Establishing reporting expectations with an agency – data, data, data

Data, data, data

Establishing reporting expectations with an agency

Establishing reporting expectations in the early stages of working with a new marketing agency can be critical for getting the most out of that brand-agency partnership. Remember, reporting isn’t just there to track success. It helps you and the agency monitor and determine which parts of our campaign are working and which parts need improvement. Reporting is exactly what gives us clarity in what we’re doing, and without it we might as well be shooting at a target whilst being blindfolded. 

Not all marketing campaigns require regular reporting, but some common ones that do include:

  • PPC
  • SEO
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Campaigns (paid and organic)
  • Account-based Marketing

1. Identify appropriate metrics 🔍

There are a hundreds of data points that could be considered, and while it’s tempting to measure all of it, try to be somewhat selective on which ones you choose to focus on at any one time. You should choose metrics that are in line with the goals and objectives laid out in the brief and are directly relevant to the channel(s) you’re using. 

For example for SEO you might be looking at measuring keyword performance, traffic to your website (organic), search engine ranking, and top performing content. For PPC you would be looking at average cost-per-click, click through rates, conversion rate and cost-per-conversion.

Klipfolio has a great breakdown of marketing metrics and KPIs to consider.

2. Frequency of reporting 🗓️

You should make sure you know how often you can expect to hear from/be able to contact an agency right at the start of your relationship with them. Consider things like, can you call at any time? How many meetings per month will you have with them? And within this you should also establish how often you want reports from them.

The frequency of how often you want to receive these reports is dependent on your style of working, availability and level of trust with a particular agency. For things like PPC and social media campaigns the agency should be monitoring it constantly, and you can expect a report weekly, but for longer term projects like SEO you may opt for every 2 weeks to a month. Many agencies use tools that allow you to log in and monitor data at anytime on a dashboard. 

3. Time for Solutions 🕰️

Getting access to the information is one thing, but make sure you also establish with your agency how often you want to sit down and review the data with them, to analyse where things are working and where things have gone wrong. 

An agency we spoke to recently suggested two weeks as the sweet spot – it allows changes to be implemented and the effect of those changes to show in the data between meetings. But this is down to personal preference and the type of work you’re doing, so make sure you have a think and talk it through with your agency before starting any work.

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