How Investing in a Client Reporting Tool Boosts Agency Efficiency

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Investing in a client reporting tool streamlines agency operations, gaining instant access to key metrics and delivering a polished, professional output. This article covers the cost benefits of these tools, highlighting how they enhance efficiency and maximize an agency's billable time. Explore case studies, weigh the pros and cons of purchasing versus custom-building, and use this guide to make informed decisions about client reporting solutions.

Have you just had it with manual reporting? It’s probably why you’re here.

Working for an agency has plenty of advantages, but the monthly grind of compiling client data is not one of them.

Client Reporting Notes Always Sunny in Philadelphia Digital Marketing MEME

Even so, reporting is still a top priority–it’s what you and your clients need to make data-informed decisions. That said, there must be an easier way to get the job done.

You’ve probably heard of tools like AgencyAnalytics and wondered, “Is this worth the investment?” It’s an understandable concern, especially since there’s only so much budget at your disposal. However, client reporting solutions are more than just a fancy automation system–they’re a way to free up your time and reduce that unbearable administrative work.

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of a client reporting tool, including real-life case studies and an overview of the pros and cons of buying vs. building a custom solution.

7 Benefits of Adopting a Client Reporting Tool

A client reporting tool has many benefits, such as instant access to metrics and a more professional finish (to name a few). Here's a detailed overview of how it improves your agency's operational efficiency.

1. Mitigate the Risk of Human Errors

Data is more than arbitrary numbers–it reflects marketing performance. A report with inaccuracies may steer your client’s business off-course, something that must be avoided at all costs.

Manual reporting methods (such as copy-paste screenshots or typing out metrics across multiple platforms) open the doors to human errors. Think about it–adding an unintended ‘0’ at the end of your client’s Total Sales figure will skew their financial projections and lead to misguided business decisions.

As a growing agency, you need the proper reporting infrastructure to avoid these mishaps. A client reporting tool like AgencyAnalytics automates the entire data retrieval process across 80 platforms, ensuring that the info you provide to clients is spic and span every time. 

That also means you won’t have to log into individual accounts or manually weave data across multiple marketing channels. Which leads us to our next point.

Before AgencyAnalytics, we manually compiled data from various sources, which was time-consuming and labor-intensive. Now, we streamline the reporting process, maximize resources, and save time. We can quickly create custom reports and automate the data collection process. This reduces the risk of errors and ensures that the data is accurate.  

Daniel Dye, President, Native Rank

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2. Save Billable Hours

Consider this–every hour devoted to manual reporting is an hour not spent on fostering client relationships, launching marketing campaigns, or expanding your client base.

As the saying goes, time is money. It’s quite literal for agencies since you’ve got billable hours to allocate. Therefore, it’s about implementing the right agency processes to maximize this time and reinvest in more high-level activities.

Winning back that billable time is vital for our agency's growth because time is our most valuable resource. When we spend time on manual tasks like report generation, we take away time from more important tasks like implementing marketing campaigns. This can lead to missed deadlines, unhappy clients, and lost revenue.

Ben Paine, Managing Director, Digital Nomads HQ

To put this into context, here are some insights gathered from 121 agencies during our latest Marketing Agency Benchmarks Survey:

  • 58% of agencies send reports every month.

  • 59% of agencies report on six or more KPIs per client (with the majority reporting between 6 to 10 KPIs).

Number of KPIs marketing agencies track per client

Let’s do the math. If you’ve got 50 clients who all track 6 KPIs each, that’s already 300 data points to keep track of. If you’re spending 2 hours per client report each month, that’s 100 billable hours dissipated into thin air!

Now consider that 52% of AgencyAnalytics users spend under 30 minutes per client report. That’s something to think about (if you’re serious about growth, that is). 

To up your efficiency game even more, check out the new Smart Reports feature

Select your client's marketing platforms, and watch your Smart Report fully populate in just 11 seconds! This auto-generated report includes the most commonly tracked metrics from various integrations, which significantly reduces preparation time. Want to add customization? No worries. Drag and drop widgets as needed, or even include custom metrics–it’s all up to you.

