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Marketing Reports — The Ultimate Guide, Examples and Templates
Vlada Malysheva, Creative Writer at OWOX BI
For effective tracking of digital marketing activities, there should be a properly configured marketing reporting system that shows the necessary KPIs in a clear and understandable way. This approach allows evaluation the success of advertising campaigns at a glance.
Needless to say, marketers are always in need of automated dashboards with up-to-date data. In this article, we share examples of marketing reporting that can make a difference in your work.
What is a marketing report?
For marketers, a report is often either a page in a spreadsheet or a dashboard in one of many visualization services. It allows you to use previously collected data to answer specific questions.
To provide it, you need to:
Use a service to create your marketing reports.
Types of Marketing Reports and Templates
To avoid the well-known end-of-the-month syndrome, a burning keyboard, and convulsive attempts to collect data into a report, let’s figure out what types of marketing reporting there are. Most often, reports are compiled:
- on demand
It’s worth noting that annual, monthly, weekly, and daily marketing evaluation reports are most often prepared in the form of dashboards, while on-demand reports are usually assembled using spreadsheets.
Different reports are required at different times, for different purposes, and for different people. Ideally, you should be prepared for everything in advance.
Note: Before you begin to create dashboards, be sure to determine the main metrics that are important for your business. After determining the metrics that are significant for you, start collecting and merging the data itself. However, be aware that it's about collecting all marketing data in a single convenient strucutre from the website, Excel documents, Google Sheets, ad services, Google Analytics, CRM and call-tracking systems. Get up-to-date and unified data ready for further segmentation and reporting with OWOX BI.
OWOX BI automatically collects raw data from different ad sources and converts it into a report-friendly format. You’ll get ready-made datasets that are automatically transformed into the proper structure, taking into account nuances important to marketers. No more spending time on data discrepancies and complex transformations. Just focus on data analysis.
Annual marketing reporting
Annual reports such as marketing strategy dashboards are required by CMOs and CEOs. These reports focus on the overall performance of your department, your strategy, and your goals for the past year. In the screenshot below there's an example of the Performance report which is used to optimize the sales funnel and find the channels that perform best at a particular stage.
Such a dashboard helps to keep track on the fulfillment of the digital sales plan as it displays the KPIs of ad campaigns and compares them to the previous year's plan and results. That means, marketers can regularly monitor the dynamics of indicators and quickly make changes to ad campaigns to achieve their goals.
Moreover, with the help of this kind of report marketers can find bottlenecks in a funnel:
- see how users go through it and at what stage they most often leave it.
- how many online orders are eventually redeemed.
- what the proportion of the first and repeat purchases is.
Monthly marketing reporting
Unlike annual reports (which are general) and weekly reports (which are detailed), monthly reports provide an overview of information for the period of a few weeks that’s required for marketing insights. Like, if in a weekly dashboard one channel brings the most leads, this doesn’t necessarily mean these leads will be of high quality (at least a couple of weeks need to pass before you can find out the actual results).
As an example, by using anE-commerce marketing performance reports on a monthly basis, marketers can track their monthly marketing and sales plans to show effectiveness in terms of metrics that are of interest to their company (ROI, CRR, revenue, etc.).
- How do users from different traffic sources behave?
- How much does it cost to attract them?
- What profit do they bring in?
A monthly dashboard answers these (and more) questions and helps to optimize the marketing budget.
With the help of monthly dashboards, it's easy to analyze the effectiveness of ad campaigns since marketers can quickly find out what share of profits are generated by various brand and non-brand campaigns.
It's also possible to compare the conversion and ROI of advertising campaigns separately for Facebook or any other sources and analyze conversion data from organic traffic to assess the effectiveness of site optimization.
Weekly marketing reporting
Thanks to weekly traffic monitoring, you won’t miss any “trouble” that can affect the results of your department. Data collected over the course of a week helps you make decisions that affect monthly progress and form the basis for future decisions.
One example of weekly marketing reporting is evaluating the performance of paid traffic channels. By applying such a report, marketers are able to analyze statistics from Google Ads, Facebook, and other advertising sources on one dashboard.
Say no to switching between reports or manually summarizing data in Excel and Google Sheets, by having a report like this, it's possible to compare the effectiveness of advertising channels on a go.
