The questions digital marketers have about reporting (and the answers)

Published Feb 1 2022 Last updated Apr 17 2024 4 minute read
The 6-point list to do kickass marketing reporting

Funnel asked 1000+ digital marketers what they wanted to know about marketing reporting, and we have the answers. Keep reading if you want to know what marketing professionals want to learn.

Here are common questions on most digital marketers' minds when it comes to reporting:

  • How do I get a unified view of my marketing performance?
  • How to create an investor or board-level report?
  • Should I centralize my marketing data, and how?
  • How can we get real-time data?
  • How to automate the process of marketing reporting?

We will answer most of these questions on our blog. So, if any of these sounds like something you need, keep reading!

We asked the same group about reporting, and the results were surprising. Based on our poll, nearly two out of ten marketers have no reporting in place or are just getting started. Some 35% are still working in Excel or Google Sheets, and 11% rely on a data team to pull insights. These numbers are alarming as nearly 64% of marketers don't have a good foundation for marketing reporting.


The problem

Marketers will often spend days getting data from various marketing channels, which can be painful. They log in to see what's happening, copy-paste the data into a sheet, and repeat. Their goal: to compare data from different marketing platforms and understand performance. But this way of working is not a good solution.

As a digital marketer, you know that excellent marketing reporting is key to understanding the effectiveness of your campaigns and making data-driven decisions. However, did you know that Excel and Google Sheets have limitations when you want to scale and add channels, countries, products, and campaigns? That's right; you'll quickly hit the absolute limit!

One source of truth

Every platform claims its success. You've probably implemented the Facebook pixel on your domain - as you did with your Twitter, Bing Ads, Google Ads, and LinkedIn. That pixel provides data for those platforms (and you) but leads to many one-sided views.

For example, Facebook can attribute all their success to themselves without deduplicating achievements they might have to share with LinkedIn, Bing, or Google Ads. So, if we look only at the success within each platform, we'll be looking at skewed data.

Four essential tips to achieve in marketing reporting

Digital marketers need to aim for simplicity in their data reporting. Too often, they include distracting information that doesn't help with decision-making. Pick a truth and stick with it for your marketing metric reports. And allow it to grow on you. Here are the four primary things you need to achieve with your marketing reporting to get started. 

  1. Single: You don't want to look into many systems.
  2. Shareable: You want everyone to be looking at the same data.
  3. Readable: You want just the right amount of information that's not overwhelming to make decisions.
  4. Easy to do: It needs to be easy for you to see results quickly and make changes fast with an automated, fast, and flexible solution that enables you to add more data without rebuilding the foundation each time.

For more tips on marketing reporting, read our Guide to Digital marketing reporting here.


Know your audience 

You also need to tailor your reports to the person receiving them. Here are four tips to help you create a report that is relevant and useful:

  • Address the board level with absolute totals and insights on digital marketing performance as a whole
  • Go into more detail for middle management, segmenting by channel, product, or market.
  • The specialist needs a high level of detailed information daily, segmented by campaign or asset level.

Select your data points

Every digital marketer should be able to select and define their data points.

You'll divide the data that the marketing tools can provide (third-party data) and your own (first-party data).  Marketing tools give you views, clicks, engagement, and cost. They can also offer transactions and revenue data, but as mentioned above, it'll be one-sided as they attribute all success to their platform. As for your business systems, you'll get gross revenue, net revenue, transactions, and other first-party data

By mapping third-party with first-party datayou'll be able to attribute transactions or revenue more correctly to the marketing platform you think is responsible for achieving that success. That's key - select the truth from the right source.

Consolidate your data into one place

Funnel is a tool that helps with this by extracting data and bringing it into your ecosystem, making it accessible to everyone in your business.

Funnel also allows you to prepare and aggregate that data on the fly, so you don't need to do it in your ecosystem as Funnel does it for you before it gets there.

Additionally, many love how quickly Funnel can be activated and used - it's easy to add additional channels, campaigns, insights. It's also easy to make changes to your data, which is helpful.

Set up your marketing ecosystem

It's all about the data. But how do you get it, and who can use it?

The answer is Funnel. This tool allows you to collect, prepare and share the same data to multiple storage locations at the exact time, depending on requirements and who the end-user will be, whether it's IT, BI, or marketing.

All the numbers and insights your company uses to make decisions will come from one source. You'll have incredible flexibility on the reporting side, too - if your BI team uses Tableau or the marketing department prefers Data Studio, you're still using the same source. And that means no more endless discussions about which data is correct! 

The 6-point list

You know that you need to have the right baseline for your marketing reporting. What are some of the things you should keep in mind? Take a look at this 6 point list below!

  1. Source selection: Create an overview of the channels, platforms, and accounts you wish to report.

  2. Data selection: Select the metrics and dimensions in each source that provides the truth for your KPIs. 

  3. Storage selection: Select where to store data - all major cloud solutions are equal. 

  4. Fire up Funnel: Select a tool that connects all sources with your storage. 

  5. Visualization or reporting tool selection: Choose or review your reporting and visualization tool. 

  6. Start building reports: Everything is ready.

Setting up your marketing reporting for success can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. By creating an overview of the channels, platforms, and accounts you wish to report on and selecting the metrics and dimensions that provide the truth for your KPIs, you are well on your way to accurate data-driven insights. Make sure to choose a storage solution that works for you - all major cloud solutions are equal in this regard - and fire up Funnel so you can easily connect all of your sources. If you need help setting any of this up or want someone else to take care of it for you, reach out to us! We would love to assist in making your marketing reporting dreams a reality.

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