2 Simple Reasons You Need To Automate Client Reporting

Before we got into the client reporting space, I thought it was a pretty straightforward process. Log into your marketing dashboard, screenshot the needed data, copy it into a powerpoint and email it off to your client and then repeat that process x times till every client is served.

Nothing hard about that? 

But now I see it involves much more than that. Many agencies are using multiple tools, to pull all sorts of data and logging into each tool for each client isn’t all that simple.

For Example:

  • Google Adwords
  • Facebook
  • LeadPages
  • WordPress
  • MailChimp
  • CallRail

Once inside the tool, you probably have to look at several reports to figure out what data to pull from there. Then having to remember which clients use what platform, what type of data they need and how they like it formatted. And that’s if your client wants standard reporting. Some may also request high overview reports for their CMO or other Executives to take a look at and that is just the beginning of the inconsistencies and time-consuming process of client reporting. 

Most of the time finding a report within one tool for one client wouldn’t be that hard. But it’s when you add multiple tools, are left considering multiple reports from each tool and then having to repeat that for each client and their specific needs. 

Are you living with this pain every month?

Is reporting kicking your butt right now?

The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way!

But before you say “Well yes, but that takes money…” Yes, it may involve a contract and monthly invoices but it also means you can gain insights, analyze, focus on creative, get your time back and maybe even some of your sanity.

Here are two simple but significant reasons why it’s time for you to start automating client reporting. 

1. Bringing In More Business

Some agency account managers report spending up to two weeks into the NEXT month on monthly reporting responsibilities for clients. That is shocking! There is so much more you could be doing with your time than logging in and out of marketing channels, collecting data, and creating reports. And one of those things is tracking down and closing on new business.

Think about, if you are constantly behind because of the already unpredictable workload you have, on top of reporting, how are you supposed to be putting all your energy into current clients let alone adding more business?  If you are a part of the reporting nightmare, then the thought of new business sounds like bad news.

New clients + new reporting responsibilities = more workload

Recruiting new clients is pretty important and should make you excited about the work you are doing. Once you have an automated system in place that produces brandable, relatable, reports for clients you can start thinking about new business in a positive way and maybe even get excited!

And don’t forget how you can use these reports as a recruiting tool. Imagine meeting a potential client and being able to log into a single dashboard, that shows visualized data, in graphs and charts they can easily understand, all in one place! This will demonstrate how you don’t only create killer campaigns but have the advantage of monitoring and improving performance in real time. I know I would feel pretty confident about an agency who has created a process that is so detailed, streamlined and easy to understand.

2.  Keep Current Business

Creating the best campaign means nothing if you can’t communicate results to clients. If you are not able to connect the tasks you are performing, and the results you are achieving that is a huge problem. And for many agencies that is where and why reporting practices came into play.

These reports are supposed to offer an opportunity for you have regular communication with your clients. A chance to touch base, review results as well as go into detail about the work you are doing. But if it is currently taking you a long time to deliver regular reports, that are filled with old data and even worse if they are being delivered in an Excel format (if you hated copy and pasting all that data into those rows your clients are going to hate reading it there too) then you aren’t creating that type of relationship with your clients. 

When you have a single platform, that displays all your data visually and clearly showcases campaign results it invites clients into the process and holds your team accountable to those results. And this goes for poor performing campaigns too. As much as you want to show off the good things that are happening the not-so-great things need to be shared as well. Having a dashboard that displays the good and the bad makes those harder conversations easier to have. Clients can see exactly what you are doing to improve performance and won’t have to assume anything because it’s all right there for everyone to see. 

Reporting gets your clients involved. When you are proactive in showing your performance throughout the campaign’s life (through these reports), you won’t leave any surprises for your client, which can be a lot harder to rebound from. If they are a part of the process all the way through you can explain campaigns and results as they are happening. So if an area isn’t doing what you expect they will be part of that conversation from the beginning, which will help avoid those so why is this happening questions that always come later.

Your transparency is what’s most important to your client, and an automated reporting process helps you do that. A minor shortcoming in what is otherwise an impressive marketing strategy isn’t going to change your relationship with your client so don’t be afraid of sharing that when using an all-in-one platform. Fully disclosing their performance helps establish transparency and trust which is the foundation for any good relationship.

Wrap It Up

Seemingly simple tasks can easily be made more complicated, and that is exactly what has happened to client reporting.

Client reporting doesn’t need to take all this time and effort, and you don’t need to be manually completing these tasks every month.

By automating the process and investing in one tool that does it all you will save time, create consistency in your reporting practices and impress your clients (and improve performance) by using a dashboard that integrates all your marketing channels. 

Are you looking for a tool like the one mentioned above? Check out our website here and see if Converge is the right fit for you and your team.