By using weekly marketing reporting marketers can compare the efficiency of sources, the profits, costs, displays and clicks, CTR, and ROAS of all traffic sources and draw conclusions about their payback. Thanks to applying such a report, it becomes easy for marketers to find out which sources work best, where they need to invest, and where they shouldn’t waste their budget.
Daily marketing reporting
Daily marketing reporting helps marketers to make fast, data-informed decisions, allowing them to react in almost real time to any errors. With daily checking, it's also possible to track small experiments and notice problems (website errors, unavailable items, etc.) before they grow into global difficulties. In addition, daily tracking allows you to be confident in your numbers and know the current state of affairs.
Of course, the results of one day don’t affect the results of an entire advertising campaign. However, changes over several days in a row can show a trend. Although you shouldn’t get too attached to daily reports, it’s a good practice to check the most important metrics every day. For example, marketers can monitor the analysis of advertising campaigns based on item availability report and quickly see the proportion of visits from paid sources in which users land on out-of-stock goods.
Analyzing traffic sources based on merchandise availability helps marketers to respond faster to the causes and reduce losses.
Otherwise, the situation could be like this: marketers spend money attracting an audience, but when a user gets to a product card, the item may not be available, meaning that all money spent on this ad campaign goes down the drain.
Why accurate marketing reporting is so crucial for business
Analytics and reporting are essential for any company regardless of size or industry. They help you assess how (and which of) your company’s efforts affect sales growth, total revenue, and the overall success of your brand on the market. Reporting is crucial to help you tailor your marketing plans and enrich your strategies by repeating your successes, identifying growth opportunities, and avoiding things that have proven ineffective.
Though data is everywhere, it’s not always easy to present it in an understandable format. Your marketing campaigns may have excellent results, but if you cannot present those results and prove the success of your campaigns, then your marketing efforts will not be of much use. The more accurate your measurements, the higher (and more apparent) the marketing value will be for your company. Accurate analytics is key to business success. You can’t prove your importance, necessity, and value if you don't measure your work. Measuring your work helps you:
Show the effectiveness of your marketing investments.
Optimize your budget.
Help you make informed, data-based, strategic decisions.
The digital marketing landscape is shaken by:
Accelerated digital business transformation. Digital transformation is happening so fast that there’s not enough time to adapt. As a result, you can quickly become an outsider.
Changes in the rules for collecting third-party data. Soon, how you can use third-party data will change significantly, and existing approaches will cease to work.
A completely new version of Google Analytics. A new data structure and a new approach to analytics mean Google Analytics 4 will break all existing day-to-day customized reports.
The current situation resembles riding out a storm; you don’t have time to overcome one wave before the crest of another appears.
As the amount of data marketers use steadily grows, business management wants clear answers to questions: What efforts worked out? Where should we invest to earn more? Answering these questions is impossible without advanced reporting. Marketing analytics is no longer just a theory or a toy for big rich companies. It has become both more accurate and more urgent. With its help, marketers can defend their budgets, control spending, evaluate marketing efficiency, and, most importantly, use data to improve marketing and meet goals.
The pandemic has boosted online media usage. As Gartner research from 2020 shows, digital channels accounted for almost 80% of marketing budgets, with digital advertising representing 22% of total spending. Moreover, the customer’s path to conversion is becoming more fragmented as customers use more devices to search for brand information.
However, to efficiently use a massive amount of data from these channels, you need to spend a lot of time and resources on creating an analytics system (data storage, connectors, visualization of a large number of different reports for different requests), which is a long, painful, and difficult process.
Data collection alone (which involves handling different data structures and formats and sorting out duplicate or irrelevant data) can take the lion’s share of your time. But you still need to put that data to work! A marketer still needs the help of an analyst to create a report, which can take five days on average. And all this time, the marketer cannot act based on data insights but only on intuition. However, modern all-in-one cloud solutions like OWOX BI make marketers’ lives easier.
How to Improve your Marketing Reporting
With an accelerated transition to online marketing (thanks to the pandemic) and an increase in marketing budgets for digital promotion, marketers increasingly have to prove their value.
There’s a vast amount of marketing data from various sources that you can use to get many valuable insights. However, analysts are often busy, and most marketers don’t know how to build reports on raw data by themselves.
Let’s see why it’s so crucial for marketers to be able to create various reports using a large number of data sources — and to do it on their own.
