Providing tailored and relevant marketing insights is at the heart of successful client reporting. And that’s why custom marketing report builders are needed.
In the early stages, agencies often start with standard reporting templates. And sure, they get the job done if you’ve got limited resources and clients. But as things progress, you need solutions that are more than just “okay” (if you’re serious about growing your agency).
As Nathan Hawkes, President of Arcane Marketing, shares, “It’s important for us to do custom-tailored work. Each client needs unique reporting and expects specific kinds of results based on previously set expectations or business goals. Each report is as custom as the services provided.”
Using a one-size-fits-all reporting approach means missing critical details that could impact your clients’ decision-making. This cookie-cutter approach won’t fit the bill for more complex client campaigns (especially if you’re diversifying services or scaling).
A custom marketing report builder is a solution to these issues. It provides customization capabilities, visually captures your clients’ insights, and saves billable time.
If you’re not sure where to start, read on to learn more about:
Are custom report builders really worth the investment? The answer is a strong, resounding ‘yes’! Here are three reasons why they work well.
1. Laser Focus on Your Clients’ KPI Performance
When it comes to marketing–and anything in business–your clients are focused on results. And many times, they're not interested in frivolous trends. They want effective campaigns that actively contribute to their goals.
One of the worst things you can do is report back to the client some perceived huge win based on whatever metric it is you're using, only to hear back that they are not seeing any positive improvement on their end. So accurate reporting on the proper metrics that actually move the client's needle is crucial.
Keeping KPIs at the heart of your clients’ marketing efforts ensures optimal results. And using a custom report builder is a sure way to support those goals.
KPIs are just an extension of us living out our core values. KPIs keep us accountable, provide the client transparency into what work we deliver, and, most importantly, KPI's demonstrate that we are on track and achieving mutually agreed-upon goals. This is our agency's true north–"results for clients."
And here’s a bonus: it’s also easy to duplicate reports at the campaign level (instead of recreating a batch of reports). As you can see, a custom report builder sets the foundation for scalability and efficient reporting processes.
As CJ Dunbar, Brand Manager of Suite Edge, shares, "Start with a template. Set it up exactly as you will want it. Then clone it from there. It will save you hours of work if you are fastidious in creating the first one."
3. See Data in a New Light Through Visualization
With so much data to sift through, it can be challenging to identify the key insights that matter most to your clients.
Visualization helps marketing agencies identify patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent in raw data. By presenting data in a visual format, agencies can quickly spot trends, correlations, and anomalies that may be missed when reviewing data in a spreadsheet.
It's our job to tell a simple story through reporting to our clients. The report is the client's proof that what we are doing is benefiting their business in a positive way.
There are many different types of visualizations that marketing agencies commonly use to explore and communicate data insights. Some common types of visualizations include:
Bar charts: Compare data across different categories or groups.
Line charts: Show trends or changes in data over time.
Pie charts: Illustrate how data is distributed across different categories or groups.
Map charts: Highlight the distribution of a given metric based on location.
That’s where a custom marketing report builder saves the day–it’s essential for effective data visualization.
As Graham Lumley, Director of Marketing at Blackhawk Digital Marketing shares, "The data visualization provided by AgencyAnalytics report templates goes above and beyond the reports you can create in Google Sheets, and it's all at the click of a single button. We really appreciate the automation as well."
Breathe life into your clients’ data through compelling visuals. Choose the graphical representation that makes the most sense–it’s available on AgencyAnalytics with a free 14-day trial.
8 Top Features of a Custom Marketing Report Builder
We’ve covered the general benefits of a custom report builder, but how does it work practically?
Here’s an overview of the time-saving features your agency should know about.
1. Customizable Report & Dashboard Templates
Customizable report and dashboard templates are essential for custom marketing report builders. They provide agencies with the flexibility they need to create reporting that is specific to clients’ needs.
It’s just a matter of choosing a pre-built template, using it as is, or tweaking it as needed. This approach gives agencies valuable tools to streamline reporting workflows and cut down report creation time.
Our clients love their customized reports on data based on what they are most interested in understanding for their specific business. We start with a template for our new clients, and during their onboarding, we ask what their top KPIs are. We make sure to include those on the first page for them.
A little (or a lot) of personalization goes a long way–not only for visual purposes but also in solidifying your agency’s brand recognition.
As Ross Taylor, Owner of Alameda Internet Marketing, shares, "We white-labeled our own domain with our logo, which seems small but shows that we've invested in our business, and in turn, our clients’ success."
