What should the marketing report refresh rate be?

What should the marketing report refresh rate be?

Most people assume there is an ideal marketing report refresh rate. At least for a single client.
Some vendors suggest that “real time” is the best answer. However neither are true, in general.

Real Time?
Some marketing data needs to be acted upon quickly. If that’s so the people expected to react need the reports as soon as possible.
But the people “expected to react” may be in an agency or another supplier. Not in the client’s marketing department. If that’s the case then the marketing department doesn’t need real time reports. It’s the difference between the financial trader having frequent updates and the stockbroker’s client getting the more considered periodic update.
Other marketing data really ought to be cleansed. So that the viewers understand the information clearly.

Time Smoothing
Sometimes the high frequency (e.g. hourly) fluctuations can be very misleading. It can be important to “smooth” out these fluctuations so that people don’t misunderstand a typical short term fluctuation is indicating a longer term trend. So the refresh rate of the marketing reports should allow this smoothing.
This problem beset the financial markets with automated sell/buy instructions. A daily slightly abnormal short term fluctuation could precipitate an automated mass sell off.
We see the same smoothing issue with daily and weekly reporting in Google Analytics. The daily level can vary a lot during a week. But the long term weekly trend might be going up or down fairly smoothly.
So the refresh rate mustn’t panic the recipient needlessly. But Nor should the reporting refresh rate encourage a complacent perspective if that is risky.

Audience Requirement
This ought to be a paramount concern.
Some senior personnel won’t have the bandwidth to look at reporting more than once a month. Or perhaps once a quarter.
In which case the information needs to suit the periodic consumption. And include expert analysis on what the trends are since the past consumption point.
Multiple refresh Frequencies
You’ll guess that I don’t believe there is always a right answer. Not even for a single client. There may be multiple answers – for different people in different roles within the client. The data might get refreshed at a different rate from the comments.

Smart Marketing Reports helps marketing agencies pitch and deliver measurable marketing. We believe:

  • The full marketing potential of reporting isn’t used. This means marketing agencies sell less and lose clients earlier than they could.
  • Raw Marketing Data normally needs cleaning and manipulating before it is fit to be shown to executives. So ongoing support is required.
  • Self service cheap cloud based dashboards are rarely the best solution for ambitious agencies.

There are many reasons why. Discover more about our approach from the articles and thought leadership videos elsewhere on this site. And feel free to get in touch and have a chat.

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