In marketing and advertising, data is plentiful – so much so that it can be overwhelming! Data on its own doesn’t tell the full story. Alone it can be rendered useless; it’s not enough to just share data and metrics. Instead, we look for what the data are trying to tell you.
Metrics have their place in reports. Of course, they should be included—however, context matters most. A slew of raw data from a “non-actionable” report won’t help you achieve your business goals. When developing Actionable Reports, it’s our job to explain how these metrics either indicate success or offer room for improvement.
Actionable Reporting as a practice and philosophy means we don’t just provide a history of what has happened and a data dump. Instead, we tell the real story behind what the data have to say and offer clear guidance on how best to proceed.
An answer to the reporting “so what?”
In a meeting many years ago, after reviewing a campaign’s performance metrics, a client flat out asked, “so what?” That question was the reason our team ditched useless reports in favor of deeper dives into the data. Now, the reports we share answer each of these important questions to add reliable context:
- What happened?
- Why did it happen?
- What can we do from there?
Our Actionable Reporting practice involves parsing through all the data and figures available and joining them with useful insights. In the reports themselves, we pinpoint areas of opportunity and offer guidance for our clients’ future ad placements. So every data-informed report offers a clear course of action to help you and your organization reach your business goals.
What is the Actionable Reporting approach?
To help ourselves and our clients get the most from every data review, we also ask:
- How are the data points relevant to the campaign?
- How do they contribute to success?
- How do they compare against others?
These are not just advertising “vanity metrics.” We go beyond click-thru and engagement rates. These are actionable, personalized metrics based on the needs of your business. Our team works directly with clients to develop and home in on the measurements that can gauge the success of the campaign. These are stacked against the established objectives of the campaign, its media plan, and overarching business goals.
Our approach focuses on answering these questions by looking at the demonstrable results through the lens of Key Performance Actions (KPAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) tied to the organization’s business objectives and goals.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the quantifiable, internal performance measurements that show the success of a campaign’s ad efforts against business objectives. For example, for a financial institution, this could include tracking online and in-branch loan applications.
Key Performance Actions (KPAs) are sometimes alternatively referred to as conversions. These are advertising metrics that track a user’s relevant behavior, events, and actions once they’re exposed to (view-through) or click on an ad (click-through). They measure engagement at specific points as they move through the digital journey. Sticking with the financial institution example, this could include a user visiting the site through an ad and later filling out a form on the campaign’s landing page.
In the initial strategy phase of a campaign, after examining and understanding the campaign initiatives, goals, and objectives, the JXM team develops a media plan detailing KPAs tied to KPIs. Throughout the course of a campaign, we use these to track and evaluate performance against business objectives. As we go, we’ll review and make changes to improve performance.
Insights into action in real-time
Turning key analytics and insights into action is the natural next step in actionable reporting. Here, we recommend changes to campaigns based on our findings. It’s easy to report on learnings after the fact, without any intention of acting on them. That’s not our approach. JXM has a responsibility to our clients to provide information in a way that inspires appropriate actions and next steps.
Our reporting process includes frequent real-time reviews of campaigns throughout their run. Once a campaign launches, reviews start daily and transition to multiple times a week. Keeping watch over the campaigns guarantees we know what’s going on – no surprises pop up when it comes time to write a monthly report.
Real humans at JXM review campaign data trends throughout this process, make recommendations and put optimizations in place. Experience has taught us that human brainpower beats AI, automation and the infamous “set it and forget it” approach when it comes to campaign management.
Thanks to our team’s in-depth knowledge of your business’s KPIs, KPAs, and relevant measurements, we can accurately explain how they tie into the story your campaign is telling. As we report high-level, actionable insights to clients, our team examines data in detail to trigger instant action that will make positive changes to a campaign. The same is true for insights that require the client to make the next move. The more specific the details, the more positive outcome changes will bring.
At your service
A key benefit of JXM is reporting as a service. In addition to managing campaigns, putting optimizations into place, and developing regular actionable reports, our team writes reports ready to be shared within your organization. There’s no need to rewrite or translate for the board.
Put yourself in this situation: you’re asked to present the results of a year-long campaign. What would you rather have on hand, a 50-page spreadsheet printout with thousands of raw data points? Or a few specific bullet points drilling down to the core of the performance? (Better yet, a partner you can rely on to deliver those results directly to the key stakeholders on your behalf.)
In our experience, the latter has been the most instrumental in explaining true success to our clients and their organization’s return on investment. Think of it this way, a local weather person comes on the TV and informs the audience that a low-pressure system in relation to the atmosphere will bring precipitation from the nimbus. Why overcomplicate, when the weather person could just warn the audience to grab an umbrella? Rain is on its way.
The same goes for actionable reporting.
BUZZWORDS WE USE
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the quantifiable, internal performance measurements that show the success of the campaign ad efforts against business objectives.
Key Performance Actions (KPAs), sometimes referred to as conversions, are advertising metrics that track a user’s relevant behavior, events, and actions once they’re exposed to or click on an ad and move through the digital customer journey.
Excellent synth rock band from Canada. Also, units of measure to track both the progress and performance of an ad campaign. These are different from a KPI, though a metric could progress to a KPA.
Information and metrics (see above) that can be used to help inform and improve marketing strategy. Includes but is not limited to customer data, market research, sales, ad metrics, and website analytics.
Data and analytics that can be acted upon to make positive changes.
Campaign and marketing objectives outlining specific and measurable result.
Measures the effectiveness of a campaign in terms of revenue generated compared to the cost of running the campaign.
Insightful, direct communication that the client can understand, explain, and initiate is essential for the success of marketing and advertising efforts and benefits the overall client relationship. Reach out and let’s talk about how relaying Actionable Reports that translate tangible business results can help paint a clear picture of your campaign’s performance.