Is your marketing agency reporting the right metrics?

If you represent a business or company that has been using the services of a marketing agency, it may be time to start asking yourself what the agency is actually doing for you. Specifically in the ever-important area of metrics.

Marketing agencies often bombard clients each month with a plethora of different marketing metrics, running the gamut from website visitor counts and bounce rates to number of email opens involved in an email campaign and more. Also reported are initiatives that have been executed for the “media buy schedule,” which refers to the procurement of media inventory wherein the media buying feature negotiates price and placement for advertisements. And while these are all important elements to measure, it doesn’t mean a whole lot to the client.

We actually see this tactic as a “smoke and mirrors” approach, wherein agencies throw a myriad of information, data and stats at a client which can’t be comprehended, forcing the client to wonder what questions to ask while pondering what is actually useful in all the “white noise.”

Illustrating the point

Here’s an analogy that illustrates our point regarding marketing agencies and their metrics quite clearly: Imagine meeting with a financial planner who presents you with his monthly newsletter that analyzes financial markets, and after looking the document over your head begins to spend trying to comprehend all of the variables impacting the financial markets. At this point, you begin questioning whether or not he is doing the right thing with your money, and understandably so; if you lose on your investments, it’s not your advisers’’ fault because your adviser updated you every month and you failed to understand that the market was tanking.

In this case, the situation is unacceptable – your adviser should be reporting on your goals, performance and objectives because it’s not YOUR responsibility to understand the impact and what needs to change – that’s why you have a financial adviser. Similarly, the marketing agency must understand the impact marketing metrics have on your business and report the correct metrics that matter to the client’s business.

In the end, we can’t stress enough how clients of digital marketing agencies should always question how the agency is impacting their business, and when it comes to lead generation (versus branding) this boils down to two major elements: Attribution reporting and defining business objectives. Can the agency execute an initiative and claim that they delivered “X” number of “class one” leads to a sales at a cost-per-lead that meets the defined value?

Clients traditionally don’t concern themselves with how many web visitors they obtained from an initiative. Rather, they need – and want – to know what initiatives impacted their business and which ones didn’t.

Maybe it is time to have a sit-down with your marketing agency and ask them how the bottom-line of your business is impacted by their work?