How to take your marketing reports from zero to hero

As a wise man, John Wanamaker, once said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Well Mr. Wanamaker, here’s how to get your money back! Decades ago, this was the painful reality. But with the technologies of today, you can build automated marketing reports. These will show you which half is a total waste.

How to take your marketing reports from zero to hero

With more and more marketing activities being digitally tracked, we are equipped with tons of useful marketing data. But still, these are just pure numbers. And you need to go from a sheet full of numbers to insights. For example: “Transferring our budget from activity X to activity Y will result in 50 extra leads for the same budget.”

On the lookout for those insights? Here’s how you’ll get there.


7 vital marketing KPIs you need to monitor right now

There are lots of things you can monitor when it comes to digital marketing. First, you’ll need to decide what to analyze. If you want your marketing efforts to become truly effective, here’s a list of metrics you absolutely can’t ignore in your marketing reports (in logical funnel order):

1. Social media performance

Your social media strategy is crucial for content distribution. Therefore, track your social media performance to optimize both reach and engagement.

  • Reach: Followers and reach are often seen as useless or vanity metrics, but they are a good way to evaluate your (organic) growth and brand awareness.
  • Engagement: We’re thinking click-through, shares, likes, up to the point of conversion. They all indicate the relevancy and interest for your content.

2. Website traffic

Your website is the central hub of your online ecosystem. This is where you will convert potential customers. Therefore, monitor your traffic volume and the quality of your visitors:

  • Which channels are the largest traffic drivers: Facebook, Google, partner referrals?
  • How is the distribution between paid & organic users?
  • Which devices are visitors using: mobile, tablet, desktop?
  • Which type of traffic is most qualitative: what about time on page, bounce rate, clicks, conversions,…?

Monitor website visitors - Image from joethegoatfarmer.com/techniques-to-get-more-visitors/

3. Email marketing performance

Email marketing is one of the most effective channels for conversion. In fact, leads already showed interest by leaving their email address, so it’s crucial to keep them attracted. Some key metrics to include in your marketing report:

  • Open rate will tell you if your headline & the topic of your email were appealing enough to click.
  • Click-to-open rate lets you evaluate the content of your actual email.
  • Click-through rate gives an indication of the overall performance of your email

Look for benchmarks to get a good grip on the industry averages.

4. Landing page conversion rate

You’re attracting thousands of people to your website? That stone-cold awesome! But if they don’t convert, it’s a lost opportunity. Make sure to assess which CTAs convert your users, and where they drop off. Then, optimize your CTAs, landing page content or forms accordingly.

5. Lead-to-customer conversion rate

Converting users into leads is just one step down the marketing funnel. Don’t forget there’s a sales funnel waiting for your leads. A lead is not yet a customer. Especially in B2B, this is crucial.

Monitor the percentage of marketing leads converting into customer. As a result, you’ll gain more insights into the quality of your marketing leads. Moreover, qualitative data such as reasons for drop-out can help you to set up more effective lead gen campaigns.

Sales funnel

6. Cost per lead / customer acquisition

If you’re aiming to increase conversion, it’s not only the conversion rate that matters. Firstly, what does it cost you to convert users into leads, and into customers? Secondly, which campaigns or lead sources were most cost-effective?

Imagine you spent € 2,000 on a social campaign, resulting in 50 new leads, and 4 new customers:

  • Cost per lead = Total marketing cost / # leads acquired
    € 2,000 / 50 = € 40 per lead
  • Cost per customer acquisition = Total marketing cost / # customers acquired
    € 2,000 / 4 = € 500 per customer

7. Return on investment (ROI)

Marketing ROI is a great way to track the monetary outcome of your marketing efforts. So, what is the profit you earned from your marketing investments? It’s calculated with this simple formula:

ROI = (Gain from investment – Cost of investment) / Cost of investment

To continue on the example above: you’ve gained 4 new customers with a social campaign costing € 2,000. Imagine you gain a gross margin of € 1,000 on each of those 4 customers:

ROI = ( (4 x € 1,000) – € 2,000 ) / 2,000 = 100%

The formula may be simple, but ROI is often perceived as a complex metric. Because there are many variables, both on profit side and investment side, it is not always easy to calculate. However, it all starts with understanding the basic formula.

Improve your marketing ROI


Create useful marketing dashboards

Step 1 is knowing which KPIs you’re going to measure. But how are you going to monitor your progress on those KPIs? Consider creating marketing dashboards!

Marketing dashboards are a great way to have a structured overview of all the metrics that matter to you. So don’t waste time ploughing through spreadsheets. Instead, simply drag & drop the data you need onto useful visualizations.

Example of marketing reports in Cumul.io

A visual representation of your marketing reports will help you better understand your data, because you can make connections that you wouldn’t see otherwise. As a result, all insights become visible at the blink of an eye.

You can easily create such marketing reports with tools like Cumul.io. Get started with these guidelines for setting up effective marketing dashboards:

Create multiple dashboards

For example, group your insights per marketing channel, or split up between upper-funnel metrics (awareness and engagement) and lower-funnel metrics (conversion rate, ROI, cost per lead/customer). Check out these sample dashboards to get inspired.

Example of marketing reports in Cumul.io

Make relevant connections

It’s logical to look at each channel or campaign separately, but don’t forget to compare between channels. Bringing that information together will open up new insights.

Use filters

Set up filters on time, campaign, channel,… As a result, you’ll be able to drill down on the performance of any specific element within your general overview. Whenever you want.

Use live connectors

In Cumul.io, you can import data right from Google Analytics or Mailchimp. In other words, datasets will refresh automatically. This means no more countless exports, yay! In addition, to import all your social media metrics in your dashboard, you can use tools like Supermetrics, which will query all your social media data in Google Drive with scheduled refresh. Combined with our Google Drive integration, your reporting will be fully automated!

Web service integrations in Cumul.io


Excited to get more out of your wealth of marketing data? Start a free Cumul.io trial and get those refreshing insights you’ve been looking for all along.

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