by Andrew Olson

Data, Dashboards & Reality

3 min read

You already know that communication is essential for any successful marketing partnership. It’s the foundation for all the trust and collaboration between agency and client. 

Sharing ideas and goals, collaborating on strategies, and actually giving a shit about one another is a great way to be!

What effective communication looks like to me:

Clear & concise: Partners need to communicate their ideas and goals in a way that’s clear and understandable.

Open & honest: Things don’t always go how we expect- it’s important to be able to share thoughts and feelings openly and honestly, so we can build trust and rapport.

Timeliness: Keep everyone on the same page by communicating often about milestones and immediately if there is a problem.

Proactive: With things constantly changing, staying on the ball is key. Taking initiative even when there are no pressing issues keeps everyone winning. 

Is your marketing data being reported correctly?

Responsible & effective communication about data looks like:

Clear & concise: Agencies need to communicate their results in a way that’s easy to understand.

Open & honest: Things don’t always go how we expect- it’s important to be able to share failures or issues openly, so we can grow together.

Timeliness: Keep everyone on the same page by providing up to date reporting with recent & relevant data.

Proactive: Taking initiative to identify trends, making decisions quickly based on data to support the strategy and avoid wasting money.

Your data should always be used in your reporting.

Dashboards can be really useful and they can also really suck- it’s up to you to determine if the platform is working for you based on what it offers and how easy it is to use.

I hear all the time that the dashboards or the long reports, graphs, get it…just aren’t matching up with the reality of your call boards.

Feeling uneasy?

Go to your agency and ask them for a quick walk through of your ads account. You don’t even need access to the account. 

Ask for a screenshare walk through of how they have it setup, where you can see what the targeting is, general setup, and some stats that should be the same stats you’re seeing in a dashboard. 

Give your agency the opportunity to show what they’re doing and why but if they’re unable or unwilling to give a clear answer on how money is being spent you kind of already have your answer on a gut feeling you’ve been having. 

If the agency says “Cool, no problem, let’s show you” and all the data is lining up with your call board & data sources…then reflect on why you think there’s an issue 😁

Understanding your ROI using your data is the only way you will truly know if your marketing investments with an agency are paying off. 

What is marketing ROI?

Here’s the simple equation on how to calculate ROI for marketing:


If you’re used to seeing website traffic, keyword rankings or impressions (!!!) as measurements of your marketing success, check out this ROI Guide to understand how to get a real understanding of exactly what your marketing is doing to your bottom line.

Serious business people love our new reporting format (literally one page reporting) because they can come back to 2 ROI lines on their PPC & Organic results.

It’s ridiculously simple and the clarity has sent the quality of our relationships with clients through the ROOF.

Want to know more about why we killed traditional reporting? Read it here



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