Every Report is Your Job Evaluation
As a marketer you probably know how important detailed reporting is, right? I’m pretty sure, that the first time you ran a campaign, you just couldn’t wait for the result. What about the twentieth time? Have you even checked KPIs for your campaigns this week?
Let me talk a bit about it. I hope you know all of it already but maybe I can inspire you to know more.
Measure Your Actions
If campaign management is your area – every report is your job evaluation. Just a bit. Basic campaign reports showing your KPIs are the everyday answers for the questions – ‘How am I doing?’, ‘Where are we as a company with customer relationship?’.
It is important to know what we measure in each campaign, so good understanding of your reports is key. Reporting packages are internal modules of every campaign automation system. They are usually fully customisable and should be used wisely.
In direct marketing one of the key factors is deliverability – you have spoken to your customers, but have they got your message?
If yes – they opened your email or got your message – what was your call to action? Click, register, respond or buy? Each action can be measured differently so select your KPIs carefully for each type of communication. For newsletters it’s important to measure deliverability, click rates for each URL, dwell time spent on each topic or other factors of engagement available on your website; while for retention campaigns you may instead be focused on success rates defined by new contracts, their value, offers selected and customer lifetime value.
Using campaign automation solutions, you can define your Success Rate (SR) for each type of campaign. You can also set your “contact definition” for each channel to measure Contact Rate (CR). The meaning behind the numbers in each campaign type may be different, so it must be clear for you and your organisation – what exactly is behind those numbers.
A/B Testing? No, In Real Life is an A-Z Test
I am sure you know about A/B testing. Most systems allow you to do at least A-D testing. It is a fantastic solution for each new campaign. You can automate it, so the system decides which layout or offer is the most effective and sends it to the wider audience.
What I would suggest is to look at your quarterly or monthly campaign reports as an A-Z test. Select the most effective and learn from the outcomes. What was there that made it a success? Why one was better than the others? Was it timing, content, offer or targeting? Use your reporting as a development tool for constant feedback. Best practice reporting includes organising frequent feedback sessions with your team – looking at what could be improved in your regular campaigns based on the reports.
And one more thing…
In the perfect organisation every campaign is a success and there are no errors. But in real life sometimes it is a report that indicates some campaign irregularities. Better late than never.
Are we Speaking? Are we Talking?
If you send your communications in hundreds of thousands or millions, it is possible to feel that you are just broadcasting some information rather than communicating with your customers. But on the other side of your workflow are people either interested or not, in the messages you are sending. They are reacting, reading, building their knowledge and finally purchasing or ignoring your product or service. Their actions are their part in the conversation. Using multichannel, omnichannel campaign tools, we can prepare response messages for every possible customer behaviour based on the history of communication stored in the customer database. But the very first step to understand their experience and behaviours in response to marketing communications, is great reporting.
Take a deep dive into your contact history tables and find the most common set of customer behaviours taking place over the customer lifetime. Analyse what they know and how they reacted in the past to understand their point of view. Listen carefully to their voices in the communication process.
Here are four key best practices for you to consider when it comes to the topic of reporting:
- Make a habit of reading reports regularly. Don’t let reporting slip off the to-do list once a campaign goes out the door.
- Understand every number – are you sure you know exactly what the numbers you’re reading mean? Without clarity here you won’t be able to take away meaningful insights.
- Learn from the output – this is the whole reason we report!
- Use your findings to develop new strategies going forward. Reporting completes the campaign circle of life.
We know that a busy campaign or marketing department is often churning out enough campaigns to keep you working around the clock, but we also know that without considering reporting an essential element of that process, your customer engagement metrics can really suffer. If you can ensure that reporting takes priority in your campaign processes, I am confident you’ll not only reap the rewards of improved metrics but also discover new and innovative ways to communicate with your customer base.
For an overview of the key concepts in campaign reporting, download Purple Square’s ebook, An Introduction to Successful Marketing Automation.