3. Present Branded, Professional Reporting

Presentation is everything when you’re an agency. Your clients are paying close attention to your professionalism, brand aesthetic, and everything in between. While reporting is more data-driven, it’s still an opportunity to spice things up with white labeling

With AgencyAnalytics, adding your signature brand colors, logo, and unique flair is effortless. Showcase your agency’s brand without compromising data integrity–or billable time. 

AgencyAnalytics White Label Feature

Effortlessly infuse your agency’s brand identity into dashboards and reports. Customize your reporting in just a few clicks–it’s all possible with AgencyAnalytics, free for 14 days.

Here’s another nifty feature to take advantage of–add a custom cover page to client reports. Go wild with your branding, experiment with backgrounds, and add custom text. The possibilities are endless!

AgencyAnalytics' white labeling feature allows us to present reports under our agency's brand, reinforcing our identity and professionalism. We can add our agency's logo, use specific color schemes, and even include personalized cover pages. This consistent branding builds trust and positions our agency as a reliable partner in our clients' success.

Jessica Crist, Production Manager, High Five Media

Custom Client Report Cover Page Design Options

4. Access Multi-Campaign Data in One Interface

Jumping back into our Marketing Agency Benchmarks Report, 92% of agencies report tracking data from 3 or more platforms (see the exact breakdown below).

Average number of marketing platforms included  in client reports

This stat is another reason manual reporting isn’t sustainable. For instance, say you’ve got 30 clients who each run marketing campaigns on three platforms. When that end-of-month reporting period rolls around, it means logging into at least 90 different accounts to access metrics. Plus, this doesn’t include data compilation or analyzing the metrics on a deeper level. 

Here’s another thing–your client’s individual campaigns don’t exist in siloes. Agencies must connect the dots and report on holistic marketing performance to stand out. 

For example, say your ecommerce client runs social media and PPC campaigns. They use various platforms like Facebook, Google Ads, and Google Analytics. How will your agency show the website traffic generated from social media? What about the conversion rate on their website from PPC campaigns?

No need to rely on manual data patchwork. Use AgencyAnalytics to consolidate this data and stream it into dashboards or reports

Our internal agency team members and clients need accurate cross-channel data, which is available in a few clicks with AgencyAnalytics. It’s a must-have when preparing for a client reporting call, sharing reports with clients, or moving between platforms during a client call. The ability to be nimble and move between cross-channel data points 'on the go' provides value to our clients and supports our retention efforts in a major way.

Dominic Hill, VP Digital, Ecom Department

AgencyAnalytics Custom Dashboard Example

Present a comprehensive overview of your client’s marketing performance. Use pre-built dashboards or create your own with AgencyAnalytics–try it free for 14 days.

5. Streamline the Client Onboarding Process

Onboarding a new client is an exciting part of the job. It’s like starting with a clean slate–you have the opportunity to create a great first impression and show why your agency was the right choice. That said, the last thing you want is a disjointed or chaotic onboarding process that makes your new client have second thoughts. 

To put this in context, let’s say your new client previously used Microsoft Ads, Facebook, and Pinterest. Your agency is tasked with analyzing past performance, setting targets, and making recommendations. So, how exactly should you do that accurately but quickly? 

The answer is integrating their accounts with AgencyAnalytics, which provides instant access to their marketing data in a single interface. It makes it much easier to pinpoint historical trends, view side-by-side metrics, and set actionable goals. 

This streamlined approach speeds up client onboarding while creating a proper foundation for data-tracking later on. 

When onboarding new clients, there's a massive checklist of tasks: getting access to or creating ad accounts, websites, Google Analytics properties, Google Search Console, formulating a strategy–you know the drill. It's a tedious and lengthy process. With AgencyAnalytics, the step for implementing reporting is a snap. Because you can create reports with just a few clicks, that whole process is effortless, and anyone on the team can do it.

Graham Lumley, Director of Growth Marketing, Blackhawk 

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6. Improve Client Retention Rates

Landing clients is one part of the puzzle–keeping them is another. 

