Charting a Course: How Digital Marketing Agencies Can Prove Their Value to Clients

Written on
Aug 21, 2015 
Kelli Simpson  |

A Q&A with DataHero’s marketing manager Kelli Simpson about challenges digital marketing professionals experience when communicating performance metrics to clients.

Q: What are the most common challenges digital marketing agencies face when collaborating with clients and communicating their value-add?

A: With more and more advanced analytics tools available, marketers are being held to a higher standard than ever before. It’s no longer enough to simply do marketing. Digital marketers are expected to measure and understand the value of each of their efforts with regard to leads, levels of engagement, reach, customers and revenue, as well as overall impact on the business. They need to prove their return on investment is high enough to warrant the effort, time and money spent.

In such a competitive landscape, every marketer needs a large number of tools at his or her disposal to quickly make strategic decisions, communicate objectives to clients and back up performance with metrics. But making quick strategic decisions with so much data is difficult if they aren’t using the right charts or visualizations.

Q: What types of charts help to best communicate results?

A: In order to reach goals and validate accomplishments, digital marketers should leverage solutions, including visual content coordination tools, publishing tools, data analytics tools and communications tools to better visualize their metrics. Tools that help communicate tangible value. Correlating information on one chart can verify the effectiveness for different campaigns or themes. The chart below highlights different conversions by matched search query, showing where dollars should be allocated for an AdWords campaign.

A chart like the one below is helpful in presenting data on how leads were generated, either by source or campaign, and how to best target potential customers.

If you are planning to prove cost-per-click (CPC) versus goals completed by matched search query – which is very valuable in evaluating campaigns – the chart below reveals the data clearly and concisely.

Q: How do self-service tools elicit better productivity and better results?

A: Ease of use is top-of-mind for marketers. To reduce time and effort spent on projects and delivering metrics, digital marketing agencies should put their trust in the self-service model. These types of solutions are increasing in popularity behind the successes of companies like Dropbox and Survey Monkey. The reason is written on the walls: Sitting through training, viewing demos and troubleshooting is extremely time-consuming and limits productivity. Instead of having to flag down IT to troubleshoot an issue or for an ad-hoc request, marketers are able to take matters in their own hands – regardless of technical proficiency.

Q: How can digital marketing agencies benefit from self-service data analysis solutions and provide a consistent framework for measuring performance?

A: To deliver maximum value to clients, digital marketing agencies are growing ever more dependent on collecting the right data, highlighting key insights and communicating them back to clients through visualizations. The services marketers use everyday, such as HubSpot and Google Analytics, are home to vital data. But many of these services are disparate data sources. By combining this data into accurate charts, marketers can better see how a specific marketing campaign impacts a client. While this is becoming a necessary task for many digital marketers, gathering all this data takes an exuberate amount of time to pull together.

Self-service data analysis tools can help alleviate the pain-points often associated with communicating performance metrics, as they provide a process for marketers to follow, with easy-to-generate visualizations. Not only do these tools dramatically reduce time spent on analysis and visualizations, but they also create an easy and digestible way to present the data to clients.

Data is the foundation for digital marketers to create a campaign, prove its worth, and solidify the engagement with a client.


Kelli Simpson is the marketing manager at DataHero, a provider of self-service cloud BI. She specializes in content marketing, customer acquisition, site analytics and email marketing.

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