If you think reporting is just presenting a bunch of numbers and graphs, you’re mistaken. The art...
Data is what makes Inbound marketing great, and monthly reporting is a key part of this. Here’s what we’ve done to optimise and improve our reports with a new tool.
Data is what makes Inbound marketing great, and monthly reporting is a key part of this. Here’s what we’ve done to optimise and improve our reports using Databox.
We love data. It’s a pivotal part of a successful inbound strategy, and reporting on that data - sifting through the numbers to find the salient gems - is a key part of our ongoing strategy with clients. We’ve recently optimised our reporting methodology by introducing Databox to our toolbox.
“Data will talk to you if you are willing to listen.” - Jim Bergesen
We would like to take this time to explain why we took this step and the benefits we have seen in a short space of time - as well as some lessons learnt if you are looking to make the transition.
Why did we transition to Databox?
- Databox provides integrated reporting of various digital tools that we use, which gives you good oversight of the overall performance of your inbound and digital campaigns.
- The presentation of the data is professional, available in real-time and customisable to the metrics that matter to you and your business.
- Social media activity can be viewed together so you’re not having to jump between slides to compare platforms.
- Clients are able to receive a daily and/or weekly update on the five core metrics which are important to your business.
- Databox currently integrates the data from 61 different platforms into their reporting portal including, HubSpot Marketing and CRM, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Google Search Console, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and many more; which allows us to report on a wider range of metrics - not to mention the ability their integration to Zapier will give us.
- We’re able to monitor the performance of all our clients in one dashboard, allowing us to identify trends across clients which may be particular to the South African situation, and then to use these insights to improve your data.
- The automation of the collection of the data from multiple platforms allows us to concentrate on understanding how this data impacts your business, marketing, and sales, whether there are any actions which are required from this information, and whether we need to realign or add to our strategy to exceed the goals that we have set together.
- We want to create a reporting experience for clients that allow us to focus on the strategy and insights and together come up with creative solutions or tactics that will continue to benefit their business as opposed to getting caught up in the multitude of numbers.
- The report itself is shorter (which busy person doesn’t love that!) due to the high level of integration and the ability to customise the slides for you.
What are the benefits to our team and to our clients - straight from their mouths
- It’s easy to get a clear picture and overview of all the data in one place, which has allowed the team to build the theory and a foundation of the story the data tells before deep-diving into the associated data. Integrated data drives the insights and recommendations
- It’s easy for us and the client to look over the data throughout the month providing a quick overview on the health of the accounts. “For me the time it saves us for reporting on social is the best. Before we would need to go to several different social media platforms and sift through all the analytics to find what we need, and some of the platforms have painful analytics systems. Now it's all there in one place,” says Shiran Sugerman, Inbound Marketing Strategist and Brand Editor.
- There is less time spent pulling in data, thus allowing more time for strategic analyses while putting together insights and recommendations. The snapshot on each data board encompasses the important numbers and where to start the in depth digging to fully understand what the data is telling us.
- Databox is visually versatile and appealing. It has made all data easy to understand for our clients. It shows them all the numbers and insights in a few snapshots, and from their point of view, is much more efficient as a reporting template. Further, most clients have to produce an internal report for their board, and Databox enables the efficient pulling of the required numbers. “My clients love databox. They say that it presents all the relevant data on one slide so it makes it easier to understand how all the data fits together,” says Nicole Sengers, Senior Inbound Marketing Strategist.
As with any new tool or process, there were some learnings we experienced on our journey to Databox experts.
Some lessons learnt
- Select the metrics you’re going to monitor monthly and those which are going to be used for your weekly scorecard with your client - they have metrics they need to report on - so help them!
- Databox does not replace a deep dive into the HubSpot portal - the data gives you the information, your insights will allow you to build on your strategy
- Databox does not do away with all spreadsheets
- Make sure you choose the same time frames for your databoards
- Don’t forget the sales people! As an inbound marketing and sales agency reporting on the sales results is essential - and we have had numerous requests for leader borders for internal competitions
- Choose an internal databox champion - not everyone can be the expert so ensure that if the requirements of reporting are more complex than the templates require, you have an internal champion who can build what you need.
- Create templates for your agency and tweak them per client - but don’t be tempted to tweak them every month!
- Add additional templates and use the HubSpot Campaign and Strategy tools for additional reporting
Remember, as quoted by Albert Einstein, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
Analysis and interpretation, and making recommendations based on the numbers, is the real art of reporting and though Databox helps us speed up the initial part of the reporting process, it’s important to remember that it’s the inbound strategy analysing and contextualising the data that makes it matter to our clients and the growth of their brands.
Check out our handy reporting template, How to consolidate your inbound marketing reporting into 12 slides, to help you start to build great reports, or subscribe to our blog and never miss a post.