The most complete guide to writing a marketing report
The most complete guide to writing a marketing report. Marketing reports are essential for every marketer. From the marketing intern to the director and VP of marketing, everyone needs to showcase their work and the impact it has on the business. Teams use marketing reports to:
- Find a source of leads
- Discover the multiple ways in which the customer engages with the product
- Understand the key elements that lead to conversion
Digital marketing reporting doesn’t have to be complicated. In this guide, we will answer the question, “What is a marketing report?” And we explain how you can use it to make better decisions and achieve your business goals.
An Introduction to marketing reporting
Marketing reporting is an organized process that collects and analyzes marketing data and metrics to improve the performance of the marketing department.
Marketing reports are used to display campaign performance, make better decisions, and achieve predetermined goals.
A typical marketing report includes:
- Product or service marketing strategy
- Market analysis and competitor data
- Product or service advertising information
- Paid advertising campaign data, including Google Ads, YouTube ads, and email marketing campaigns
List of predefined marketing objectives and key performance indicators (KPI)
- Great marketing reports provide teams with relevant data to review their past performance and refine the course for future activities.
Marketing reports can be created for different periods: daily, weekly, quarterly, or annually. They also vary based on the nature of the industry, reporting needs, and audience needs.
What does a digital marketing report include?
Whether you plan to create a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly report, consider this list of must-have marketing metrics:
Summary of findings
The front page of any marketing report should provide holistic, actionable insights derived from the key data contained within.
Adding a summary helps report audiences gain valuable insights and make better decisions. Some of the marketing data that can be highlighted in the summary are:
- List of main marketing channels used
- Scope of the report
- Highlights of marketing programs implemented with their results for the reporting period
Sales leads and conversion metrics
Make sure conversion metrics are appropriately highlighted in your marketing reports. These criteria affect the final results, revenues, and profits of the organization.
They vary based on the nature of the business, the scope of applications, and the marketing channels used. Here’s a list of some conversion metrics to consider:
- The total number of leads obtained
- Number of leads generated 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 like Google Ads, YouTube Ads, etc.
Traffic metrics show how many potential customers are coming to your website or mobile app.
Learning more about your customers’ traffic sources is an effective way to create more targeted content for them.
- Total number of website visitors – weekly, monthly, or quarterly
- Number of a website or mobile app visitors per source – app, email, social media
- Number of unique visitors to your site (first-time visitors)
- Paid and organic traffic statistics – how many people came to your site independently (organic) and how many people came to your site through paid advertising (paid)
- Mobile/Desktop Bounce Rate – Visitors who come but leave the site without taking any action.
SEO criteria and customer interaction
No marketing report is complete without adding end-customer engagement metrics. Here are some search engine optimization (SEO) metrics that show how customers interact with your website:
- Search engine results pages (SERPs) or page rankings
- Average visit duration for customers in a week/month/season (time spent by an average customer in one visit)
- ROI (Return on Investment) Pay-per-click advertising on any channel – the cost of getting a lead from a specific channel such as Google, YouTube, or Facebook
- PPC Campaign Comparison – Compare different campaigns and their investment, leads, and returns on social platforms
Quality metrics refer to marketing data that measure the overall quality of marketing results. Quality criteria include the following:
- Number of returning website visitors
- Marketing ROI – examines whether new marketing campaigns lead to new leads or generate revenue.
- Click-through rate (CTR) – measures the number of visitors who take a desired action (such as signing up for a newsletter or booking a demo version) on a website.
Business impact metrics
Business impact metrics show how different marketing programs generate new business for the company. They demonstrate the transfer of marketing metrics to real 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 given period – daily, weekly, or monthly
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) – The cost of acquiring a new customer
- Total number of qualified sales leads per source (SQLS) – customers with a high level of engagement who are ready to engage with the sales department.
Summary of objectives
Make sure your team is 100% clear on where they are going. Linking the marketing report to larger organizational goals helps team members understand how their role is essential to achieving the goal.
The criteria that show the movement towards the goals are:
- Monthly or quarterly income and percentage increase compared to previous time periods
- Customer Satisfaction Index (CSAT) – the percentage of customers who are satisfied with the company’s product or service offering.
- New Lead Conversion Rate – The percentage of leads that convert into customers
Numbers alone can be confusing. Set the stage for future plans by adding an outline. Written explanations can help stakeholders understand the reasons behind the statistics.