That’s why it’s essential to have a post-acquisition plan in place. A proper reporting system is vital to that, as it sets a high standard and consistently demonstrates your agency’s ability to deliver results. 

Without client reporting, it would be difficult to know whether a campaign is successful or not. Furthermore, client reporting helps build trust between businesses and their digital marketing agencies. By providing regular reports, businesses can see that their agencies are working hard to deliver results. This transparency is crucial for building long-term relationships between businesses and their digital marketing partners.

Guy Hudson, Founder, Bespoke Marketing Plans

Sharing data is also an unbiased way to show what you’ve worked on, which increases transparency and ensures effective communication. According to our Marketing Agency Benchmarks Survey, it’s the top contributor to client retention (cited by 36% of agencies).

Top Factors Influencing Marketing Agency Client Retention

So, how exactly should you ensure data transparency? 

With a client tool like AgencyAnalytics, it’s simple–grant client login access to live dashboards. This step gives clients the autonomy to check on their campaigns, which keeps them in the loop at all times.

We operate on trust, and transparency is required for trust. Providing a login means we have nothing to hide–because we don't! We want to be partners with our clients and in their success.

Lorianna Sprague, Vice President of Marketing, Trusted Search Marketing

AgencyAnalytics Client and Staff Login Feature

Give clients the exact real-time data they want to see. Create unlimited client and staff login profiles with AgencyAnalytics–it’s free for 14 days.

7. Enhance Sales Pitch Presentations

A sales pitch presentation is the chance to address a prospect’s pain points, introduce your agency’s services, and convince them to get on board. 

You’ve got one shot to make them want to sign on the dotted line. Why not provide a sneak peek of your future reporting practices? It’s a powerful way to reiterate your agency’s data-driven approach and how you’ll monitor progress. 

All you have to do is create a sample dashboard with AgencyAnalytics and click the “Present” button! Alternatively, infuse a couple of snapshots into your presentation–whichever you prefer.

Potential clients love seeing screenshots and demos of the marketing dashboard. Our clients have even bragged about our dashboards so much that another vendor reached out to ask how we built them!

Adam Palmer, President, Inertia Digital Marketing

AgencyAnalytics YouTube Dashboard - Presentation Mode

Add some reporting flavor to your next sales pitch presentation. Transform a dashboard into a live presentation tool with just the click of a button–try AgencyAnalytics today, it’s free for 14 days.

What AgencyAnalytics Customers Have To Say

Wondering how a client reporting tool is used in the real world?

Here’s how a few of our valued customers used AgencyAnalytics to maximize efficiency and win back billable hours. 

Using Reclaimed Time To Strengthen Ties With 500+ Clients

Based in Colorado, Native Rank is an enterprise-level agency with an impressive 500+ clients.

Given their extensive range of services–such as SEO, PPC, and social media–Founder Daniel Dye quickly recognized that a centralized reporting system was needed. It was the only way to track multiple client data points and reduce excessive manual work.

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Initially, Dye considered building a custom reporting platform, which seemed like a good idea in theory. After some exploration, it became apparent that this was a time-consuming process (and expensive, too). 

Instead of creating a platform from scratch, Dye decided to try AgencyAnalytics, especially since it offered the integrations they used the most (such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Facebook Ads). 

Using this client reporting tool also meant gaining access to real-time marketing data, allowing them to present accurate results to clients.

The platform is incredibly user-friendly and offers a wide range of reporting features that have helped us streamline our reporting process and provide more value to our clients. We highly recommend it to other marketing agencies looking to improve their reporting process and drive better results.

Daniel Dye
Daniel Dye
Native Rank

A Centralized Reporting Approach for Multi-Country Operations

Zib Digital is an enterprise-level, full-service agency operating in Australia, New Zealand, and India. With a growing portfolio of 500+ clients spanning six countries, CTO Pinku Ranpura recognized a better reporting system was needed. 

