14 Reporting and Business Intelligence Tools For Your Marketing Toolkit

Whether you’re conducting a blog traffic audit or analyzing the success of your most recent social media campaign, it’s undeniable that data is an integral part of any marketing role.

As HubSpot’s Director of Analytics, Bridget Zingale, says, “Reporting and attribution haverevolutionized marketing in every industry. Marketing data allows businesses to make more informed decisions about their audiences’ needs, challenges, and interests.”

Fortunately, there are dozens of analytics tools for marketers with the ability to collect data from different sources, crunch it effectively, and deliver helpful campaign analysis.

Download Now: Free Marketing Reporting Templates

Ultimately, reporting tools should do more than just calculate — they should also make the marketer’s job easier, and more productive. Creating attractive and readable reports is key to ensuring that the results of your work are clear for your entire team.

Here, let’s dive into some of the best data reporting tools, as well as some effective business intelligence (BI) platforms, to enable you to properly analyze your work.

Best Business Intelligence & Data Reporting Tools

As Zingale notes, “Data points such as age, ethnicity, gender, location, education, and employment have informed marketing teams and heightened the impact of campaigns across the board.”

Good tools you use should give you the above metrics — but greattools give you more. If you’re one of the 75% of marketerswho report ROI from marketing campaigns, you’re going to need reliable, accurate data. Let’s explore the 14 best tools to help get you the data you need.

1. HubSpot

Price: Free

HubSpot’sfree marketing analytics softwareis useful for keeping all of your needs, including reporting, in one place. HubSpot lets you combine all of your marketing efforts into one report, or mix-and-match your different assets to create different reports for different clients and needs.

HubSpot's analytics

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HubSpot’s marketing analytics dashboard is just as customizable, allowing you to add and remove different reports with ease. Best of all, you can get both a general overview and specific insights into your work’s performance, since you can easily move between different marketing reports within HubSpot.

2. Calendar

Price: Free plan, or $6-$8/mo.

Calendar offers analytics of a slightly different sort: productivity. It has a number of features designed to analyze how your team’s time is spent. By tracking your moment-to-moment activities on a daily basis, you can identify key areas in which your schedule could be improved.

Calendar's Analytics dashboard

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As important as it is to have your marketing analytics at your fingertips, knowing how you use your time is just as important for maximizing output. Calendar’s clear and simple reporting tools give you helpful reports on what your agenda looks like and what you can do to make it better.

3. DashThis

Price: $33-$499/mo.

DashThis is an effective tool for keeping up with marketing analytics at a glance. As its name suggests, DashThis is a dashboard that provides clear data on your KPIs for campaigns. You can access quick metrics and reports from your dashboard, shown below:

An example of a report from DashThis.

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DashThis lets you select a template and then automatically fills that template with your data, greatly streamlining the reporting process. It also exports data into PDF files, which can be easily shared between team members.

4. Raven Tools

Price: $39-$399/mo.

Raven Tools offers many of the tools expected from reporting software — SEO analysis, social media engagement, funnel performance tracking — as well as competitor comparison.

A collection of metrics options for the Raven Tools dashboard.

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Whether it’s big-picture analyses like domain authority or small-scale comparisons of site functionality, Raven Tools lets you stay on top of how you’re faring in competitive spaces. Additionally, its drag-and-drop editor and report generator makes creating custom, professional-grade marketing reports easier.

5. Megalytic

Price: $40-$400/mo.

Megalytic eases the process of combining marketing data from lots of different sources. Plenty of tools on this list allow for the integration of different types of data, but Megalytic is especially designed to import data from a range of marketing software.

An example of a report from Megalytic.

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It takes only a couple of moments to access data from Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, Adwords, and more on Megalytic, and it can even process and report data stored in CSV files. If you’re looking to produce a comprehensive report that pulls together loads of disparate data into one place, Megalytic is a smart choice.

6. Klipfolio

Price: $49-$399/mo.