Why marketers need to be able to build their own reports
It's increasingly difficult for marketers to work efficiently, as more and more is being demanded of them. Technologies are developing quickly, and many changes are happening (new Google Analytics, third-party data restrictions, etc.); it’s simply impossible to follow them all with advertising becoming more expensive and increasing competition.
The magic that can help marketers fulfill their goals and prove their value in the market is called analytics: with right data, you can get everything you need. According to Gartner, 85% of marketers say that by 2022, “significantly more” of their organization’s marketing decisions will be based on marketing analytics. However, only 54% of marketing decisions are currently made with the help of analytics.
Why don’t marketers rely on marketing analytics to make decisions:
Among the main pains that marketers face are:
Poor data quality (duplicated, missed, and inaccurate data)
Finding relevant insights (not actionable and unclear recommendations)
Creating ad hoc reports (too difficult to do without technical knowledge)
Let’s figure out why these challenges prevent marketers from working effectively.
There’s a massive amount of fragmented marketing data coming in (data with different structures and formats) and limited time and resources to process it. And keep in mind that if you don’t collect all data or you collect the wrong data, you will take action based on faulty information (marketers waste 21% of their marketing budgets because of bad data).
To be sure of the data you collect, you have to update it, check its quality, and make sure the connector you use supports updating the APIs of the services you use to collect data. Also, it’s, by all means, necessary to get raw unsampled data, avoid duplication and data loss, avoid distorted reporting, and ensure the relevance and high granularity of data collected. Another problem is that it’s very difficult to blend data correctly to build reports (keeping in mind that marketers cannot say in advance what reports they will need).
After collecting data, marketers must decide which reports they need in the current situation. To control the marketing machine, you need two reports: performance reports and ad hoc reports.
The current approach to working with data isn’t optimal for marketers — they most often cannot build reports independently because it’s too complicated. To get answers to questions, they have to set tasks for analysts and wait for reports (at least three iterations per new dashboard). Why is this so? Until you get an answer to the first question, you don’t know what the second one should be.
According to a study, the existing approach isn’t just long and unpleasant: the average time to create a report is 4.5 days, and the average cost of a report is $18,000.
The situation is complicated because marketers need to manipulate data and build many ad hoc reports to get the right insights to truly benefit from data. In addition, the results of calculations must be visualized and presented correctly.
And, as if this weren’t enough, analysts create different datasets for different reports. Over time, the more reports are built, the more complicated the entire system becomes. It’s like playing Jenga; if you pull out the wrong brick (delete or change one data table), everything will collapse in the end.
No one is immune to reporting problems — not even companies with well-tuned analytics, where all possible reports for any taste have long been ready to go. If the data structure changes (welcome Google Analytics 4), all SQL queries must be rewritten.
Fortunately, there’s still a way out of this nightmare. Marketers need to work with data on their own to increase revenues, perform more efficiently, and derive meaningful business benefits. Marketers should be able to build reports on their own using raw data that can be trusted, is complete, and is updated so it contains no errors. This means you don’t have to wait weeks for an analyst to build a report for you. Instead, you can choose the metrics you need right now and get a report in a few minutes.
If marketers can build their own reports, analysts can be engaged in more valuable work, marketers can be their own masters, and the company can grow its profits. Want to know how to make this fairy tale a reality? Sign up for a demo with our experts to see how OWOX can help your business right now!
How to build a perfect marketing report
Building reports that are slightly different from standard templates is not easy for marketers. Mainly, existing analytical products are aimed at the needs of analysts and developers and prohibit marketers from working with data themselves.
Marketers are still forced to limit themselves to ready-made reports or wait for analysts to prepare data, leading to missed opportunities and wasted time.
For example, you can get an automatically updated report in Power BI, Google Data Studio, or Excel. But you cannot do this yourself if you need to change something in the report — add sections, parameters, or metrics, or perhaps change the channel grouping. You have to ask an analyst every time.
With OWOX BI you only need an analyst’s help initially while creating a customer data model. However, once your marketing data reflects your company’s business model, marketers don’t need to run to analysts whenever they want to create a new report. Once your data is modeled, marketers can build various reports on their own.
