If you can’t convey the real value you’re delivering to your client, your agency is in trouble. And the best way to not only consistently deliver value but also convey that value to your agency clients is with a strong reporting solution. After all, as Peter Drucker said, “What gets measured gets managed.”

If you’ve opted to custom build an SEM reporting solution— rather than purchase an off-the-shelf solution — there are a lot of factors to consider as you develop it. At TangoCode, we work with marketing agencies like yours every day to develop these custom solutions — so we understand just how crucial it is to take the time to determine which features you need.

Before you begin the process of designing your custom reporting solution, here are five questions your agency should ask itself.

1. What tools are you using?

Whether you’re running a huge agency or a smaller start-up, you’re likely using a lot of different tracking tools. It’s important that you consider all the tools you use on a regular basis and design a custom SEM reporting solution that integrates with all of these tools.
Be sure you consider not only your online tools, but also any tracking and reporting tools used in your offline activities.

2. What are your internal KPIs?

The internal KPIs you use for tracking individual campaigns are probably already front and center in your mind when designing your custom reporting solution.
But it’s important that you thoroughly evaluate all of the KPIs you will need to track in your business, not just those used in evaluating the success of your digital marketing or social media campaigns.
For example:

  • How will you determine the number of hours needed to manage each client contract so you can determine when a client is using more time and resources than they are paying for?
  • How will you track employee output and input or know when you have too much man power on a single contract or project?

If you can’t track your campaigns’ internal key performance indicators, your reporting has already failed.

3. What are your clients’ KPIs?

Once you have a list of your internal KPIs, it’s time to determine your external KPIs, which could include:

  • Cost per conversion
  • Average order value
  • Overall return on investment

Depending on each of your clients’ goals, these KPIs may be very different from one another. Some clients will measure CPM and CPC, while others may only evaluate your success based on CPC. But it’s still essential that your reporting solution measure both of them
effectively and efficiently. And as your custom reporting solution will track KPIs for multiple client accounts, you’ll want to ensure that your solution allows customization for each client.

4. Which departments should be included?

Combining department APIs and KPIs can help give a more complete picture of how your business is running — but it may also make the data more complex and challenging to read. Only you can decide which departments need to be included. If you limit the number of departments, consider what that may do to your reporting data if and when you decide to scale your business in the future.

5. What automation features does the solution offer?

Automation is of tremendous importance when planning out a custom SEM reporting solution. With automation, you can:

  • Focus on strategy
  • Spend less time on tactics
  • Reduce human error

While designing a custom SEM reporting solution for L2T Media, a leading digital marketing agency in Chicago, TangoCode ran into a challenge with their automation. One of the company’s biggest goals was to be able to scale their company and grow. A big factor in their ability to scale the business was automation and the ability to save time on tasks they did all the time. We ultimately automated all of L2T’s repetitive digital marketing tasks, including display marketing and PPC placement and management. Because we were able to automate so much of their workload, L2T Media was able to grow from managing 100 Google AdWords campaigns to managing 700.