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By: Casey Grimes on July 27th, 2023

Mastering the Art of Marketing Reporting

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Casey Grimes is a new contributor to CMSWire. As the Manager of Martech Innovation at DemandLab, he works to accelerate revenue for B2B clients. With over 15 years of technical and marketing expertise, Casey also helps bring new products and solutions to market for both prospects and clients. 


Marketers can be empowered to create impactful reports that cut through the noise, speak to their audience effectively and surface the metrics that matter.

The Gist

  • Master reporting. Marketing reporting is pivotal in optimizing strategies.
  • Overcome challenges. Successful marketers navigate reporting hurdles effectively.
  • Balance matters. Harmonize data explanation and exploration in reports.                                                                   

Marketing reporting plays a pivotal role in evaluating the success of campaigns, optimizing strategies and guiding future decision-making. Nonetheless, effectively demonstrating marketing’s influence during report presentations can be an intricate task, riddled with frequent challenges. 

From grappling with an overwhelming deluge of data to struggling to communicate effectively with the intended audience, marketers often encounter hurdles that hinder the extraction of meaningful insights from their efforts. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With actionable tips and strategies to overcome these challenges in marketing reporting, marketers can be empowered to create impactful reports that cut through the noise, speak to their audience effectively and surface the metrics that truly matter in driving success.

The Secret to Good Marketing Reports: You Need Multiple Reports

When making marketing reports, you will generally have two audiences with two very different outcomes: the various stakeholders within your organization who need high-level insight into marketing and the marketing team looking for continual improvement through deep data analysis. The first group needs reports that explain data, while the second needs reports that explore data. Both types of data analysis are highly useful but have key differences.

Explanation reports:

  • Have one visualization that answers one question; don’t try to “combine” data points!
  • Speak directly to business questions rather than show statistics; think, “What channel performed best this quarter?” vs. “here are all the channels we used this quarter.”
  • Are digestible at a high level and require minimal knowledge outside of the report itself.

Exploration reports: 

  • Show the entire universe of your efforts and impacts 
  • Often need analysis to find the key insights explanation reports don’t surface. 
  • Can be used to develop/test marketing experiments 

If you’re wondering whether your audience needs explanation or exploration reporting, ask these key questions: 

  • Who needs this report’s information communicated to them?
  • What insights or actions do you want to communicate?
  • How will the report’s data strengthen your argument or make action clearer?

Tips for Marketing Reporting Success

  • Marketers often underestimate their expertise and assume the audience knows better about data. As the expert, you know what matters the most. Interpret data, facilitate understanding and encourage action by finding key insights and distilling them into bite-sized chunks. Communicate with confidence when using data.
  • A common error marketers make is to present reports with extensive underlying data and complexity, neglecting the need for clear explanations. It’s tempting to showcase the thorough analysis you’ve performed; however, this makes your audience redo the analysis themselves! Concentrate on delivering the necessary information they require.
  • It’s important — especially in live presentations — to let your audience know their role. What are the key action items and decisions that need to be made by them? Stating this at the beginning of your presentation prepares attendees to consider outcomes and keep them in mind during your analysis.
  • Sometimes, you may need to present reporting when you don’t know what action items must be considered. In these cases, prepare and suggest possible next steps as a springboard for discussion. Making your audience make a decision versus brainstorming helps keep them engaged and focused on outcomes.
  • If brevity is the soul of wit, then being succinct is the soul of insight. What would you highlight if you only had two minutes to tell your audience what they need to know? It’s not uncommon for leaders who are in executive roles to demonstrate High D behaviors, so “be brief, be bright, be gone!” matters.

Final Thoughts on Successful Marketing Reports 

The key to marketing reporting success is finding the balance between delivering clear explanations and exploring the depths of data. By recognizing the different needs of your audience and providing reports that address their specific requirements, you can effectively communicate insights, prompt action and drive continual improvement. 

Remember to be concise, purposeful and adaptable, and you will be able to ensure that your reports resonate with stakeholders and deliver meaningful impact.


To learn more about how DemandLab can help you master the art of marketing reporting, contact us.