6 Common Marketing Reporting Problems — And How to Solve Them

Different co-operations either employ the use of marketing consultancy, agency or In-House for their marketing needs and reports.  However, regardless of the option chosen, professionalism and accountability in marketing demand flawless reporting, which is not always the case in the industry. This is not acceptable, and it is avoidable.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Common problems in marketing reporting
  • Dangers of letting these problems go unsolved
  • Solutions to these problems

Every marketing agency wants to offer businesses stellar reports. However, this is not always the case, as many marketing reports are often riddled with mistakes. Some marketing agencies intentionally skew their reports to fit their narratives, and some just don’t go a good enough job of compiling their reports. Whichever the case, mistakes are unprofessional and unacceptable.

Here is an overview of six common marketing reporting problems. Don’t worry; we will tell you how to avoid them too.

Common Marketing Reporting Problems

Most marketing reports from agencies are often filled with mistakes, some are intentional in order to impress the client and maintain a positive image. Here are some common ones:

  • Cherry-Picking Results

Every marketing agency wants to impress its clients. It is the secret to keeping them coming back, after all. To this end, some agencies go to the extreme lengths of cherry-picking and doctoring results to give their reports a mostly positive outlook.

False reports will not help or change the negative situation. On the contrary, they will only throw your marketing campaigns into disarray without you realizing it until it is too late. You will be blinded to your campaign’s inefficiencies, and this will only worsen its negative effects on your audience.

Solution

Don’t let yourself be falsely flattered by false reports, as they will only throw your whole operation off focus and balance. Demand transparency in your marketing reports, and choose a marketing agency who can step up to it.

  • Double-Counting Revenue

Marketers who have used the popular e-commerce platform Shopify have likely noticed inconsistencies in their revenue reports. Shopify is a respected platform, but it is also plagued by this problem — which shows how common it is.

It is easy to double-count revenues unwittingly, especially when working with multiple key performance indicators (KPIs) with a link to revenue. However, this does not excuse the fact that this is a grave mistake. Your marketing campaigns will be stalled or derailed if the numbers don’t add up. It will also be disappointing when you get less than whatever was promised in the report.

Solution

There is no excuse for your marketing agency to double-count revenue. Competent agencies are investing in sophisticated algorithms that make accurate calculations and do more! As such, don’t settle for anything less than accuracy, and strive for the extras.

  • Ignoring Organic Reach

Advances made in digital technology has made it easier to target audiences. It is the current mantra of every marketing agency — it is one of the primary goals of marketing, after all. To this end, it is ironic that many marketing agencies don’t articulate this in their reports.  

Solution

In general, data is important for any field of business as it helps remove uncertainty and enables better decision making.

Organic reach data should be one of your primary points of interest when reviewing your marketing report. Ask to see how many people the marketing campaign reached, their demographics, genders, ages, interests, and more. You can also go a step further and request a personalized evaluation of this specific section of your report.

  • A Long-Form Report

Many marketers tend to generate undesirably long results in a bid to be comprehensive (or for other nefarious tactics). It is okay to be exhaustive, but no one wants to spend hours reading a report with hundreds of metrics that they don’t really understand. Lengthy reports are exhausting and usually not coherent — consequently, clients tend to dismiss them and usually end up in the dark.

Solution

Along-form report with lots of metrics is difficult to review and understand. It can be an honest expression of transparency, but it can also be an attempt to throw you off your mark if the results are undesirable. As such, be cautious and demand that your marketing agency make the reports coherent and easy to understand.

Again, don’t be hesitant to request for an in-person review of your marketing reports — this way you can ask clarification if anything doesn’t add up. You can also take it upon yourself to hire an independent reviewer to analyze the reports.

  • Being Shortsighted

Shortsightedness starts with the marketing campaign and is eventually reflected in the reporting. Shortsightedness in reporting involves presenting a short term outlook of the campaign’s performance. This is because most marketers focus on the real-time metrics and are too busy keeping up to see the big picture. Your clients want immediate results, but their expectations go beyond today or this month.

Solution

Focus on generating immediate results, but don’t ignore long-term marketing goals, strategies and any other relevant parameters. This will require you to come up with a long-term marketing plan in collaboration with your chosen to market agency.

  • Inconsistency in Reporting

Marketing reports should be consistent, like clockwork. Unfortunately, many marketers are inconsistent with their reporting. Some generate too many reports too often, trying to be accountable. Others have to be reminded to do so.

Accountability is commendable. However, generating too many reports too will often make them lose their relevance. It will also be inconveniencing and cumbersome for the clients. Failure to generate reports, on the other hand, is simply unprofessional. Your marketing agency is obliged to update you on the progress of their marketing campaigns, so regular reports are necessary.

Solution

Come up with a rigid reporting schedule and bring your marketing agency on board. A monthly schedule is ideal as it gives enough time to analyze data and generate reports. Weekly snippets on the campaign’s progress will also be appreciated, but make them brief and easy to understand.

Ultimately, your reporting schedule will be determined by the nature of your different marketing campaigns. Consult exhaustively with the client.

The Takeaway

The quality of your marketing reports can be a make-or-break deal with your marketing campaign and, ultimately, your competitive edge and progress towards growth and success. Small marketing reporting problems are intolerable. As such, hold your chosen marketing agency to the highest standards and demand transparency and accuracy in their reporting. Look out for these mistakes and more.