Don’t take my word for it, ask your clients. That’s right, invest a few hours to call 50 clients and ask them how carefully do they read your monthly digital marketing reports. You know, the reports that you create as a PDF file and send to them via email.
Sometimes I feel that agencies create monthly marketing reports with the sole purpose of covering their ass; aka CYA. Each month, the agency takes out their “PDF Ray Gun” to stun their clients with an impressive 10 page PDF report. In this imagined scene, the account manager thinks that their client is eager to read their PDF documentary, which highlights the agency’s greatness.
The ROI data in the report? Well not so much.
Re-Thinking Digital Marketing Reports
The ROI calculation involved with current digital marketing strategies involve multiple data points and vendor solutions. We can no longer allow the concept of silo reporting to limit the insights we can obtain from our online marketing investments. Having a separate SEM, SEO, Social Media, and Video Marketing report is just not working for me.
The term Web Presence Management (WPM) is associated with thought leadership, started by Conductor, designed to break down the silos between internal marketing departments. A WPM team collaborates on the various elements of SEO, SEM, Social Media, Analytics, and Reporting to make sure that an ROI discussion is possible.
In order for agency’s and their clients to have a collaborative WPM discussion on marketing, the vendor reports must by dynamic, online, have actionable data, and foster collaboration. Let’s take an example from the automotive sector where a dealership wants to create customized content pages to connect with today’s online shopper.
In order for the auto dealership to know if their “SEO content”, an outdated phrase by the way, is delivering a strong ROI, they would need to inspect at least 4 or 5 other vendor reports. They would need to know how many calls, chats, leads, coupons, etc. were generated by consumers who engaged with this page. They would need data from Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, and a third party SEO platform like Conductor Searchlight.
In most cases, the vendor reports are delivered as flat PDF files, so making the final ROI report is nearly impossible. Do you see why I started this conversation off by saying that our digital marketing reports suck?
The solution is to get all the vendor data into one consolidated dashboard so that Key Performance Indicators (KPI) can be easily reviewed. Our industry needs to push vendors to provide robust Application Program Interfaces (API) so that agencies and clients can have an active discussion on the ROI of their Web Presence Management (WPM) strategy.