Why settle for bland? No more generic reports and dashboards–try the white-labeling feature on AgencyAnalytics for that extra visual edge. Sign up for a free 14-day trial today.
3. Automated Data Retrieval Through Marketing Integrations
Managing multiple clients and campaigns definitely has its challenges.
With a mounting to-do list and client requests to fulfill, do you really want your staff to resort to experiencing more manual reporting pains?
It’s tedious, laborious, and error-prone (which is a big no-no). Luckily, there’s a better solution at hand. You guessed it–a custom marketing report builder.
Reliability is the feature we look for. We needed a reporting tool that was going to connect with a lot of different channels and tools. We also needed the confidence it was going to pull the correct data.
Brian Ferritto, Partner at 42connect
With an automated reporting tool like AgencyAnalytics, you’ll have access to over 80 marketing integrations. The best part? Data retrieval is automatic. That means more time customizing your reporting and less time on tedious data collection.
From eCommerce to call tracking, there’s an extensive range of marketing platforms to choose from on AgencyAnalytics–it’s free with a 14-day trial.
4. Easy Creation of Custom Metrics
Standalone metrics from marketing platforms sometimes aren’t enough to tie into your clients’ overall goals.
For example, let’s say you’ve got a client with franchise businesses nationwide. They’re trying to promote a product and decided to run ad campaigns in different states. While there’s some variability (e.g., differences in marketing platforms used), there’s a common goal of getting conversions.
Listing performance by state just isn’t enough to see the full campaign performance. So how will you show this consolidated marketing performance, then?
Client dashboards and custom metrics are extremely valuable. We save a lot of time each month by sharing a dashboard where our clients can regularly check in and see status updates from our team. The ability to add custom metrics also makes things easier for us to aggregate KPIs across different channels.
Bryan Lozano, Vice President of Operations at Ad-Apt
Enhance your reports by creating custom metrics that tie directly into your clients’ KPIs and overall goals. That way, you’ll deliver reports with great meaning and relevance (while proving your worth in the process).
5. Annotations & Goals To Add More Context
Busy clients don’t have time to figure out every data point or wonder why there was a huge performance increase for a particular month. Sprinkle some much-needed context into your custom reports with annotations and goals.
Your clients rely on marketing experts like your agency to break things down further and provide explanations when needed. Adding context also clarifies complex insights and saves time from follow-up calls or e-mails.
We always review the data, making specific recommendations that will benefit the client. Data can be so in-depth and often needs context to evaluate how effective the campaign is, what needs to be adjusted, and how it impacts the long-term goal.
Add explanations to your clients’ marketing data visuals to show why you’re exceeding campaign goals. Clear up ambiguities and point out important trends–try it on AgencyAnalytics, it's free for 14 days.
6. Embeddable Content to Complement Marketing Insights
Got some external context you’d like to add to marketing reports? Perhaps it’s a YouTube video from your client’s latest marketing campaign. Or maybe you want to create a personalized video explaining their overall performance (which adds a touch of personalization).
Easy-peasy–add embeddable content to your clients’ marketing dashboards and enhance their overall reporting experience.
Our account managers provide an overview of the report via email, video, or over the phone. It makes it more personal, and our clients really like the recap. We make it easy for them to understand the main takeaways and account performance.
It’s no secret that transparency is critical to being a successful marketing agency. It’s especially important when it comes to things like your clients’ ad spend.
Transparency is crucial. When clients understand how they are being billed, it builds credibility, trust, and the potential for a long-term partnership. When fees are ambiguous, we have seen the opposite happen.
With ongoing PPC ad campaigns, it’s only natural that your clients want to know what has been spent. Don’t leave room for doubts or second guesses; add a PPC markup to your reports.
This customized approach will ensure that your clients are always in the loop. And, of course, it ensures client retention in the long run.
Clearly communicate your agency’s margins and your clients’ ad spend as time progresses. Add PPC markups to reports on AgencyAnalytics–start your free 14-day trial today.
8. Control Access with Client & Staff Management
Some agencies are concerned about giving clients login access to review real-time marketing data. On the plus side, it means that clients can check out the performance whenever they want.
This leads to fewer back-and-forth emails and phone calls, as clients don’t need to call and ask a simple question about a simple metric.
On the downside, it means clients may look premature data that hasn't had enough time to reach fruition (e.g., SEO insights that take time to generate). Additionally, clients may get lost in a sea of data that they don’t fully understand, leading to information overload.
The best of both worlds is using client and staff management tools to give clients access to their live dashboards but setting user permissions. That way, you'll provide user access to dashboards and reports without sharing too much information.
