By: Jaimie Hefelfinger

I am still buzzing from the excitement of this year’s Olympic Games. Summer and Winter alike—if the Olympics are on, I am watching them.

Every year, I notice the same trend in my observations. When the Olympics first start, I am in awe of the athletes (“Can you believe that someone can jump so high, run so fast, flip while balancing on a beam?!”) However, as the days go by, I start to get a little more critical (“Did I see a wobble? Were their toes pointed? Was there a lag in their start?”) I start to get a familiarity in the specifics of the sports and a benchmark for what it will take to win gold. I listen to the commentators and learn from their expertise.

There is a great parallel here between the Olympics and digital campaigns. Put on your imagination cap for a second and pretend that Suni Lee is our campaign, your advertiser is a novice spectator at home, and you are Nastia Liukin pointing out the magnificence of it all. We can’t expect our advertisers to understand how wonderfully Suni Lee performed without some assistance. We need to be there for them to point out the nuances and details to establish it was a gold winning performance. Let’s break down some of the ways you can add this extra layer of service and expertise during the campaign management process to help you stand out against the competition and make you hard to cancel.

When it comes to reporting it is, without a doubt, easiest to just email over a campaign report and call it a day. We are all busy and that can be a quick thing to check off our “to do” list. However, a lot of the performance and success of the campaign can be lost in this process. You are relying on the advertiser opening Excel and understanding the data to its fullest extent. You are also missing the chance to explain how your team achieved these statistics in the first place.

Rather than just sending over data in a spreadsheet, there are some ways you can make the reporting process more impactful:

  1. Use Reporting to Tell a Story: Review the highlights of the data and break those down into takeaways the advertiser can connect back to their business. For instance, if the report shows 100 conversions, translate that data into words: “We had 100 people purchase tickets for your upcoming event.” Relating the numbers back to real customers makes you much harder to cancel. Ideally, you can do this in-person/over the phone or Zoom, but you can also send these takeaways as bullet points in an email.
  2. Use Visualization Tools: Charts and graphs can make the data more attractive and impactful. Few people can look at numbers on a spreadsheet and gather the full effect. Charts and graphs not only help make the data more digestible, but also give you a chance to highlight key information. These can punch up a wrap up report that you are delivering in-person or add extra flair to an email. If you are not a data visualization wizard, don’t worry! We have easy-to-use templates ready for you here.
  3. Describe Optimizations: Perhaps the best thing you can do when presenting reports is talk through what optimizations your team made to achieve success. One of the biggest differentiators you pushed during the pitch was your ability to drive performance. Prove that now! These campaigns are not “set it and forget it”—they require a lot of expertise and finesse, and that should not be forgotten or taken for granted. Work with your buying team to understand what they are doing on the backend to achieve performance and clearly communicate that with your advertiser. This could also be great time to review or determine benchmarks for their specific campaign.
  4. Make Recommendation: Lastly, use this time to make recommendations on the campaign moving forward. These recommendations might be as simple as pushing budget towards a specific tactic, or as large as introducing new formats or platforms. Whichever avenue the recommendations fall under, the message to your advertiser is clear: we are not just letting your campaign stay stagnant. Instead, we are constantly optimizing and thinking how we can improve performance.

Following these tips for campaign management and reporting can go a long way with your advertiser. Taking the time to go above and beyond and prove what you’re doing for them will help connect the dots. Your vested interest in their business will show that this partnership is more than just a digital campaign, and that will make you hard to cancel.