This week, I took my car in for an oil change, and within 20 minutes, I was back on the road. The cashier handed me the paperwork, I glanced at it briefly, paid, and then drove away.
Later that day, I received a call telling me that I had left a second pair of keys at the oil-change shop, so I went back to pick them up.
The employee that gave me my keys back was also the one that had worked on the car. After handing me the keys, he went over my diagnostic report with me, and I’m glad that he did!
He explained that the highlighted yellow portion of the report was a cracked radiator and that I needed to fix it immediately. I had no idea. But I was incredibly appreciative as he walked me through my options, estimates, and considerations.
If I hadn’t gone back, I’d still be driving my ‘98 Honda Accord still oozing coolant up and down roads until it would finally fail. And that would be on me — I was moving too fast, not paying attention to what my technician was trying to tell me.
Unfortunately, the first experience I had — the one where I paid my bill and rushed out the door — is how most clients interact with their agency reports. It gets sent to their inbox every month, it covers routine information, and they aren’t used to seeing anything of importance on their print-out.
But at Formada, our approach to reporting is built around growing your business. This means we have an experienced technician, the one working on your campaigns, write a summary of results, explain what actions were taken, and then propose next steps and opportunities.
We do not let our clients drive around with inefficient marketing.
Definition & Purpose of Performance Metrics
The first part of our report looks almost like every other agency report. We have to report back to you the performance of your marketing. Whether that’s a Google Ad campaign or blogging, we have specific metrics we use to measure performance.
Where many agencies fall short on their reporting is in providing context.
Every metric on our reports includes a definition of what it is, how it measures performance, and what changes in these metrics might mean. Additionally, we show most of our metrics in the context of larger trends. It’s not enough to look at month-to-month performance for most metrics, we believe it’s vital to show several months of results so we can view trendlines.
Using the car analogy, I don’t know much about radiators so I needed the technician to define the difference between a leak, a crack, and a failure. All of that information helped me make decisions more confidently.
Explanation of Optimization and Actions Undertaken
When you pay someone to work on your digital marketing, you assume that they are regularly optimizing the campaigns. We believe that most agencies do this, but it is difficult to know what exactly they are doing. Often, they will just provide a vague “We optimized it” without explaining the what and why of their actions.
At Formada, our monthly reports feature explanations of our optimizations and actions undertaken that month. We typically like to explain it in a three-step method:
- Which area(s) of optimization did we focus on?
- What changes did we make?
- What is our intended outcome resulting from these changes?
This helps you understand exactly what we did and what we intend for these optimizations and actions to do.
The equivalent with a mechanic is taking it in and having the mechanic say that they “fixed it” and nothing else. While this is true and could be sufficient for many people, it is always good to know what was fixed.
Proposed Next Steps & Opportunities
This is where Formada’s reports really shine! We included recommendations in every report. We don’t just want you to know what has happened, but what we plan to do about it!
These recommendations are written by technicians and subject matter experts. This means instead of the information passing through an account manager, you get to hear directly from the team members working on your campaign.
But our client success managers (similar to an account manager) helps connect the dots between different tactics, campaign improvements, and your business goals. They will often sum up recommendations across all your tactics to provide clear direction.
We also highlight areas of opportunity, whether that’s a new tactic, campaign change, or new creative. Our team comes to you with recommendations on what’s next.
I appreciated that the technician didn’t push me hard on fixing the radiator with them. He gave me an estimate, but also told me that it might make more sense to go to a place where they specialized in radiators. He talked through all of my options, including a reminder that the vehicle in question is a ‘98 Honda Accord and it may not be worth reviving in the long-run. Hard truths, my friend, but completely accurate.
Guidance — Not Reports
Businesses only grow their marketing performance through clear direction. Our monthly reports are more than numbers—it is a map for opportunity.