9 tips to get to good insights in your weekly/monthly/quarterly report?

Hi there,

In this post, I will share some my guiding principles to get to good insights in your weekly/monthly/quarterly report for a marketing campaign.

1. Understand what your audience cares about?

  • This requires you to know who read your report or how your report could be used? Is it only your immediate contact, or their bosses, their regional counterparts, another agency? Different stakeholders have different information need so understand your primary audience info need is critical for success.
  • You should tweak the focus, the level of details depending on the audience.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask them how they/their bosses think our weekly/monthly/quarterly report should include.

2. Start with top-line summary of how your campaign is performing against targets

  • This requires you to know KPIs and targets for your campaigns. You should differentiate between the overall business objective to marketing objective to communication objective to your campaign objective. Ideally, your campaign objective should ladle up to your business objective. You could see an example in this video by Google Analytics team.
  • Know the difference between primary KPIs and Optimisation Metrics. For example, Click through rate is not a KPI for your typical brand campaign. Why? because a high or low click through rate would not tell you if there are more or less people who are aware of your brand, like your brand more, understand about the product benefits or intent to buy from you.
  • Avoid: Discussing performance Without aligning the campaign objectives, KPIs and targets
    • You can’t know if things are going well or not, without knowing what you are aiming for
  • Avoid: No alignment on measurement plan
    If everyone couldn’t agree on how we should measure the KPIs or progress, then you can’t discuss progress.

3. Structure your insights in order of importance

  • Think about business impact, don’t start with an insight that potentially impacts only 1% of the program performance, unless it has strategic importance
  • Avoid unnecessary details: Always understand how your insights are related to the bigger picture, the entire campaign performance. Focus on higher business impact or strategic importance

4. Double-check your data

  • Yes Double Check it to ensure that you are analysing accurate data especially when you see a big difference week on week (like more than 25%)

5. Focus your insight on action

Structure your comment to answer the following questions:

  • What is it? [the observation]
  • Why is it important in relation to the campaign objectives? [the explanation]
  • What are we going to do next? [the insight]

6. Use numbers in context

  • Context: think holistically across channels, take the long view (beyond WoW), understand consumer trends, market place to assess how external factor may impact results
  • Try to include numbers (absolute or percentage) in your comments.
  • Adjective is subjective: to me, “great performance” means 50% better than expected but it’s just me. For others, “great performance” may mean 20% better than expected or 200%.
  • Consider statistical significance before making recommendation

7. Use the dimensions that matter to the client

Example: If your audience talks mainly in terms of markets, make sure you are showing data cut by market. Similarly for user segments, timeframe, i.e. weeks / months / quarters?

8. Is it understandable for everyone?

Would it make sense, be understandable for people who are not working on your campaign?

9. Common sense

Take a step back and put yourself in your client’s shoes, consumer’s shoes, does it still make sense?


That’s it from me. As per usual, any questions or comments are welcome.


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