Converge connects to your client’s marketing tools, pulls those disparate data sources and automatically (and accurately) uploads them into one place. This allows agencies to stop gathering data and start generating insights. This allows you to access the data you need to communicate with your client faster, easier and in real time- letting you easily manage client reporting once more. 

A/B Testing- A Marketer’s Secret Weapon

I would argue that just as important as social media, measurement and goal setting are when it comes to marketing so is A/B testing.

With marketing, it is so easy to make assumptions about your audience. Whether you are creating a landing page, content, an ad on Facebook or an email, we all think we know our own audience. We go full force into a campaign and then are shocked when we don’t get the response we expected.

So what happened? Continue reading “A/B Testing- A Marketer’s Secret Weapon”

PR Takes On Facebook

What does your PR strategy look like? Does it involve video, social, events, monitoring the news- a collaboration between them all. Or is there an area you haven’t tackled yet? 

Although it can seem overwhelming, Facebook can be a great opportunity for PR. A place to connect with current and potential customers, gain interest (and insight), promote content and keep fans updated. So what are you waiting for?

How can you involve Facebook in your PR strategy?

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1. Access To Data

One of the benefits of so many people connecting and logging into  Facebook is the amount of data Facebook can collect on everyone. Facebook knows everything you would ever want to know about your audience, but that doesn’t mean they are just going to hand it over to you. One of the best ways to get to learn about your audience is by creating content and ads on the platform. 

When you go through the motions of creating a Facebook AD, you will see just how specific or general your audience can be. From demographics, job titles, interests, liked pages, and even importing your list of emails to create an audience.

But how do this help your PR strategy?

Through the creation of your ad and then the response of your selected audience, you can learn a lot.

Maybe you aren’t getting a response at all? That means you’ve targeted the wrong people.

Maybe you are getting a lot of clicks but no other social engagement such as likes, comments, or shares? That means your target audience is interested in your product, but they aren’t going to be very engaged on Facebook

Maybe you are getting a lot of social engagement, but no one is clicking your ad? That means your audience is active Facebook users, but they aren’t going to leave the site to take a further look at your product.

You can learn some much about your audience by spending a little bit of money on Facebook. And understanding your audience is the first step to any well-run PR campaign.

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2. Find And Connect With Your Audience

There is something for everyone on Facebook. While some demographics appear stronger than others, billions of people are still active on the site, and they have at least 1 billion active users every month. Those facts are pretty hard to compete with.

However, when it comes to building your brand on Facebook you aren’t there to reach everyone, you are there to first and foremost find your audience- and the good news is a lot of them should be on Facebook. Use the research you have already done when creating your customer and apply it Facebook. Their age, gender, income, location, family unit, etc.

Now that you know who your audience is you now have to understand how they use the site.

  • Are they active?
  • Do they like, comment, share, promote and brands?
  • Or are they there just to connect with family and friends?
  • Or is Facebook the place they come to learn and keep up with what’s going on?

This means you are going to take the time to listen and understand their overall vibe on the website. As exciting as it to start creating content you need to make sure you take time observing too. This will help understand what your audiences expected behavior would be to your content and how you will know if you are creating something that is connecting with them.

Once you know how they are using the social site, you then want to develop your brand’s Page. When creating your Page and coming up with your content strategy, you need to ask:

What is my desired outcome?

And this should be based on the observations you have made about your audiences actions (or inactions) on Facebook.

  • Are you going to use Facebook to promote content?
  • To create content (live video, 360, stores)?
  • Build awareness around your brand?
  • Connect with influencers and bloggers to partner with?
  • Advertising?
  • Promoting sales and contests?

Before you do anything else, you need to understand what your own expectations are for the Page so you can understand if it matches with the content you want to create and the content your audience will respond to.

3. Old Fashion Promotion

Now that you have done you research found your audience and gathered lots of data about them you can create a plan to keep them coming back to your Page.

The good news is Facebook can fill the gaps caused by declining traditional media, such as newspapers and TV or when reporters just won’t pick up their phone. You don’t have to wait for someone to become interested in your story based off of a short pitch, or worry about the decline in newspaper subscriptions! You can create the story yourself and share it on Facebook. 

Of course, this won’t mean much unless you have completed the two steps above. Just creating a Facebook Page is not enough to gain traction. Like everything else in PR understanding your audience and having the data to back it up is also important.

Wrap It Up

With access to so much do you ever feel like you a more of a brand communicator than a PR pro? After all, PR isn’t just about handling crisis and chaos, it’s about building and promoting a brand image that is vulnerable to the 24/7 news cycle. And we think Facebook is the perfect place to gain back some of that control.

Looking for some more tips and tricks for Facebook and other social sites? Then download this FREE e-book, 30 Social Tests, here.

