3 Steps to Build Reports that Drive ROI

3 Steps to Build Reports that Drive ROI

The combination of data and technology are the fuel behind marketing and sales. One of the challenges for companies, though, is how that data provides convincing proof of return on investment. A recent study by Censuswide for Dun & Bradstreet shines light on how the right data and analytics can drive ROI.

The challenge

According to the report, most companies admit to struggling to build reports that drive ROI:

Numbers, numbers, numbers but no ROI

The D&B study shows that 92% of marketers recognize the importance of having the right data, but more than half said their efforts needed a rework. The reports generated just aren’t showing the results hoped for, or accurately reflecting ROI.

It’s critical for marketing departments to make building the right reports a top priority.  While marketers understand the importance of having the right data, they don’t know how to build a database and analytics process that can be relied on to prove ROI.

Step 1: An ever-changing landscape

The impact data has on both marketing and sales is huge. If companies generate the correct reports, teams can adapt more quickly to the ever-changing landscape brought about by changing algorithms and more fierce competition. Increasingly, marketing departments are being asked for data to prove their efforts are returning the investment made.

The best way to determine ROI is to build a report that shows, among other things:

  1. General performance
  2. Channel-based performance
  3. Source-based performance
  4. Campaign-based performance
  5. Key performance indicators

By building in the information needed to prove ROI from the start, it’s easier to adjust efforts on the shifting sands of marketing technology and data.

Inconsistent, vague reports

According to the D&B report, marketers are frustrated by the amount of data generated in their marketing reports, in part because those reports are not generated regularly. For most, the reports they receive are inadequate and delivered inconsistently.  This makes monitoring KPIs difficult, as fluctuations in the marketplace cannot be monitored except on a consistent, frequent basis, using the same data for each report.

Reporting on performance

Building reports that take into account KPIs, outside information and analytics, is crucial to determining return on investment. In what ways?

Step 2: Campaign performance clarity

Reports delivering the correct information, from several sources, on a regular daily or weekly basis will allow you to see with clarity how your campaigns are performing. Using Oracle Eloqua or Responsys, integrated with Adobe Analytics, can help you track your ongoing campaigns. This allows you to make changes quickly, target your efforts on effective campaigns and make adjustments to those with disappointing results.

The combination of Oracle Eloqua or Responsys and analytics platforms (Adobe, Google, Webtrends and other solutions) allows you to have true clarity on campaign performance. Your team will be able to see the impact mobile, for instance, is having on your campaign. It also allows you to have deep-dive reports that can identify hidden opportunities not otherwise found in less robust reporting.

Step 3: Automated data

The D&B study responses showed that most marketing departments either get too many, confusing reports, or not enough data on a regular basis. By setting the right parameters of data collection, then automating the reporting, it’s much easier for marketing departments to not only get the data they need, but get it routinely, allowing for quicker adjustments in campaigns, as needed.

For instance, properly integrating Oracle Eloqua or Responsys with Adobe Analytics, can give you bidirectional data sync, allowing you to score, nurture or add the segment data into existing campaigns or programs based on website interactions.

Reducing cart abandonment

For online businesses, cart abandonment is a huge problem; the latest statistics show the average cart abandonment rate is 67%. Having the right data to analyze why and how carts are abandoned allows you to develop a strong cart abandonment strategy, increasing ROI in the process.

There’s no question that developing the right reports, on a regular, timely basis, allows your marketing and sales teams to more quickly adjust to the ever-changing landscape of business today. At the same time,  these quick adjustments based on detailed data allow for solid marketing campaigns that increase customer loyalty and close more sales in less time..

You may also want to read 5 Steps to Growing Your Marketing Performance where we break down the steps you need to take to gain the fullest possible understanding of your marketing performance, not only at a campaign-specific level, but at an aggregate, executive level, including the full picture of marketing ROI.

This is the first in a series of articles produced in partnership with enautics. Next, we’ll dive deeper into best practices for reducing cart abandonment with Jaqi Saleem.

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