If you read our blog post “Only the Best Marketing Agencies Will Have the Answer to This Question,” you already know exactly what one of the golden questions is when interviewing marketing agencies. We’re not going to give it away here, because, well, we want you to read all of our blogs. But, we are going to tell you the next question you need to ask a digital marketing agency before signing on the dotted line. That question is, “What will reporting and analytics look like?” 

Once a digital marketing agency starts tracking their efforts, they also have to start analyzing them and report the findings to you. 

There used to be this standard of basic PowerPoint presentations. People would put these together and just pull different numbers. Times have changed, that’s for sure. In today’s world, we’re able to set up real-time analytics dashboards, allowing us to check-in and have constant access to data. 

It’s up to you and your digital marketing agency to decide what reporting will look like, depending on what works for you. Whether that’s having them stand up in the front of the room and present their data and findings, having your own access to their real-time dashboards or somewhere in between, it all depends on how much you want or need to know. 

This structure and setup may also change as time goes on, as the relationship strengthens and trust builds. Maybe, in the beginning, you want to see things a little closer, a little more consistently. Then, as things progress and you see results, you don’t have to check-in as regularly. In terms of communication early on, it’s better to have a cadence that is over-communicative. Over-communication at the start sets the framework for the trust that will build and the work that will be done. 

A good reporting rule of thumb is to have a cadence with more frequency at the beginning of a relationship to ensure that both teams are running parallel paths. Over time, you can usually pare back the frequency as both parties get to know each other, gain trust and develop a cohesive routine. At the beginning of a relationship, we often start with weekly reporting to our clients, and then, over time, we get into a groove where we start to do bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly reporting. Together, you’ll learn what’s working and what’s not.

At its core, marketing really is somewhat of an educated guess. It’s on the digital marketing agency you work with to over-communicate expectations up front and to continue to have clear communication when things get rolling. As downright cheesy as it is, honesty is the best policy and it’s better to communicate everything, and we mean everything, early on. That way, everyone’s on the same page and there’s no surprise when you get a quarterly report and realize you’re not getting what you were promised. There’s an inherent level of risk going into any marketing engagement, making clear communication and expectation-setting all the more necessary. It’s also important to keep in mind that communication with your agency shouldn’t feel like a used car salesman’s pitch; you should be getting clear and specific insights about how your agency is moving the needle for your business goals.  You should be able to have a conversation about results, and in general, with your agency and talk about them together as a “team.” It should never be a one sided convo.

This kind of communication, especially when it comes to reporting and analytics, is what makes certain digital marketing agencies stand out from the rest. It’s a part of what’s been vital in building our relationships and fostering our success as a New Jersey agency for New Jersey businesses. 

To dig deeper into how you can find yourself an agency that’ll help you get to where you want to go, we created a free, downloadable guide that has everything you need to know. Click here to download your copy and get started on the path to success.