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Previously, producing client reports required up to three business days per month. It was no longer feasible since it left staff frustrated and with less time to focus on more impactful tasks. After trying other tools, Zib Digital ultimately invested in AgencyAnalytics for several reasons.

For starters, the automation of data retrieval has cut report preparation time to just 2 hours per month (in total). Granting login access also gives clients the autonomy to view their metrics, leading to fewer follow-ups and stronger retention rates.

Very happy with the overall tool, which gives you very accurate data. We chose AgencyAnalytics as its providing complete solutions for what we are after, giving us time to focus on performance-driven work.

Pinku Ranpura
Pinku Ranpura / CTO
Zib Digital

Report Customization Results in a Better Client Experience

Florida-based agency One Firefly works with over 600 tech industry clients, offering services like website development, graphics creation, and content marketing. 

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As the agency hit a growth spurt, manual reporting became an intensive exercise that took away from strategy development. Director of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, Jessica Weiss, realized that their staff needed quicker access to client data, especially for meetings or 1:1 conversations.

After assessing their team’s reporting needs, One Firefly went with AgencyAnalytics and has remained a customer for the past ten years. The range of advanced features–like report scheduling and duplicating templates–makes their job much easier, especially during onboarding. 

They’ve also reinvested their time into growing the agency and helping existing clients meet their goals.

AgencyAnalytics not only enables the team to have useful data at their fingertips, but also presents it in a palatable way for our clients to digest. Beyond time savings, the platform helps us keep the client conversation centered on strategy vs chasing down metrics and helping the client understand them.

Jessica Weiss
Jessica Weiss / Director of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships
One Firefly

Reporting Efficiency Leads to a Healthier Work-Life Balance

Raincross is a full-service, California-based agency with a keen focus on understanding the customer journey and using this data to make informed recommendations.

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As their agency began to scale, keeping up with reporting demands became exceedingly difficult. Plus, the team spent up to two hours creating each manual client report, which wasn’t time-effective or visually appealing. 

Instead of succumbing to manual reporting woes, Raincross took the leap and went with AgencyAnalytics. Now, they spend just 15 minutes per client report, which leaves more time to focus on client relationships. They’ve even discovered new platforms by exploring the range of integrations in AgencyAnalytics.

Their streamlined reporting approach also ensures employees don’t have to pull dreaded all-nighters just to produce reports. 

AgencyAnalytics has significantly cut down on the amount of time it takes us to gather data and build reports for our clients. I highly recommend AgencyAnalytics to any agency struggling to find a tool that will allow them to integrate multiple marketing channels into one concise reporting platform. We’ve found it to be the best out there.

Kevin Watts
Kevin Watts / President

Should You Buy or Build a Reporting Solution?

Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of a pre-built tool, you may be thinking, “Should I build my own reporting platform?”

After all, no two agencies are the same, and you may want a customized solution. To help guide your decision, consider the following.

Consider the Effect of Market Changes on Functionality

Things evolve pretty quickly in the marketing world. For example, consider the launch of Twitter (X)’s paid API, which was previously free. What does this mean for reporting platforms, exactly?

This API change had a significant impact on third-party tools that integrated with this widely-used social media platform. If you had a custom reporting solution, it may have resulted in additional expenses for API access and coding. 

Therefore, a custom-built tool isn’t a create-and-go exercise–it requires continuous attention and adaptation to evolving market changes. Otherwise, you’ll compromise the reporting experience or even end up with a non-functional platform.

We used custom-made reporting software, but when an API changed, it would require more time and expense to re-code. We also didn’t have all the features that AgencyAnalytics provides. Our recommendation? Let AgencyAnalytics take these problems away so you can focus on client results and other tasks.

Andrew Thomas, Technical Director, HookedOn Media

Automatically Pull Data From Over 80 Marketing Platforms To Create Client Reports in Just a Few Clicks.

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A Custom Reporting Solution Requires Capital and Resources

Moving further along the digital agency life cycle means more clients, more campaigns to manage, and more metrics to track.

