In order to be considered effective, a digital advertising report should answer key questions so campaigners can make the best decisions with the information they have available. Unfortunately, most ad reports are nothing more than a deluge of data generated from a reporting platform and fail to deliver the insights a campaign needs.
If these are the types of digital advertising reports that you usually see, here’s how you can decode them to ensure you’re making informed decisions.
Articulate The Goal
Before you start reviewing the report, remind yourself of the goal of the ad campaign, which should have been clearly articulated before a single dollar was spent. Was the goal fundraising, email signups, event registrations, persuasion, or something else?
Keeping your goal as the north star can help you eliminate much of the irrelevant data included in a typical advertising report.
Have Questions To Be Answered
The report should inform you about next steps. For many, the report can be an exercise in simply checking the box, but this is where campaigns and their partners tend to lose sight of the objective.
Ask questions like, “Did we achieve our goal?”, “Are there other alternatives to reaching our goal that are less expensive?”, or “Should we keep running these ads?”. If your report doesn’t help you answer these questions, then you need more data or insight.
Look Beyond The Metrics
Don’t get lost in digital marketing jargon like impressions, click through rates, or views which are metrics that the individuals placing the ads should decode and explain as they relate to your true objective. Building an email list, for example, is about adding active, unique emails to your campaign’s house file. That takes combining a couple of metrics to get at the real number. Press your agency partner to include this in the report.
Ask For Clarification
Asking questions doesn’t make you dumb. When you see a metric that you want clarified, ask your agency to explain it. What is considered a view, for example, is a question that may seem obvious but could mean several different things like a view to completion, just a video impression, or viewed for six seconds. If you don’t have clarity on these points, you can’t make informed decisions.
The best way to decode sometimes overwhelming digital advertising reports is to articulate goals and ask questions. Your agency will perform better when they know what matters to your campaign. The curse of digital marketing is that everything can be measured but not everything matters.