Get Specific On Your Reporting: Understanding the Meaning Behind The Marketing Data in your Business

Understanding the nuances of the numbers you use to make decisions for your business can make or break your success. According to a Gartner report, ‘’fewer than 50% of documented corporate strategies mention data and analytics as fundamental components for delivering enterprise value.’’

If you aren’t using reporting on data to drive growth and success in your business, there is no doubt that you’re leaving money on the table. 

But what sets effective data reporting apart from mere number-crunching? 

To delve deeper into this topic, we spoke with Rob McConachie, a seasoned expert in measurement marketing. 

Rob sheds light on why data reporting is crucial for businesses, sharing invaluable insights into: 

  • the world of analytics versus measurement 
  • the significance of tracking 
  • and top tips for creating impactful data reports

How do I know which type of marketing data I should be reporting on?

The two main types of data for marketing are analytic and measurement reporting. 

Analytics is just about getting the numbers, while measurement dives deeper into understanding the behaviours of your customers, so you can see the trends and patterns of what’s actually happening. 

“We work on going from what we call ‘marketing the blind’, where you just throw out ads and hope something sticks, to actually understanding the flow of information, patterns and trends to be able to predict outcomes.”

Analytical reporting will tell you: 

  • the number of users on your site 
  • the number of people who hit a certain page 
  • the number of people who actually purchased and so on

But measurement reporting is knowing of the 100 people that came to your site, how many people actually went to the landing page and then on to the offering? 

And when they got to that landing page, how much time did they spend on the page? How many people actually scrolled down and consumed 50% of the page and saw the all important call to action? 

What are the key benefits of data reporting for my business?

Measurement reporting allows you to really drill down and get super specific about the metrics that you’re reporting on and the meaning behind them, to truly understand your customer’s behaviour. 

Knowing if people are actually consuming your content rather than just clicking through can make a huge difference in how you structure your marketing strategies.

Let’s take blogs as an example. How do we know if people are actually consuming your blogs? You may know 50 people came to that page. But are they actually reading it? 

With measurement data reporting, you are able to see how many people scrolled to the bottom of the page, drop off rates, how much time they spent on the page – you can calculate words read per minute – and therefore can consider what percentage they have consumed of the content versus somebody simply clicking on and off the page. 

Now, thinking forward in terms of marketing. 

This data will influence your decision about who to remarket to. By having these different steps, you are now able to build different ‘relevant’ audiences and have the all important different conversations because people are at different levels and different points in your customer journey or ecosystem. 

If somebody has actually seen your call to action, but didn’t take the next step, you want to have a different “marketing” conversation with them than you would somebody who was further up the top of the funnel and doesn’t even know your offer or value proposition. 

So what should I be reporting on specifically for my business?

You need to take a step back as what you report on should be in-line with your company goals and built into your reporting beforehand, so when you look at it, you can make your decisions quickly. 

Be intentional and know the actions that you’re going to take from the numbers you get. If you don’t have an action to take from that, there’s no reason to collect it in the first place.

‘’The problem that’s shown up is that everybody wants to just collect data, and not actually have it mean anything.’’

Avoid vanity metrics – collecting numbers for the sake of numbers because they look…well pretty! This goes back to understanding what your goals are, and understanding the important metrics to drive your business forward, which might be different next quarter or next year, because your business is constantly changing and evolving.

Which data reporting tools can I use that don’t require a degree in data science?

These are my top 3 (and free) reporting tools:

  • Google Analytics
    Think of Google Analytics like a super-smart assistant that comes free with your website. It helps you understand what’s happening on your site. For example, it can tell you how many people visit your site, where they come from, and what they do while they’re there. This is like getting a report card on your website’s performance, helping you know what’s working well and what you might need to improve
  • Google Tag Manager
    Imagine Google Tag Manager as a toolbox that helps you keep track of what visitors do on your website, like clicking links or watching videos, without needing to be a tech whiz. It’s like putting little sensors all over your site to see what’s popular and what’s not, helping you make your website better for everyone who visits. Once set up, these tags can trigger when certain events happen on your site to collect the data. For example, if you wanted to know every time someone was 30% down the page and had spent two minutes on it – we can measure that.
  • Looker Studio
    Think of Looker Studio as a magic art studio where you can create easy-to-understand pictures and charts with your website’s data. It’s like gathering puzzle pieces (data) from different boxes (sources) and putting them together to see the whole picture. You can watch your business’s journey, like tracking a path on a map, and see where people get on and where they hop off. If you’re not into pictures, you can arrange the data in simple lists or tables to make sense of it your way.

The power of data reporting lies not in the numbers themselves, but in the stories they tell and the actions they inspire. Your business stands to gain immensely from harnessing the potential of measurement marketing. 

Have you unlocked the full potential of your business?