More importantly, even if the data structure changes (e.g., with Google Analytics 4), you won’t need to rewrite SQL queries, since with OWOX BI, such changes won’t affect you. The product will take the necessary steps, save you from a boring routine, and free up your time to focus on decisions to improve your marketing.
Let’s look at three simple steps you need to take to improve your reporting.
Start using Google BigQuery as your cloud data storage. It’s the best option on the market that considers marketers' needs.
Collect raw data from your website, ad platforms, and CRM in BigQuery.
Start using OWOX BI Smart Data. Its unique patented technology allows you to build reports in minutes without going to analysts, get your reports in Google Sheets or Excel, and make decisions based on trusted data.
OWOX BI Smart Data is a tool for marketing and management specialists that helps you fully use your collected marketing data. With Smart Data, you can effortlessly build an unlimited ad hoc reports (including cohort reports) to analyze your audience in different slices and get valuable insights.
Smart Data democratizes access to data for all users, regardless of their technical background. The Report Builder allows you to create a report by selecting parameters and metrics or choosing a template. Also, the service blends data according to your business model.
Here’s how to make it all work for you:
Collect all your marketing data in Google BigQuery with OWOX BI.
Check data quality (cleaning, sampling, duplication, etc.).
At the beginning, you’ll need the help of OWOX analysts or your own to build your company’s data model, but you only need to do this once.
Select the parameters and metrics you want to see in your Smart Data report and get a ready report in a few minutes.
For your convenience, you can easily export a report to the data visualization service or to your all-time favorites — Google Sheets and Google Data Studio.
Note! Collecting marketing data and checking its quality can easily be accomplished using OWOX BI Pipeline. Our service will quickly and efficiently collect your data, ensure its quality, and ensure the transparency of your calculations.
Book a free demo of OWOX BI to see how your data can work for you!
Other marketing reports templates for marketers to use
If you want to get all the mentioned above dashboards and get more reports of various complexity, visit the OWOX BI dashboard gallery. There are lots of different and complex templates for marketing reporting that you can receive in a few clicks. Get reports of any depth, compare the effectiveness of marketing channels, and make timely decisions with the OWOX BI service.
Impact of online advertising on offline sales report
Learn how your online marketing affects sales in physical stores. Find out which campaigns and categories of goods bring more purchases offline and which bring more online. This information will help you manage your marketing and budget more effectively, increasing your overall sales and profit.
E-commerce dashboard. Item position effectiveness report
Learn how to properly position items on the website to increase conversions and the average check size.
Facebook advertising dashboard template
Analyze the core KPIs of your Facebook campaigns on one dashboard. Find the most effective campaigns and smartly allocate your budget.
This OWOX BI dashboard will be useful for both marketers and development teams. It allows you to quickly detect and fix website conversion problems.
Digital marketing dashboard
Analyze campaigns from Google Ads, Facebook, and other advertising services on one dashboard. Compare campaign performance and optimize your marketing budget.
Landing page effectiveness report
Find out which items and categories are more profitable to promote and which landing pages best convert visitors to buyers. Evaluate the effectiveness of advertising channels for various categories and landing pages to efficiently plan your budget and increase sales.
With fewer resources, specialists are expected to show better performance. This is a real challenge! So what can marketers do to bolster their confidence in decision-making and get a holistic view of marketing performance?
- Start using modern BI tools like OWOX BI to survive the end of the third-party data era.
- Make your company data-driven.
- Use cloud-based solutions that make it easier to unlock the treasures in your marketing data and transform information into powerful insights and ad hoc reports that can boost your performance.
- Create the reports you need as often as you need and in the quantity you need without regular help from an analyst.
- Apply templates of dashboards to your regular marketing reporting. With handy templates like those we've mentioned above, it's easy to get a holistic view of marketing performance. And, what's most important, applying such templates can save your time and resources, meaning marketers will have more time to actually analyze the obtained data and get useful insights.
What are marketing reports?Marketing reports are documents that present data and insights related to marketing activities. These reports help businesses measure their marketing performance, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions.
Why are marketing reports important?Marketing reports provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and help businesses make data-driven decisions to improve their marketing strategies. These reports enable businesses to track progress over time and make adjustments to campaigns as required.
What types of marketing reports are there?Some common types of marketing reports include social media reports, email marketing reports, website analytics reports, and SEO reports. Each report focuses on a specific area of marketing and provides insights related to performance and effectiveness.