5 reasons marketing agencies should automate client reporting
Client reporting is labor-intensive, but it hardly reveals the amount of effort that goes behind it. At the same time, marketing agencies cannot do without it. To prove their contribution to a company’s ROI, client reports have to be presented monthly, sometimes more frequently. The best solution to ensure quality, accuracy, and timely deliveries, is to automate client reporting.
What are automated reports?
It simply means eliminating redundant methods of communication by using reporting software with intelligent features and cutting-edge technology. Besides assessing complex analytics, these tools mostly have the in-built drag-and-drop interface, making reporting much easier. It will give you the power to generate interactive dashboards that explains your story more vividly. And almost no time needs to be spent on checking the report.
How do automated marketing reports work?
The automated marketing reports system pulls data from client’s various marketing channels, like websites, Google Analytics, social media platforms, etc. Then it converts these data into organized and readable formats and presents them through meaningful and visually appealing graphs. The reports are distributed to the clients at a pre-determined frequency.
Don’t you think it would save at least one manpower effort? Or, it might be more than that. Let us see in detail how automating client reports can help further.
Reasons marketing agencies must rely on automated reporting for clients
1. Saves time, effort, and cost
Extracting and collecting data from different sources, collating it in Excel, and then presenting it to the client is a lengthy process. At times, it can take up to 5 -6 hours a day/month. Manual steps further increase the chances of errors. As a study states, the chances of human error is between 18-40% when manually entering data into a simple Excel. This can shoot up to 100% if it’s a complex spreadsheet.
To err is human, but we can’t afford it. So, it’s ideal to automate client reporting. It helps teams meet timeliness better, be more productive, and focus more on other client relationship activities. And, in the end, share error-free reports without any delays.
An automated marketing report also saves time by eliminating the review step, which is otherwise intensely manual. So, even your managers can dedicate their time to more productive tasks.
2. Highly customizable
Most of the tools used for generating automated reports are highly customizable. So, if you think automation will churn out the “one size, fits all” message, then you are incorrect!
What content and with what specific filters you want to share the reports depends on you. Your client will see only the information, which is required for them. This also saves the readers’ time.
When and how do you want to share the report? At what frequency would the client receive the dashboards and whether through email or workflow? With automated marketing reports, you can customize all these. And also the content of the message accompanying your dashboard.
Print or embed
Unlike traditional spreadsheets, you can conveniently embed these reports or print them out. And all this can be done without investing extra time and effort in making any changes in the automated reporting system. For instance, you can convert a Power BI dashboard into a PowerPoint presentation or get a PDF with one click.
3. Real-time data accessible remotely
In the digital era, data becomes obsolete within the blink of an eye. So, clients want to stay updated with real-time data. For instance, how your marketing agency’s efforts had positively impacted the company’s ROI last week will not hold any importance this week. How your previous campaign boosted the brand image will hardly be important after a new campaign is launched.
Using automated marketing reports, you can present your client with live data. Thus, making your reports more valuable to your clients. Furthermore, these reports can be accessed from anywhere, anytime.
In the current global scenario, where 25-30% of the workforce is forecasted to work from home, remote accessibility of reports is as important as any other feature.
Check out this blog as well: Are you tracking the right digital marketing KPIs?
4. Centralized reporting
The traditional method of reporting involved a lot of repetitive tasks and lacked standardization. It had the reports scattered and stored at different places and different formats.
Once you start to automate client reporting, you will have a standardized pattern, making it easier to streamline the in-house processes. You can view all your clients’ reports from one place, thus saving your time. It also gives a bird-eye view of your overall progress.
5. Better client retention
We have already discussed how you can share real-time reports with your clients – no long emails, just a URL, which your client can use from any device. Imagine a scenario where your client has a sudden meeting and wants “Traffic by Channel break-up” from you. In the traditional method, you would have to ask your employee to work extra hours or buy out more time from your client. But, if you use modern advanced reporting tools, finding out this data will be a matter of few minutes.
Customers’ experience is the key to their retention, and marketing agencies invest loads of time, money, and effort to ensure this. At times, it is even more valued than the service and price you offer.
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Opting to automate a client reporting system is like hiring a dedicated resource for each of your clients without adding desks and costs. You can personalize their experience and serve them with more accurate dashboards that are more transparent and zero error.
Despite the proven benefits, many businesses have not yet decided on embracing automated marketing reports. The fear of the unknown, budget restriction, unqualified staff, lack of technical knowledge, and so on so forth are the various reasons they give.
But, if you can overcome these challenges, you’ll be among the leaders to reap the benefits like employee efficiency, cost-benefit, timesaving, scalability, and increased customer engagement.
Want to seize these opportunities and have a competitive edge? Try out some of the best reporting software/tools like Power BI, Tableau, Google Data Studio, or Qlikview, and see the difference yourself.