With Digital Marketing, Reporting is in the Details.

growth-chart-iStock_000007975830LargeAnyone who is fully immersed in next generation digital marketing is also well versed in the volumes of reporting produced by each measurable threshold of an online campaign. And although the distinct value of that reporting is present at the beginning of a client/provider partnership, it is often the first to fade in priority.

Establishing proper expectations.

The true value in reporting to a client lies in how you represent it. Even though digital campaigns are measured by a much more detailed and in-depth level of performance data, there is still an intangible retroactive impression effect in play. Performance reports, client dashboards, specialist calls and campaign data comes with a responsibility that they be reviewed and acted upon. Data is power, but only when empowered to effect change.

True campaign reporting leads to an end goal, however far away. The value statement is the affirmation of the strategies put in play. Teaching your clients how to not only read their reports but how to apply what they learn to their own operations will add value for everyone involved. You receive stronger feedback towards adjustments feeding back to a better overall cost-per-lead. They start to build a potentially ever-increasing return on their marketing investment.

Become the expert on them.

If you work in a partner/vendor situation, more than likely, you’re campaign processes, short of a few fulfillment items, will not deviate regardless of campaign or client. Building to scale means hyper-standardized task management. This doesn’t mean that you must sacrifice customized performance models. This is why getting to know your client’s business, especially when at its best, can be invaluable to interpreting the success of their campaigns. The details that drive the best results to your client, that will best streamline their campaigns, should come from them. Learn about their industry, their audience, their infrastructure, their buying cycle, their ZMOT … their pathway to winning. Apply those details to your own strategies.

Speak to what you know, not just what you want them to know.

Clients want to think of you as an extension of their business. They want to think of you as member of their organization that has their best interests at the forefront. It is often we who sit on the other side of the desk that push that relationship to its brink by telling them what we think they want to hear from us. If you set expectations from the beginning and continue to frame those expectations progressively, your client will appreciate the true value of what is happening with their online marketing and not be disappointed with over estimations.

_Matthew Morris; Consumer Insights Strategist, WUSA9, Washington, DC
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