Its the beginning of the month, and what that means for all my marketer friends is that they’re busing spending the next week (or longer) pulling together statistics and data from all the various marketing systems they have implemented to try and give their boss(es) an idea of how the last month went.
Then they ask me about my reports, and get pretty emotional when I tell them I finished on the first day of the month - because my deck only takes a minute per slide to pull together. Here’s my secrets to a short, yet awesomely powerful, slide deck for marketing analytics.
Try to avoid “views”, “visits”, and “visitors”.
I call these “The 3 Vs”, and in a perfect world, no one would ever ask you for these metrics. On their own, they’re fairly useless. I’ve never seen anyone make a profound or insightful change to their upcoming programs because visits were up 1% from last month, or unique visitors were down 1% from last year.
If you must use “views”, “visits”, and “visitors”, tie them as closely to the sales process as possible, showing conversion to leads and customers
No matter how much you drag your heels, your boss will want to see the 3 Vs, so if you do find yourself giving in and showing Views, Visits, and Visitors, by all means try and talk in the language of the business - and show the conversion from visitors-to-leads and customers. If you’re analytics package is tied to your landing pages and CRM, this should be super easy to show.
This is my secret weapon - not only can I show off parts of the 3 Vs, I can do it in a manner that makes business sense. In one screen, I can quickly show which efforts are driving BUSINESS RESULTS, not just anonymous traffic. As HubSpot’s Resident Social Media Scientist, Dan Zarrella, loves saying, “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense”.
If your boss wasn’t asking for this before, they will be now. I’ll let you in on the secret - this is how your boss can justify why the entire marketing department exists, why they should have more headcount, and why budget should be increased instead of decreased.
Look for “interesting” or “that’s not right”, and drill down
After a few months of watching your traffic, you’ll notice some general trends that are unique to your company. But when you see a deviation from those trends, that’s the time to dive down and investigate.
Did we have more leads coming from Organic Search? Well, what terms got them here?Less leads from our Paid Search efforts? Hmm...where were we doing well last month and before - what’s off? What did we do differently, or what changed?
It just takes that question - Why? - to start really getting some insights. Your boss wants to know these things, but also what you plan on doing to make them better for the next month (or longer). And don’t worry if these slides get taken out before being presented to the executive team or the board - the information that is passed up the chain is certainly worth it.
These three rules help me keep my monthly marketing reports down to under 10 slides, while at the same time delivering a data-dense review of the past month.
Originally published Mar 2, 2011 1:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017