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3 Essential Elements for Marketing Reports Your Boss Wants to See

Thump, thump, thump…

Can you feel it?

It’s that feeling in your chest the next time your boss asks for a revenue report for that big campaign you put together.

But, if you’re like most marketers, reporting isn’t on your radar when you’re planning out your next demand gen or content campaign. This isn’t just the fault of the individual marketer, either. There are many organizations where reporting simply just isn’t top-of-mind, for whatever reason.

Or, there are shoot-from-the-hip types that like doing things on the fly. Even if your campaign gets results that are wildly successful, you still should be able to show those results “on paper.”

And let’s be real: without proper reporting, you’re just spinning your wheels. How can you know where the improvements lie? How can you show the value and impact that marketing is having on your company’s bottom line?

OK, you say. I get it, sounds great. But how am I going to measure, and measure correctly? How can I impress my boss (and their boss) and the rest of my team?

You’re in the right place. Let’s jump in.

Marketing Category (i.e. Marketo Channel)

Knowing the general category that is working (or not working for that matter) will help to funnel your Marketing budget/energy to things providing you with success.

It is critical that within each category, you have a standard set of statuses and a clear “success” defined for each marketing initiative.

Measuring success for each initiative will give you the data to pull multi-touch reporting.

For example, let’s say you are planning to sponsor a tradeshow and you will have a booth.

You probably want to track:

  • who you invited
  • who registered
  • who attended
  • who visited the booth

Now the tricky part is defining success. Many marketers view someone visiting the booth as success since they likely spoke to a sales rep. In reality, most people at a tradeshow that visit your booth will not purchase from you. Sure, maybe they are interested in your product/service, but you could be well out of their price range. Or maybe they don’t have budget at all. And the most common: maybe they just wanted to grab a freebie.

A lot of marketers fall into this trap. Don’t be one of them!

Success for a tradeshow should be that someone had a meaningful conversation with sales or showed explicit interest.

You should track this by using an “engaged” status that would come after “visited booth”. So for this tradeshow you would be measuring interaction vs success with the five statuses outlined above. Once you start building up your data across multiple marketing initiatives, you will be able to start identifying important trends.

New Names (i.e. Marketo Program Acquisition)

Knowing how your leads are becoming known to your database is the key to first-touch attribution reporting.

For this element, let’s use a white paper as the example. Imagine this…you have a slick new landing page with a form to promote your white paper. Your conversion rate on this page is through the roof!

It may look like this initiative is effective on paper when you analyze the “success,” but maybe all the new people that came into your database just wanted free advice and are not/will not be viable leads.

When you start to track your open/closed opportunities and compare the acquisition of each of those leads, you will be able to begin to understand the full picture of what is/is not working in terms of your marketing initiatives. These are the types of numbers that your VP of Marketing, CMO, and the rest of the executive team care about at the end of the day.

Cost/ROI (i.e. Marketo Period Cost)

How can you truly measure the success of an initiative without understanding how much it cost you?

Maybe the tradeshow (from above) brought in a lot of new and qualified names to your database. Maybe a good chunk of those names even turned into paying customers. BUT, how much did each new name cost? Is there another marketing category with similar success rates and acquisition that costs significantly less than a tradeshow?

Understanding the ROI of each marketing initiative gives you (and your boss) the ability to be strategic about where marketing’s budget is spent to get you the biggest bang for your buck.

The closer

There are many things to consider when analyzing the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives. Consistency in collecting and analyzing your data will ensure reliable reporting.

Keep in mind that you want to have the full picture—not just one angle. In order to get this full picture, you need to report on multiple things and compare them.

By putting the three elements highlighted in this blog at the forefront, you will have an accurate view into how your initiatives are really performing and help your boss get the data s/he needs to prove marketing’s effectiveness within your company.

Have some tricks you’ve learned to measure and report marketing success? Or are you struggling?Let me know in the comments below. Or, hit me up on Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

Go get ’em! But first… enjoy my favorite happy dance to get you pumped up for what lies ahead:

Get happy!

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