The 10 Biggest Mistakes in Marketing Reporting

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The 10 Biggest Mistakes in Marketing Reporting

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Marketing reporting is indispensable. Whether you’re reporting on marketing activity for a client or just creating internal reports, your analytic endeavors will help you understand your past performance and set the course for more effective marketing management in the future.

Unfortunately, there are many ways to get marketing reporting wrong, both in the data you present and how you present it. If you want your reports to be both accurate and useful, you’ll need to avoid these mistakes at all costs.

The Biggest Mistakes in Marketing Reporting

These are some of the biggest mistakes you typically see in marketing reporting.

1.       Using the Wrong Dashboard.

Reporting becomes much more difficult when you’re using the wrong dashboard initially. If your dashboard makes it hard to find the most important metrics, if reporting is difficult to execute, or if the platform just isn’t intuitive, you’re going to spend far more time than necessary putting your reports together and issuing them. You may also find it hard to discover and report on the most important metrics for your business.

2.       Neglecting to use Automation.

Automation in the marketing reporting world accomplishes a number of things simultaneously. First and most importantly, it spares you the manual effort of having to put together and send a report yourself; over enough time, this can save you hours. Second, automation improves reliability. If you automate a report to be sent out every week, it will be sent out every week, without fail.

3.       Using the Wrong Timing.

Marketing reports should be sent out at regular intervals, such as daily, weekly, or monthly. If you get the timing off, or if you include the wrong information in these reports, it could cost you. Daily reports should be simple and to the point, focused on the matters that require daily consideration and intervention. Monthly reports should be more comprehensive, offering more data and more information related to the long-term performance of your company.

4.       Focusing on the wrong Metrics.

It’s possible that your report is focusing on the wrong metrics. In the marketing world, the most important metrics are the ones related to your return on investment (ROI). In other words, your most important metrics to report are the ones that have the biggest impact on your bottom line. Don’t waste time getting caught up in chasing vanity metrics.

5.       Overwhelming an audience with information.

Some marketers make the mistake of cramming their reports with as much information as possible. They think more data is always better, so they err on the side of overstuffing their reports. But for the purposes of data communication and high-level analysis, it’s usually better to remain concise. Shorter, more focused reports still have all the data you need to make decisions, but they remain more focused and tend to be much more efficiently processed.

6.       Over-relying on visuals.

Data visualization is a useful and impressive tool. When used responsibly, visuals can make data easier to digest and can save you time by making abstract numbers more relatable and intuitive. However, it’s also possible to over-rely on visuals. If you use too many, or if you used the wrong types of visuals, you could end up misleading your audience or misrepresenting your data.

7.       Comparing apples and oranges.

With the sheer number of things we can track these days, it’s always tempting to compare apples to oranges. As much as possible, you should be comparing statistics directly and independently. For example, compare the organic traffic of today with the organic traffic of 2018, rather than comparing the organic traffic of today with the bounce rate of 2018.

8.       Failing to account for an omnichannel approach.

These days, most marketers use some version of an omnichannel approach. Incorporating many channels into your marketing strategy can be a good thing, but it also makes marketing reporting much harder. Too many marketing reporters fail to account for this approach.

9.       Failing to form actionable takeaways.

There are lots of interesting things you can say about the data, but how many of them actually result in taking action? If you want your data analytics to be successful and help your business perform, you need to focus on forming actionable takeaways.

10.   Reporting inconsistently.

Your reporting is only going to be as effective as it is consistent. If you only report some of the time, or if you report on an inconsistent, muddled mess of changing details, you’re not going to get the results you want. Instead, your marketing reporting should be as ordered and consistent as possible.

Perfecting Your Approach to Marketing Reporting

Your marketing reporting isn’t going to be perfect initially, and it doesn’t have to be for your marketing efforts to be a success. What’s important is that you keep an open and critical mind, allowing for the possibility to analyze and improve your approach to marketing reporting in the future.