Creating a custom reporting solution may seem ideal since you’ll have the autonomy to decide on its features and capabilities. On the flip side, this ambitious undertaking isn’t for everyone. It requires the right strategy, such as hiring an experienced developer (or team) and troubleshooting any issues. 

Sounds expensive, right? It certainly is and requires an ongoing monetary investment (remember, there’s platform maintenance). If you’re not careful, this recurring cost could add up and affect your agency’s profitability. 

Unless you have a lot of budget and time, don’t custom code your own reporting software. We’ve been there and done that. It just becomes an expense and a worry. 

Andrew Thomas, Technical Director, HookedOn Media

Here’s another consideration–if you’re not hiring additional resources, building a custom reporting solution will add yet another task for your existing employees, potentially preventing them from executing their other client deliverables. In the bigger scheme of things, it may not yield the ROI you initially hoped for, which could result in under-resourced client projects and even a higher churn rate. 

Using a readymade tool like AgencyAnalytics removes all of that extra background work. You’ll have more time to focus on growing your agency instead of resolving platform issues. 

By using a third-party reporting tool, agencies can save time and resources that would otherwise be spent on maintaining and updating a custom reporting solution. Instead, use that time to focus on important aspects of the business, such as client acquisition, campaign management, and strategy development. It also helps agencies to deliver more value and stay competitive.

Daniel Dye President Native Rank, Inc.

Use a 6-Step Buy vs. Build Decision-Making Framework

Seems like a lot to think about, right? 

We get it. A systematic approach is needed for this decision, especially since it involves a significant time and monetary investment. 

To help you weigh the pros and cons, consider the following six questions:

  • Does your agency absolutely need a custom reporting tool? Think back to why you started the agency and whether building a solution was one of your long-term goals.

  • Would a custom reporting tool differentiate your agency? If you’re going through the hassle of creating a platform, it should be a step above competitor offerings. Otherwise, it’ll take up billable time while providing marginal benefits.

  • Is building a custom platform an easy win? Realistically, this tool may take 6+ months to develop. Consider the complexity involved (like advanced coding) and whether it will provide maximum value in a reasonable timeframe.

  • Will a custom solution make the reporting process faster? Estimate how many reports your agency produces each month. Then, determine whether this build-from-scratch solution leads to better turnaround times.

  • Does your staff have the capability and capacity to create a platform? Unless you've already got a seasoned developer on board, your in-house team will need additional training. It may also take their attention away from existing clients or projects.

  • Is your agency financially equipped to build and maintain a reporting solution? Factor in all associated costs, such as hiring a full-time resource (or outsourced team), creating additional coding, adding new features, ongoing maintenance, and resolving in-platform issues. 

If you want to delve deeper into the build-or-buy debate, check out the in-depth ebook below. 

The 6-Step Build vs. Buy Framework

Download the eBook

Use a Reporting Solution Built Specifically for Agencies

Investing in a client reporting tool may initially seem like another expense on your agency’s credit card. 

As we’ve covered, though, it’s an indispensable tool that maximizes your staff’s time and meets increased reporting demands. It’s a systematic way to ensure things don’t spiral out of control each time a new client is onboarded while ensuring existing ones get maximum value. 

To sum it all up, use a client reporting tool like AgencyAnalytics to: 

  • Automate the retrieval of metrics across 80 marketing platforms into a single interface.

  • Add customization to your reporting through features like white labeling, drag-and-drop widgets, and annotations.

  • Create a replicable reporting process that speeds up onboarding and data tracking.

  • Attract new clients by sharing a preview of your robust reporting system.

Investing in AgencyAnalytics doesn’t mean breaking the bank, either. Check out the pricing page and choose the option that’s best for you! 

Interested in giving AgencyAnalytics a run first? Sign up for a free 14-day trial and see why this client reporting tool is trusted by 6,500 marketing agency users and counting. 

Faryal Khan

Written by

Faryal Khan

Faryal Khan is an experienced marketer and brand photographer with a passion for content creation. She creates value for brands through storytelling and captivating visuals.

Read more posts by Faryal Khan ›

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