

Metrics that show movement towards goals include:

  • Monthly or quarterly revenue and the percentage increase from earlier time periods
  • Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) — the percentage of customers that are delighted with the company’s product or service offering
  • Conversion rate from new leads to end-customer — the percentage of leads that  convert into customers

Next steps

Numbers alone can be confusing. Provide context by adding an outline for the upcoming initiatives. Written explanations can help the stakeholders understand the ‘why’ behind an individual statistic.

For example:

  • If the average visitor duration on the website has increased, mention that improvement in page load times is a factor.
  • Clearly state that the higher-than-normal email click-through rates could be a result of a new discount code shared with subscribers.
The Complete Guide to Marketing Reporting 2
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

What not to put into a marketing report

Beware of information overload. HBR research confirms that it can be difficult to focus when there’s too much data floating around.

Including reams of information in your reports can be overwhelming for the audience. Here is a brief list of what to leave out of your marketing report:

Irrelevant metrics

Get better value from your marketing reports by curating the core metrics. For example, there’s no need to add these numbers in reports:

  • Search engine page ranking for every blog post present on the website
  • Number of shares for every post on social media platforms
  • Cost of acquisition for a channel that isn’t directly responsible for increasing leads or getting prospects

Focus on the numbers that matter by ensuring that every metric is attached to a specific goal.

Technical jargon

Jargon is any word or phrase used by a particular group that is difficult for others to understand. Technical terms can be added to the report if the intended audience is from your team or department.

Otherwise, use simple language to ensure that the report is clear and understandable for senior leadership and stakeholders from any department.

Unnecessary visuals

Adding visual elements can be a great way to connect with your audience and increase brand recall. Images, tables, and graphs are simple to understand and certainly more memorable than plain text.

However, tossing them around in digital marketing reports will not help. Use visuals appropriately, and provide the correct context to link it back to your overall goals.

How to identify which metrics are important

Avoid confusing your audience by including unnecessary information. Reports are created to give clarity about marketing initiatives, so teams need to curate the metrics to be included.

Ask these questions to identify if a marketing metric should be added to the report or not:

  • Can the metric be linked back to the marketing goal?
  • Is the metric measurable across time periods?
  • Is the metric relevant to the report outcome and campaign performance?
  • Can the team collect accurate data to calculate the metric in the upcoming weeks or months?
  • Is the metric related to customer engagement, business growth, and organizational revenue?

Are there different types of marketing reports?

Here are a few types of reports that marketers create for different audiences:

  1. Reports created for specific key performance indicators (KPIs), such as marketing CMO reports, web analytics reports, and marketing performance reports
  2. Reports for specific departmental needs or projects, such as a paid advertising campaign performance report for the digital marketing team
  3. Reports based on pre-defined periods (daily, weekly, monthly, and annually)

Reports for different time periods are frequently used to demonstrate marketing campaign performance. With time-focused marketing reports, teams can:

  • Track campaign performance consistently
  • Identify changes, outliers, and trends that may occur from one time period to another
  • Document marketing initiatives and activities that can be reviewed, assessed, and learned from in the future
  • Support teams in making projections about future campaign performance and goals
  • Analyze data to improve future campaign performance and cut costs

Daily marketing reports

Daily marketing reports are created for internal company needs. They are more topical and can be used to understand changes in market dynamics, product demand, and competitor threats.

Teams create daily marketing reports for:

  • SEO summary reports illustrating site metrics
  • Keyword and page rankings in search that fluctuate every day

Weekly marketing reports

Weekly marketing reports are useful for keeping a finger on the marketing pulse. They help generate actionable insights and highlight the progress of the marketing initiatives while reporting on ongoing campaigns.

Teams use weekly marketing reports for:

  • Monitoring website analytics
  • Tracking blog traffic and engagement
  • Observing social media traffic

Monthly marketing reports

Monthly marketing reports are one of the most efficient indicators of the marketing team’s performance. Monthly reports display marketing data and campaign results for a 30-day period and can be used to monitor the team’s progress towards its goals.

Monthly marketing reports can be created for:

  • Campaign performance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram
  • Customer support tickets performance
  • Paid advertising campaigns across channels

Quarterly marketing reports

Quarterly marketing reports are created to document marketing performance over three months.

Since they cover a larger time frame, they offer insight into average performance levels. Senior leadership and stakeholders use them to spot medium-term to long-term trends and make performance projections.

Quarterly marketing reports can be created for:

  • Click-through rate for online advertisement, media, and email campaigns
  • Comprehensive SEO reports that monitor keyword ranking, page ranking, and organic and paid campaigns over time
  • Business growth reports, including an increase in subscriber base, revenue, and profit

Annual marketing reports

Annual marketing reports are organized documents created for a 12-month period illustrating significant changes, movements, and growth in marketing campaign performance.

They highlight the overall performance of the marketing team while showcasing the initiatives undertaken over the year. The senior leadership team and the marketing head can review the team’s work and create a roadmap for the next year.

Annual marketing reports can be created for:

  • Marketing Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) reports depicting the annual team performance
  • Online marketing campaign performance reports, which summarize the performance of all initiatives undertaken this year

How to identify which type of report to use

It can be challenging to zero in on which type of marketing report you need. If you want your marketing report to be effective and useful for its intended audience, consider these parameters before choosing making the decision:

  • Purpose: Determine the core purpose for creating the report. It could be a one-time KPI report or one that requires a regular cadence. Title the report appropriately to make its purpose and audience clear.
  • Period of reporting: Identify the time frame for the report. Instead of waiting for a campaign to end before tracking its progress, schedule report production as often as you schedule marketing activities.
  • Target audience: Different reports are produced for various audiences or project needs. A report created for the department head will not be the same as the one created for the company’s CEO. Consider the decisions the audience needs to make and let that guide your journey to gather, curate, and analyze data.

Marketing report example

Even though marketing reporting is a critical part of the marketing function, teams cannot spend their entire day creating reports. Reporting on marketing campaigns is one of the many responsibilities they have.

That’s where using automated marketing reporting software can help. It enables you to create a simple or comprehensive report that can be customized for the audience’s needs. It also saves time by providing preset templates. Just add the relevant KPIs to the report to align it with the target audience’s needs.

Get inspired with these marketing report examples that can serve as a guide in creating your own.

General marketing report

A general marketing report provides a consolidated view of all marketing channels, investments, and initiatives. It covers content marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, e-commerce analytics, and paid advertising.

Here are a few of the KPIs that can be included:

  • Campaign performance
  • Conversion rate metrics
  • Website bounce rate
  • Marketing channel performance and return on investment by source

PPC marketing report

A pay-per-click marketing report is a detailed snapshot of all paid advertising and promotion activities for multiple platforms like Google, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

It includes in-depth information on the investment, the number of channels, and conversions. Here are some of the metrics that you can add to a PPC marketing report:

  • Clicks and cost per click
  • Ad performance by platform
  • Conversion rates for all platforms

Why choose Wrike as your marketing reporting software

Marketing reports need to be crafted with a specific purpose in mind. Using a dedicated marketing reporting software like Wrike helps marketers generate reports quickly.

Teams can view all marketing KPIs in one place and integrate data from multiple sources such as Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, and MailChimp.

Simplify your digital marketing with cross-channel performance analysis, real-time performance insights, and data from 50+ digital marketing tools.

Start a free Wrike trial today to review metrics in real-time, gain 360-degree campaign visibility, and achieve your marketing reporting goals.

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