The best way to achieve any personal or professional goal is to track your progress. For example, if you make a decision to participate in a marathon next year, you will not start training the day before the marathon. The same goes for your marketing goals.
You need to regularly generate marketing reports to properly break down your goals, keep your team in the loop, and show your progress. Marketing reports not only show your stakeholders what you’ve accomplished, they can also help you adjust your marketing strategy by allowing you to detect both threats and opportunities in advance.
What is a Marketing Report?
A marketing report is a report that shows the current state of your marketing operation, how your marketing is performing across different channels, your progress (relative to your goals) and other relevant insights from your data. The purpose of each marketing report is to see how your efforts translate into real results and to identify where you can improve.
At this point, every business, regardless of size, creates marketing reports to add value to:
- General marketing strategy
- Marketing goals
- Key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Marketing activities such as research, promotions, content, ads, email, social media and more
- Expected results and actual results
However, not all marketing reports mentioned above are created equally. The scope of your marketing reports may vary depending on the data you want to track and the number of marketing channels. Common types of marketing reports include:
- General marketing reports
- Social media marketing reports
- SEO marketing reports
- PPC marketing reports
- Email marketing reports
Used effectively, marketing reports take your business to the top of all marketing activities and metrics. At a glance, you can see which marketing campaigns and channels are producing the best results.
Types of Marketing Reports
You can find some different types of marketing reports in the list below:
1. General marketing report
A general marketing report is a general report that most marketing professionals create in the industry. It often includes content marketing, e-commerce analytics, or price per lead. This report details all marketing activities and includes general information that all stakeholders can interpret.
2. SEO marketing report
An SEO marketing report can be an effective tool that companies can use to monitor the success of their SEO marketing strategy. The report can help a business highlight metrics such as organic traffic on their website, visitor-to-customer conversion rate, which keywords are driving visitors to their website, or the performance of backlinks. It may also contain information about paid search results.
3. Price Per Click (PPC) marketing report
This report focuses more on costs, conversions, clicks, revenues and performance. Most businesses constantly monitor PPC reports to ensure their campaigns are performing at maximum.
4. Social media marketing report
The social media marketing report helps highlight how well your efforts are working to engage people and build a community around your products/services. That’s why you can monitor social media marketing to note trends, measure brand perception, use posts to market your products, or improve customer support. Businesses that rely on social channels for their customers can watch this report hourly.
5. E-commerce marketing report
Businesses specializing in e-commerce products can use these reports to view financial data from online sales. The reports contain information about the number of products sold and profit from online sales. E-commerce reports can help marketers analyze performance through digital ads or compare customer purchases to identify promotional campaigns. Website traffic reports may include paid and organic search results, number of unique visitors, average time spent on pages, and bounce rate. Tracking the number of visitors to a website can help you determine where to direct your resources and advertising budget.
6. Email marketing report
The email marketing report analyzes how different customers may interact with emails from the business’s marketing team. It can include metrics like open rates, clicks, and conversions.
7. Financial marketing report
The financial marketing report can show where the budget allocated to the marketing department is spent and which areas require additional or less budget. Reports can also show how campaigns are generating profits and estimated costs. A financial marketing report can also be helpful for managers as it can guide them on how to allocate budgets to different areas.
8. Cost per conversion report
This report can show a company the cost of acquiring or converting customers through advertising. It includes metrics such as cost per lead, total spend, conversion rates, and total leads that can help determine the total cost per conversion when analyzed. Marketing professionals often use this report in conjunction with other reports to gain better insights.
What are the Advantages of Preparing a Marketing Report?
The main advantages of creating a detailed marketing report are as follows:
1. Visualizing the Customer Purchase Journey
There is no better way to understand the customer journey than using a marketing report. At this point, you can quickly identify the following with your marketing report:
- Critical touch points
- The most impactful content
- Where are your potential customers on their journey?
- Potential customers who are willing to spend and plan to make a purchase
- Steps to take to speed up the sales process and much more
- How to optimize your sales and marketing funnel to drive better conversions
2. Measure and Analyze Marketing Efforts
After devoting a significant amount of time and budget to marketing, you need to know if your efforts are worthwhile.
Whether you want to generate leads, convert leads into loyal customers, or increase your revenue, marketing reports show you whether your campaigns are achieving the desired results. It allows you to quickly understand which strategies will help you maximize return on investment and get more out of your marketing budget.
