You Ask, I Answer: Marketing Reporting Frequency?

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You Ask, I Answer: Marketing Reporting Frequency?

Monica asks, “What frequency should our reporting be?”

You Ask, I Answer: Marketing Reporting Frequency?

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In today’s episode, Monica asks, “What frequency should our reporting be?” It’s a challenging question because every business and every department is different. But the short answer is: you need to know what your decision window is – how often are you making decisions? For example, are you making budgetary decisions or program decisions on a monthly basis or on a quarterly basis? How fast do you need to make a decision?

Once you know the answer, which may vary based on even program or campaign, then the minimum frequency for reporting should be half of the decision time. So let’s say you are reporting on your email marketing on a monthly basis, you’re going to make decisions monthly, right? When we say, “Each month, we’re going to look at, we’re going to make a decision about how much we’re going to send email.” Your reporting frequency should be twice a month. That essentially lets us see what happened over the past one plus a halfway point. Right. So, I guess technically, the reporting time should be double the decision time – twice as many at a minimum.

So, if you are running ads and you’re adjusting the budget weekly, you should be doing reporting at least twice a week, at least at the bare minimum so that you can course-correct. When you get to the halfway point of that decision time, you can look at it and go, “Wow, things have really gone off the rails. Let’s pause, call, raise the red flag, etc.” Or you might say, “Wow, things are going really well. Now, let’s turn up the knob, let’s invest more.”

If your reporting window is the same as your decision window, then you don’t get an opportunity to change course along the way. You do change course at the end, and you either may miss an opportunity or you may waste a whole bunch of money or a whole bunch of time. So, that’s the frequency that your reporting should be at a minimum. At a maximum, it should be however often you can make a decision. So, if you have to look at something on a month-to-month basis but you make adjustments or you want to be able to make adjustments more frequently than twice a month, what’s your capacity to make adjustments? Right, to make those minor decisions along the way? Is it weekly? Is it daily? How often can you make adjustments? And are those adjustments meaningful?

Sometimes, like maybe you’re doing organic social media posting, you can add an extra post today or don’t post on TikTok today, whatever the case may be. Those minor decisions can inform your reporting window as well because you could check in real quick on a dashboard or something and say, “Yeah, we’re looking a little soft on TikTok. Let’s add another video on that system.”

So, that’s the general advice. Your frequency for reporting should be half the duration of the decision window, which in turn means twice as many reports as decisions so that you can check at the bare minimum, the halfway point, and then report as often as you’re able to make adjustments based on operational tempo based on the resources you have available to you. But the bare minimum is to have your final report and have a halfway point check-in. Good question! If you’d like this video, go ahead and hit that subscribe button.

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