I use AgencyAnalytics to develop trust and rapport with prospective clients by pointing out that they will have the same access to the reporting as I have. This helps to create an environment of transparency, honesty, and trust.
The same thing applies to internal team members. By assigning permissions and allocating tasks, it’s easier to keep track of progress and make your staff's workflows more efficient.
Standard vs. Custom Reporting: What’s the Difference?
If you’re unsure about the difference between standard and custom reporting, let’s explore it further.
Provides snapshots of your clients’ marketing performance
Standard reporting often has a fixed, unchangeable format; custom reporting doesn’t
Both options visually show marketing progress
Standard reporting may have limited marketing integrations to choose from (if any)
Both offer pre-built reporting templates for ease of use
Custom reporting includes more sophisticated features (e.g., creating custom metrics)
As we’ve mentioned, standard reports may do the trick when you’re just getting your agency off the ground. But as you onboard more clients, reporting complexity increases (especially if you offer a range of services).
And so, it becomes exceedingly difficult to deliver meaningful reports without some level of customization to your clients' reports. That’s why a custom report builder is so important (especially one that’s built specifically for marketing agencies).
We feel our clients get the best value when we can interpret the data and provide recommendations. If a client has a specific reporting format, we will customize it to meet their goals.
Valerie Jennings, CEO of Jennings Social Media & MarTech
5 Examples of Custom Marketing Report Builders
Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of custom report builders, let’s see how it works in action.
1. SEO Custom Report Builder
What if you’re a full-fledged SEO agency (like Floodlight SEO) or you’re offering SEO services as part of your lineup?
Back in the day, we had our staff working on SEO reports all day long. Our employees also didn’t like working on reports because it was very time-consuming. With AgencyAnalytics, we headed into a new era of reporting. It is no longer seen as dreadful work, we save lots of time, and our reports have also become way more valuable to our customers.
SEO Audit findings (e.g., any site issues ranked by severity, overall site score)
Package your clients’ insights into your very own customized SEO report. Use this pre-built template or create your own on AgencyAnalytics–it’s free for 14 days.
The best part? All of AgencyAnalytics’ reporting templates are customizable. That means you’ll have the flexibility to add more insights, remove a few, or create a unique template.
Using a web analytics report and an SEO report side by side helps us show our clients a correlation between SEO and Traffic. We merge this data with a custom template that tracks conversions and Stripe data to show traffic growth.
No two clients’ social media campaigns are the same. Invest in a custom social media report builder and provide tailored insights–see what it’s about on AgencyAnalytics; start your free 14-day trial today.
3. PPC Custom Report Builder
Reporting on your clients’ PPC analytics doesn’t have to be a complicated exercise. Use a handy PPC reporting tool to show your clients exactly what you delivered.
Use a PPC custom report builder to help your clients understand the impact of their paid ad campaigns. Deliver comprehensive, in-depth reports by using AgencyAnalytics–try it today, it’s free for 14 days.
4. Digital Marketing Custom Report Builder
Let’s say your clients have multiple digital marketing campaigns to monitor. In that case, consolidate those insights by using a digital marketing report builder.
Include important insights like:
An executive summary of your clients’ overall marketing performance
Changes to SEO rankings
An overview of social media performance across multiple platforms
On the other hand, what if you’re looking for a platform-specific report builder? You’ve got that option too. Here’s an example for further context.
5. Google Analytics Custom Report Builder
Another popular platform is Google Analytics. After all, it’s often the go-to marketing platform to get more granular insights on website performance.
But let’s be real–there’s just so much information on there. It’s easy to go on the backend of Google Analytics and not know where to navigate (or what all those numbers mean). Someday, it will be just as easy to do the same thing with Google Analytics 4.
Thankfully, a custom Google Analytics dashboard is all you need to save the day. Customize it as you please and include key insights like:
Impress Your Clients with Beautiful Custom Reports and Dashboards
Custom report builders are a must-have for agencies looking to deliver more impactful and tailored reporting to their clients. They provide flexibility, scalability, and customization capabilities that can help agencies stand out in a crowded market.
From KPI performance tracking to data visualization and collaboration, a custom report builder can help you take your reporting to the next level.
AgencyAnalytics helps us by simplifying our reporting processes, eliminating hours and hours of manual grunt work, and demonstrating our value to our clients. Our clients appreciate the transparency and frequency of reporting. It's an amazing selling tool when we're pitching potential customers and has significantly contributed to our growth.
Graham Lumley, Director of Marketing, Blackhawk Digital Marketing
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.