- If the average length of time a visitor stays on the site has increased, mention that improved page load time is a factor.
- Make it clear that a higher-than-usual email click-through rate could be a result of offering subscribers a new discount code.
How to determine which criteria are important
Avoid confusing your audience by including unnecessary information. Reports are created to provide clarity on marketing plans, so teams need to set the metrics that should be included.
To determine whether a marketing metric should be added to the report, ask yourself these questions:
- Can the metric be linked to the marketing objective?
- Is the measure measurable over time?
- Is the metric related to reporting results and campaign performance?
- Can the team collect accurate data to calculate the benchmark in the coming weeks or months?
- Is this metric related to customer engagement, business growth, and organizational revenue?
Are there different types of marketing reports?
There are several types of reports that marketers create for different audiences:
- Generated reports for specific key performance indicators (KPIs), such as marketing CMO reports, web analytics reports, and marketing performance reports
- Reports for departmental needs or specific projects, such as paid advertising campaign performance reporting for the digital marketing team
- Reports based on predefined periods (daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly)
Reports for different time periods are often used to show marketing campaign performance. With time-focused marketing reports, teams can:
- Continuously track campaign performance
- Identify changes, missed opportunities, and trends that may occur from one time period to another.
- Document marketing plans and activities that can be reviewed, evaluated, and trained in the future
- Support teams in forecasting future campaign performance and goals
- Perform data analysis to improve future campaign performance and reduce costs
Daily marketing reports
Daily marketing reports are created for the company’s internal needs. They are more subjective and can be used to understand changes in market dynamics, product demand, and competitor threats.
Teams create daily marketing reports for:
- SEO summary reports showing site metrics
- Keyword and page rankings in search fluctuate daily
Weekly marketing reports
Weekly marketing reports are useful for keeping a pulse on marketing. They help generate actionable insights and highlight the progress of marketing plans while reporting on ongoing campaigns.
Teams use weekly marketing reports to:
- Monitor website analytics
- Tracking blog traffic and engagement
- Social network traffic monitoring
Monthly marketing reports
Monthly marketing reports are one of the most effective indicators of the marketing team’s performance. Monthly reports show marketing data and campaign results for a 30-day period and can be used to monitor the team’s progress toward its goals.
Monthly marketing reports can be generated for:
- Campaign performance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram
- Performance of customer support tickets
- Paid advertising campaigns across channels
Quarterly marketing reports
Quarterly marketing reports are generated to document marketing performance over a three-month period.
Because they cover a larger time frame, they provide insight into average performance levels. Senior leadership and stakeholders use them to identify medium- to long-term trends and forecast performance.
Seasonal marketing reports can be created for:
- Click-through rates for online advertising, media, and email campaigns
- Comprehensive SEO reports that monitor keyword rankings, page rank, and organic and paid campaigns over time.
- Business growth reports, including subscriber growth, revenue, and profit
Annual marketing reports
Annual marketing reports are structured documents created for a 12-month period that show significant changes, movements, and growth in marketing campaign performance.
They highlight the overall performance of the marketing team while showcasing the programs carried out throughout the year. The senior leadership team and the head of marketing can review the team’s work and create a roadmap for the coming year.
Annual marketing reports can be generated for:
- Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) reports showing the team’s annual performance
- Online marketing campaign performance reports, which summarize the performance of all programs conducted this year
How to identify the type of report used
Deciding what type of marketing report you need can be challenging. If you want your marketing report to be effective and useful for your target audience, consider these parameters before making a decision:
- Purpose: Determine the main purpose for creating the report. This can be a one-time KPI report or one that requires a regular rhythm. Title the report appropriately to identify its purpose and audience.
- Report Period: Specify the time frame of the report. Instead of waiting for a campaign to end before tracking its progress, schedule report generation as often as marketing activities.
- Target Audience: Different reports are produced for different audiences or project needs. The report that is created for the head of the department will not be the same as the report that is for the CEO of the company. Consider the decisions your audience needs to make and let them guide your journey to collect, manage and analyze data.
Good reports are designed to quickly provide you with all the data you need to make decisions and take action. While they shouldn’t take hours to create, they should be comprehensive enough to ensure you get good, digestible information that can be used to create or change your current strategy.
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