From Data to Dialogue: Creating Client-Centric Reports

Picture a digital marketer, Emma, as she sits down to transform a month’s worth of analytics into a narrative that her clients will understand and act upon.

Emma knows her audience. She’s aware that John, the CEO, prefers the bottom line, while Lisa, the marketing manager, dives deep into the details. Emma prepares a concise executive summary for John, highlighting key performance indicators that resonate with business growth. For Lisa, she includes a detailed analysis of campaign metrics, showing the ebb and flow of traffic sources, keyword position changes, and user engagement.

Emma’s strategic approach underscores a crucial truth: the impact of a marketing report hinges on its alignment with the recipient’s interests and needs. Presenting a high-level overview to a detail-hungry analyst or inundating a big-picture thinker with minute strategy details can typically make a report miss the mark — leaving its audience disconnected.

How do you tailor your marketing reports to specific clients?

Whether you’re utilizing a Google spreadsheet or an automated reporting tool, if you can distill your reports to the essential metrics customized for particular stakeholders, you can simplify the process for you and them. Have your end goal in mind before you start.

What do you want to do with this report? Don’t confuse a founder about why a keyword ranks higher now than before, or show an SEO executive your sales pipeline.

Start by asking yourself the following:

• Who will read this report, and what is their role?

• Is this for one person or a group?

• How much do they know about digital marketing?

• What KPIs or metrics matter most to them?

• How do they want the report delivered?

• How often do they want these reports?

It is helpful to pick up the phone, ask them these questions, and clarify what they seek. Ensuring the reports reflect their KPIs and what they care about will make the insights actionable and usable. The last thing we want to do is overwhelm your stakeholders or co-workers with too many numbers and metrics.

Crafting reports for success

Communicating effectively with a marketing report is a sweet spot to reach with client understanding, data visualization, and your reporting strategy. Here, contextual interpretation elevates your metrics from bland to brilliant, and here’s how you can bridge the communication gap for different client personas. The CEO or CMO may seek insights into the previous quarter’s marketing campaigns with specific inquiries, which might differ significantly from the questions posed by your peers.

Insights Over Numbers

Typically, client reports are filled with numbers and data, leaving clients wondering about the significance. To overcome this challenge, providing insights alongside the data is crucial. Clients want to know what the numbers mean for their business.

Tip: Write out your insights, explain why traffic is higher or lower, and pull out important information and highlight it using text widgets.

At Swydo, we recently conducted an internal survey to determine how our customers use our text widget feature. Over 60% of text widgets serve as titles or introductions, which aim to navigate the stakeholder through the report.

A quick client summary is about more than just taking a high-level approach to give them a gist of their monthly reports. We identified the following four categories crucial for inclusion in your client reporting process:

• Glossary: Definitions of fields in the report.

• To-do List: A list of tasks you intend to carry out.

• Completed Tasks List: A record of tasks you’ve already accomplished.

• Marketing Performance: Summaries about the marketing performance in the report.

Many marketers focus on educating clients about the trends that may directly impact their conversion rates. For instance, the reports frequently provide explanations about monitoring specific types of reports or market trends, such as significant algorithm updates in Google or the reason for focusing on device distribution vs. region distribution.

Meaningful Segmentation

Segmenting information in reports is essential to avoid overwhelming clients with information overload. Well-structured reports make it easier for clients to digest the data. As you organize the content, consider how each segment contributes to the overall narrative of the report. Make it clear, concise, and purposeful.

TLDR in Email

Sometimes, clients may need more time to investigate a detailed report immediately. Providing a “Too Long; Didn’t Read” (TLDR) summary in the email can be beneficial. This offers clients a quick overview of the key takeaways, making it easier to grasp the main points. This concise summary should highlight your digital marketing efforts’ critical insights and results. For example:

• Campaign Performance: Our latest social media campaign increased engagement by 30% compared to last month, driving more traffic to your website.

• ROI Insights: The recent PPC campaign achieved a 20% higher ROI than the previous period, indicating a more efficient use of the advertising budget.

• Key Metrics: Website bounce rate decreased by 10%, while conversion rates improved by 5%, showing better user engagement and conversion efficiency.

• Actionable Recommendations: Based on the data, we recommend reallocating some of the budget from underperforming channels to the top-performing ones to maximize ROI.

Include a TDLR Summary in Emails

Make Reports Enjoyable

One novel suggestion is to treat client reports like blog posts. Make them visually appealing and enjoyable to read. Think of it as storytelling – communicating with your client, not just sharing data. A well-designed report can capture clients’ attention and encourage them to explore further insights.

Semrush Report via Swydo

Client Reporting Best Practices

In conclusion, client reporting is not merely a task to be checked off but a valuable form of communication. Clients are looking for insights and meaning in the data you provide. By ensuring relevance, offering insights, meaningful segmentation, TLDR summaries, and an enjoyable format, you can transform your client reports into powerful tools for driving client success.

It’s not about presenting a pie chart or a bar graph; it’s about giving the stakeholders data to help them tailor their strategies and actions.

Client Centric Reporting

 • Client Understanding: Understand your client’s needs, preferences, and goals. You can get to your research using tools like Semrush and Google Analytics. Then, return to your client with specific questions and tailor your insights to your monthly reporting process.

• Data Presentation: This involves simplifying data, providing context, and making the information accessible and understandable.

After understanding the report’s audience, KPIs, and their relevance to business objectives, it’s time to craft your report. Consider monthly reports, for example: Imagine you’re at an agency reporting for a B2B client with SEO and paid search initiatives. Your report for a Content Marketer should cover the following:

SEO Metrics:

• Monthly organic search sessions

• Organic traffic-generated leads

• Overall website traffic

Paid Search Metrics:

• Lead acquisition cost

• Leads from paid search

Merely presenting last month’s figures will only partially convey the campaign’s effectiveness. With benchmarks or previous data for comparison, interpreting these numbers becomes easier.

Daniel L. Stufflebeam, a pioneer in evaluation, advocated for the principle of “Measure to improve, not just to prove.” 

The concept of “proving” revolves around analyzing crucial business metrics such as revenue, net income, and other vital performance indicators. However, to truly foster enhancement, additional metrics are essential. 

For CEOs aiming to shape outcomes and propel growth, it’s critical to focus on the sales organization’s internal indicators that drive results, like qualified leads and landing page performances, if it’s a B2B SaaS start-up. 

Buyer Journey Overview for CEOs

Reporting Strategy: This includes reporting frequency, automated client reporting tools like Swydo, and adapting reports to client preferences. How often should you catch up with reports?

Here is a heads-up: it’s about chatting with your team or clients to figure out what works best for them. Maybe the head honcho of marketing likes a weekly update on how things are going, but if you’re running Google Ads for someone, they might be okay with just hearing from you once a month.

When figuring out how often to send updates, why not lay out all the options for your clients? You can even mix things up with different kinds of reports at other times. How about we set up a live dashboard for quick updates and then dive into the nitty-gritty with a detailed PDF report? Remember, asking what they prefer makes things smoother, no matter who you report to.

TDLR Summary in Emails

Find a way to deliver the message

Once you’ve completed your checklist and gathered all the necessary insights to create a tailored report for your client, it’s time to dive into crafting it. You have options: kickstart from a template and tweak it to fit your needs or start afresh, knowing it’ll automatically populate with the essential data. With just a few minutes of personalization, you’re ready to hit send.

If your data speaks for itself without requiring additional tweaks, schedule it using an automated reporting tool. Rest assured that your client will receive an updated, precise report in their preferred format: a PDF or an online dashboard.

Leave comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *.