Client Reporting may seem like a hassle but it’s well worth the time put into it. In fact, it is in the best interests of a digital marketing agency to put a regular and consistent reporting schedule in place. Here’s a look at the many benefits that your agency can gain through regular client reporting.
1. Reports Keep You And Your Client On The Same Page
Regularly checking in with your client with detailed reports helps eliminate any gap between the client’s expectations and the results you deliver. By using regular reports you and your client agree to a fixed schedule to communicate effectively. This helps assure your client that your strategies are perfectly aligned with their goals. And it allows both of you to stay on the same page throughout the duration of the marketing campaign.
2. Reports Raise Your Value
Reports with concrete data are irrefutable markers to show that your efforts paid off. Regular reports will track and report the progress of a client’s marketing campaign from the day they chose your agency to run their campaign. These reports will help you categorically explain the difference that your agency brought about. It’s a great way to prove the value of your services to your existing clients as well as to potential clients that you are trying to win over.
3. Reports Establish Accountability
Once you and your client agree to a strategy and objective for the campaign, determine the metrics that will act as markers of success or failure. These are the metrics which will be the focus of the regular client reports, and establishes accountability on both ends of the client-agency relationship
You are carrying out the strategy that your client signed off on. The relevant metrics will reveal whether that strategy has succeeded in achieving the desired goals. And while this regular reporting keeps the progress of your efforts strictly in check, it also prevents your client from moving the goal post midway through the campaign. Regular reporting acts as a definite reminder, both to the agency and the client, of the specific objectives that the marketing campaign set out to pursue.
4. Reports Help Create Data Driven Campaigns
The future of online marketing is data driven targeted campaigns. Regular reporting focuses your attention on the specific metrics that will indicate the success of your marketing strategies. As a result, the direction of your marketing campaign will be informed only by hard data and will not be influenced by any shortsighted impulses from the client’s end.
5. Reports Help You Stay Prepared For Changes
During the course of the campaign, you may have to change strategies, shift focus to new metrics or pursue new objectives. For example, the client’s management team changes or their priorities change due to internal or external factors influencing their market. It might simply be that the strategy being employed right now is not working as it should. In any of these scenarios, your client would want to change the marketing strategy or, in certain situations, even you may recommend that they do so.
Regular reporting keeps you prepared for such forks in the road. These reports which have summarized the progress over regular intervals will prove to be an invaluable asset for both you and your client as you decide on a different strategy to serve new goals.
You understand the benefits of regular client reporting! What next? It would be a good idea to explore how to enhance the quality of your client reports. Better reports will serve both your and your client’s interests. And help you unlock the success secret that’s hidden in there.
How To Unlock The Success Secret In Client Reporting
At the heart of a great client report lies clear communication. A great report provides clarity and strengthens the trust your client has put in you. The challenge lies in translating all of the marketing jargon and the tons of data streams that come your way into actionable insights for your client. When you succeed in doing that, you earn a client’s respect along with their loyalty.
So here are some of the ways in which you can make your client reporting more relevant to your client and communicate with them more effectively.
1. Provide Context
Clients want to understand the results you provide within the context of their goals. It’s a bad idea to just report the current stats of a campaign. Providing the context in which those stats exist will help your client grasp the whole picture.
Each marketing campaign will have its own particularities depending on the business niche, strength of competitors, marketing budget etc. By informing the client about the unique aspects of their campaign, your report will be able to give your clients a better perspective of why things stand where they stand.
2. Don’t Do A Data Dump
We live in an age of information overload. As a digital marketing agency, heaps of data reaches you everyday from various analytics streams. It is easy to yield to the temptation of filling the client report with heaps of data. Resist that urge. Drowning your client in a tsunami of numbers, ratios and percentages will result in confusion rather than clarity. Instead share only those metrics that are relevant to the objectives being pursued.
An ideal client report should clearly narrate the progress of your marketing campaign. The objective here is that upon a single reading, the client should understand which relevant metrics have changed since the last report, why they have changed and what it means for the marketing campaign moving forward.
3. Connect The Dots
As the one running the campaign, you can see all the minute details of every strategy step as well as the broader picture of how all of them fit together. The client, on the other hand, may only see your various marketing strategies in isolation. Consequently, they can’t connect the immediate results of your efforts with a meaningful long term impact on their business bottom line. You must connect these dots for them. Failure to do this is one of the most common reasons why agencies lose clients.
Whether your are creating a weekly activity report or monthly results report, make sure you address the client’s central concern – how do all of your marketing efforts affect their business bottom line? This way they get to see the progress of the campaign as a driver of their business interests. And they rest easy knowing that they are getting the desired return on the investment they’ve made in your agency and the campaign.
4. Visuals Go A Long Way!
Use graphics to enhance your reports. No one wants to look at a dull Excel sheet and decipher the data. A little aesthetic beauty can make the reports much more palatable to an audience unaccustomed crunching analytics numbers. This is one aspect that we paid special attention to when creating the templates for client reports in Swydo. We understand that when it comes to client reporting, adding style to substance enhances the report.
5. Stick To A Schedule
When it comes to a reporting schedule, there’s a general rule of thumb. Weekly reports to provide details on activities, monthly reports to provide details on results, and quarterly reports that focus on ROI. However, different clients have different needs. Create a reporting schedule that suits your client. The only thing to keep in mind is to stick to a reporting schedule once it’s been decided. Consistency in this regard will establish your dependability in the client’s eye and that’s the stuff long term client relationships are made of!
6. Know Your Audience
When the CEO of a company and a marketing executive look at the same report sent by you, odds are they are not looking for the same things. The CEO is looking for the broader picture, to understand what direct impact the marketing costs have generated on the bottom line. The marketing executive would be more interested to know what specific strategies were used in the marketing campaign and whether the budget allocation should be revisited in light of new results.
A detailed report would waste a CEO’s time and a brief one would not satisfy the marketing executive. So it helps to know who your reader is. That way you can customize the report for quick and easy understanding. For reports meant for multiple sets of eyes, it’s a good idea to add sections to the report that anticipate different expectations. For instance, a summary at the beginning for the CEO followed by more detailed analysis for the marketing department.
Now you understand the methods that’ll help make your client reports an amazing asset to your agency instead of a cumbersome liability. There’s more good news. Using Swydo as your reporting software, you can make all of these enhancements to your reports with ease. Report generation is not only easy and automated but there’s tremendous customization you can do to keep all your clients happy.