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Turning Customer Support Into Customer Success

What does excellent customer service mean to you?

  • Quality
  • Connection
  • Speed
  • Solved Problems
  • Satisfied Customers

Let’s face it, at some point in time your company is going to make a mistake, and I guarantee that won’t be the one thing that ends it all. However, how your team handles that mistake will determine what happens next.

A customer service department run by chatbots, never ending phone calls, unanswered emails, and employees who constantly have to ask what they can or can’t do is not going to cut it.

A customer success team that is equipt with the information and tools needed to understand the customer and answer questions, who are encouraged to problem solve and create connections is what you need.

So, which team are you currently running? Continue reading “Turning Customer Support Into Customer Success”

What Should You Ask Before Hiring An Agency?

What frustrated you the most about the last agency you worked with?

It was probably something they did or didn’t do, that you weren’t expecting. Something you wish you had known before agreeing to work together, and you won’t let it happen again. This next time around you will realize the importance of looking past the campaign pitch and digging into the parts of the agency that will impact your relationship with them the most.

So what type of questions will help you understand what kind of partner they are?

Below, we have a list of five must-ask questions for the next time you hire a PR agency. Continue reading “What Should You Ask Before Hiring An Agency?”

The 3 Best Facebook Ad Features Right Now

When you think about all the ways you use Facebook, what is the one tool the makes a difference on Facebook right now?

Tough question right? And this could change depending on your role and your strengths when it comes to the platform. 

To stay the number one social media platform, Facebook doesn’t have to keep up they have to continue to create. That means continuous updates and added features coming your way and it can become pretty easy to miss something, especially if you are not sure what new features you should be focusing on

We wanted to answer the above question to ensure you knew what to spend your summer focusing on and where you should spend money testing before the big shopping seasons come into play.  

Below we picked three Facebook features marketers, especially ones overseeing CPC Ads on Facebook, should be using! Continue reading “The 3 Best Facebook Ad Features Right Now”

3 Data Barriers Every PR Pro Has To Address

Data is a word that won’t be going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s more than a nice to have when it comes to marketing and PR. It’s a tool most clients expect you to use and many can’t imagine succeeding without but what about you, as a PR pro, how do you feel about data?

Do you understand how to use?

Why you need to use it?

How it can help you succeed?

It can be a tad overwhelming when you first use  data. And when we become overwhelmed by things we often put up barriers that keep us from using the product to its full potential, which can be a huge setback. Just like marketers, PR professionals are expected to use data when it comes to decision making, evaluating results and communicating success. It’s not a tool you can really fake it with or put off using. Now’s the time to roll up your sleeve, break down those barriers and dig into data!

Below are three ways you might be holding yourself back from using data! Continue reading “3 Data Barriers Every PR Pro Has To Address”

Do You Have The Skills It Takes To Master PR?

It’s impossible to be an expert in e v e r y t h i n g especially when it comes to your work roles. When thinking about what’s expected from a PR or marketing professional, it can almost be comical. From having to stay in the known of the latest technology trends and marketing news to studying your competition to learning your work environment quarks to understanding where and how marketing fits in within the business or the personality your clients will have.  The environment is ever-changing, leaving you little time to get comfortable. 

However, the good news is you don’t have to master everything! There are going to be skills you should have and ones that would be nice to have. Below are four things we think every PR pro should have, and if they aren’t it’s something you should aim for.  Continue reading “Do You Have The Skills It Takes To Master PR?”

3 Ways You Are Not Challenging Your Marketing Team

We are about to embark on the summer months, and before you know it we will be in Q4. Yikes! Those goals your marketing team set at the end of last year for 2017 have an expiration date, and it’s time to start getting real with where they are in the process and how they are going to accomplish them.

So how do you find out how things are going? You have to ask some questions but asking pressing questions can often lead to uncomfortable answers. You don’t want your team to think you are looking for something; you want them to know you are checking in, pushing them to ensure these goals happen, and that they are making efforts to achieve them.

So how can that be done? Continue reading “3 Ways You Are Not Challenging Your Marketing Team”

CMOs Make The Best CEOs

Has there always been a secret (or maybe not so secret) assumption that CMOs aren’t suited for the CEO role? Think about, I can name COOs, CTOs, and CFOs who have all gone on to become CEO but not too many CMOs in recent years.

Maybe that’s because there wasn’t much proof as to what marketers did? And then came the assumption that people who could make great products could also become great CEOs. Think about Facebook, Square, Paypal, Apple, and Twitter. The creators of these products and technology often rewarded themselves with the CEO title and that is kind of what we got used to. But a transition is once again underway. Where businesses are realizing the importance of marketing, how essential is to sales and that maybe in order to have a great product you have to know the people who are going to buy it. Continue reading “CMOs Make The Best CEOs”