Agency reporting is the rock behind every strong relationship you have with a client.
Performance reporting is the rock behind every strong agency relationship you have with a client. In 2023, it is increasingly necessary for agencies to surpass the fundamentals and provide exceptional marketing reports that exceed the requirements and expectations of their clients.
To get to this position, your agency reporting needs to achieve two things:
- The value you’re delivering
- The transparency of your findings
Clients will first judge you on what you can bring to the table - we all know that.
But it then boils down to how much trust they will have in you to hit goals A, B, and C. The reality is that the marketing realm is littered with expedient agencies who are willing to hide their shortcomings in their marketing reports by manipulating a narrative that benefits them. Your clients know it and are navigating through his space with caution.
Being transparent removes skepticism and fosters a sense of trust in your clients, helping you to fight the devastation that comes with customer churn.
Studies show that returning customers tend to spend approximately 67% more on average than first-time customers (Business.com, 2023) and that it costs five times more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones (FinancesOnline, 2023).
With your marketing report, you have an opportunity to strengthen client relations and take it to a place that accelerates growth at a pace your competitors can’t keep up with.
To help your marketing agency achieve this goal, we have compiled three powerful agency reporting tips that will transform the relationship you have with clients.
Select the most relevant metrics to analyze with your clients
There is an infinite amount of metrics to analyze in a finite amount of time in agency reporting. Be specific and only include the most relevant data that will help clients understand where they are now, how far they are from where they want to be, and what they need to do to get there.
But here’s the thing - you’re the marketing expert, not your client. Clients may not understand the ins and outs of all the key metrics in your agency reports. This is where you step in and provide guidance on what these are and their importance.
Begin by asking your client what’s most important to them, their problems, concerns, and important KPIs. This is important because you want both of you to be on the same page when analyzing the result of a marketing campaign.
For example, there may be some confusion when it comes to conversion rates, a metric that your client could be fixated on which distorts the truth about your marketing performance. Here you could demonstrate your expertise by highlighting the importance of lead tracking and how many leads were generated by downloading an ebook instead of filling in a form.
This will help them better understand the most popular content and guide them towards where they should direct their marketing efforts.
Provide a budget breakdown to show how you're spending their money
A granular budget breakdown is the hallmark of transparency in agency reporting. Clients want to know where their money is going, so make this information accessible. Failing to do this will raise suspicions and plant a seed of skepticism that will undermine the insights from your marketing campaigns.
One way to avoid this is to opt for weekly agency marketing reporting that provides instant feedback, such as Google Ads. In these client reports, you could provide a detailed breakdown of the budget allocation for different PPC campaigns, including:
- Daily/monthly ad spend
- Keyword bid data
- Click-through rate
- Conversion rate
- Cost per conversion
- Traffic from Google Analytics
You could even take this one step further by explaining how the bidding strategy was developed and adjusted to meet campaign goals. Being upfront about costs and providing a clear breakdown of expenses demonstrates that you have nothing to hide and are committed to open communication in client reporting.
Highlight how clients can differentiate themselves from competitors
Data is your language and you’ll be able to spot trends and patterns that your clients may not in their marketing report. If the data indicates that certain actions and movements are drawing customers closer to your client's brand, it may be worth them embodying those characteristics more fervently to amplify this attraction.
Remember, businesses are always looking for opportunities to stand out in a crowded market place. Make this easy for them and your clients will never want to leave you.
Here’s how you can do it in your agency report:
- Identify key insights in campaign performance to spot opportunities for your client to differentiate themselves from competitors. These tend to include ad & keyword-level metrics, messaging insights, placement insights, and/or demographic and flighting insights.
- Analyze the data from the client's competitors to identify areas where the client can improve their performance and stand out from the competition.
- Evaluate customer behavior to pick out patterns and trends that can be leveraged to differentiate the client from their competitors. This could include highlighting customer preferences, pain points, or any other relevant insights.
- Determine the client's unique selling propositions (USPs) that differentiate them from their competitors. These could include product features, service offerings, or any other factor that sets the client apart.
- Develop a strategic plan to differentiate the client from their competitors. This might include optimizing marketing campaigns, developing new products or services, or implementing customer retention programs.
- Provide the client with actionable recommendations based on the insights gained from the analysis of the data. These recommendations should be specific, measurable, and aligned with the client's business goals.
Implement these three agency reporting tips to boost client relations
Long relationships with happy clients will fill your pockets with big retainers. It’s the end goal for everyone in this industry and it all begins with agency reporting. To really hit these heights you need to provide value and demonstrate transparency to your clients.
Businesses recognize that the marketing industry is decimated with agencies who promise much but deliver little, so you need to remove this suspicion and win them over.
Discussing the metrics to include in your marketing report with clients avoids misunderstandings and demonstrates your commitment to their success. Add more value to this and your stock will skyrocket.
Not many agencies will go the extra mile to find opportunities for clients to differentiate themselves from their competitors and by doing so you’ll become an asset that they cannot afford to cut loose.
But when you merge all of this value with transparency, such as providing a granular budget breakdown, you’ll demonstrate a level of accountability that will really make client relations flourish.
And what does this lead to?
Longer client relations. Stronger client retention. And bigger agency retainers.