3. Allows You to Make Informed Business Decisions
In today’s fiercely competitive business environment, you can’t rely on guesswork and gut feeling when making important marketing decisions. If you want to make sound decisions, you need rich and quality data.
Relevant and actionable data shows you how your marketing campaigns are progressing and impacting your bottom line. A detailed marketing report gives you all the details and marketing data in one place.
4. Aligns Between Sales and Marketing Teams
Mismatches between sales and marketing teams cause problems for most businesses. It hinders job growth and costs companies more than $1 trillion a year.
For this not to happen, data has to flow between departments. This is possible thanks to marketing reports. Marketing reports help sales and marketing teams achieve the following goals by providing all the data they need:
- Optimizes marketing content to close more sales.
- It allows you to achieve sales and marketing goals.
- It guides you through every step of the sales funnel.
- It helps you increase conversions and maximize revenue.
How to Prepare a Marketing Report?
Here’s how to generate marketing reports to help you make better decisions and benefit your audience:
1. State the Purpose of Your Marketing Report
Without a clear purpose, your marketing report is just a meaningless and isolated bunch of numbers. Therefore, before collecting data and generating a report, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the purpose of this report?
- What message is wanted to be shared in the report and how is this message conveyed?
- What is to be learned from this report?
- Is the goal to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns? To justify marketing spend or to study marketing trends over a period of time?
Because you can’t fit every bit of data into your marketing report, answering the questions above will help you focus on the data that shapes your marketing strategy, guide your decisions, and perform better.
2. Know Your Audience
Know your target audience and what they want to know before preparing your marketing report. This perspective will help you decide what data to provide. Also, your marketing report should reflect the needs of your target audience. At this point, make sure your reports contain valuable information that is easy to understand.
3. Collect Your Data
After identifying your target audience, the next important step is to collect, filter and analyze your data.
As your business grows, keeping track of detailed data and tracking performance can be daunting. That’s why it’s always helpful to keep an updated documentation of relevant documents and spreadsheets showing key metrics.
Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Hotjar, SEMRush etc. to capture important marketing data. Using analysis tools can make your job much easier.
Depending on your reporting process, you can make a daily, monthly or weekly breakdown and then use the data to create your report.
While you’re collecting your data, you may want to report everything, but that’s not a good idea. Remember, your audience is usually only interested in the most critical metrics.
So start by defining the period you want to focus on and make sure the metrics align with the goals you shared earlier.
4. Write Your Report
At this stage, you have reliable data to create your marketing report. So now you can create your report in an understandable and actionable format.
First, choose a report writing format that captures critical information and keeps your audience engaged. In the next step, determine what you need to include in your report.
Marketing Report Structure
The structure of the marketing report does not have to be in a one-size-fits-all format. The format may vary depending on the purpose and content of your report, but the most common sections include:
Title or Cover Page
This page should be concise and clearly state what was analyzed in your report. The cover page should contain the following:
- Report title
- Reporting period and date of writing
- Preparers of the report
- Executive Summary
This section should summarize the key points of the entire report, highlight successes and failures, and address future plans.
In this section, you should provide information about what your report is about, who it is addressed to, what they will find in the report, and why they should care about it.
The body is usually the longest section of your report. Here you need to enter all the marketing data you have collected before. At this point, if you use bullet points and visualizations to increase readability and visual appeal, you will not bore those who will read the report.
Summarize your marketing report with key takeaways and a clear call to action. Also, don’t forget to make suggestions and highlight next steps.
5. Visualize Your Data
Visualize your marketing reports with eye-catching charts, graphs, infographics, images, videos, and other visual aids to keep readers engaged.
Using images makes it easier for your audience to digest your report and remember important information.
6. Pay Attention to Design
Your marketing report design doesn’t have to be boring. So you can use the following design tips to make your report interesting:
- Enrich your marketing reports with images, videos and GIFs.
- Use a consistent color scheme and color contrast for your report.
- Customize your report using branding elements such as colors, logos, fonts and layout.
- Make your marketing report more engaging by combining animation and interaction.
- To make your report cleaner and easier to read, break it up into sections using headings or page transitions.
- Add notes and comments to bring context to critical metrics and KPIs.
7. Leverage Ready-to-Use Marketing Report Templates
Whether you’re a novice or experienced marketer, report templates are a great starting point. These ready-made templates help you choose the right data and show you where and how to place them.
Beyond saving you time and effort, it ensures that your content and design elements are consistent. This way you can make sure you have a nice and organized marketing report.