As important as it is for reporting tools to effectively take in and analyze data, they need to be able to produce readable reports, as well. Klipfolio is great for making sure your reports can be read and accessed with ease across technologies. Your results can be accessed on a single dashboard that updates in real-time.

The sophisticated dashboard of analytics from Klipfolio.

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Additionally, Klipfolio allows you to share access to your reports through Slack, email, or custom links, and it also enables you to sync your dashboards in real time across multiple devices such as smartphones, web browsers, and even TV screens. Being able to easily pull up your analytics dashboard at any moment on any number of devices is crucial for being able to report on-the-go or from various locations.

7. Mixpanel

Price: Free plan, or $89/mo.

Mixpanel is a tracking and reporting software tool that was initially created primarily for product managers, not marketers. As a result, its interface isn’t as streamlined or marketing-driven as some of the other options on this list, but it makes up for this with powerful analytics tools that give insight into how your work is faring.

Mixpanel is particularly attuned to identifying trends in engagement and count. It tracks how people engage with certain products over time and how different features influence user behavior with bright, colorful graphs.

Mixpanel campaign metrics and dashboard.

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If you’re especially interested in keeping track of how a certain site or product is performing, it can be a valuable tool for reporting on that kind of information. Mixpanel allows you to produce readable reports of uniquely high-level data analysis.

8. Intercom

Price: $87-$153/mo. 

Although Intercom is a messaging platform first and foremost, it also delivers a deep view of a company’s customer base. Through integrations with over 100 marketing tools, Intercom lets marketers track, segment, and identify similarities between their customers. One of the best use cases for Intercom’s BI features is account-based marketing and messaging.

Intercom's ABM messaging tool.

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Intercom displays performance figures for each stage of your sales and marketing funnel, helping you see where the best opportunities lie and how to tap into them. You can also break down metrics by individual representatives, teams, timeframes, and more.

9. G2

Price: Free

G2 is the go-to website for stacking up software tools against one another. G2 gives detailed charts for every category of marketing software, explaining the strengths and weaknesses of each available product.

HubSpot's G2 page with reviews and responses.

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Need an enterprise resource planning tool? G2 covers those. What about an e-commerce platform? G2 can help you pick the best option in that category, too. Certain services, including staffing and translation services, are also reviewed by G2.

10. Databox

Price: Free plan, or $49-$248/mo.

Through integrations with HubSpot CRM, Google Analytics, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more, Databox compiles popular marketing services and social media into one interface. It comes with pre-configured report templates, but users can also design custom reports.Think of Databox like a dashboard for your dashboards, where you can see valuable marketing and sales metrics.

Databox's breakdown of Analytics from Marketing and Sales.

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The reporting tool lets you view campaign KPIs, check progress, calculate investment returns, and receive notifications when metrics fall outside of specified ranges. Databox has a desktop version, of course, but it also displays data on mobile and via applications like Slack.

Statisticians and analysts may be more comfortable with reporting and BI than marketers, but these tools make it easy. Pick the right ones, and get data-driven campaign insights with ease.

11. MaxG

Price: Free plan, or $49-$499/mo.

MaxG is a platform that leverages AI to drive results. Their software prioritizes recommendations when delivering insights to eliminate guesswork about how to improve content.

The reports are broken down into metrics, shown below. MaxG’s software keeps track of how many users interacted with various content across your webpages.

MaxG's metrics by KPI.

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The platform offers insights on multiple metrics, including email campaigns, landing pages, and CTAs. In addition to performance recommendations, the tool also provides resources that educate its users about various topics, like an informative blog post.

12. Microsoft Power BI

Price: $9.99-$4,995/mo.

This service is offered by Microsoft. If you want to integrate data directly into reports, this is a good tool for you. Power BI is a useful tool, and was formulated by the engineers at the company so users can get powerful, full-scale analytics at a low cost.

An exported Analytics report from Excel via Power BI.

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Power BI’s analytics are able to scale for organizations of any size. It boasts built-in AI software that offers custom data metrics. You’ll also have a brilliant display of visualizations to go along with your insights.

You can use Power BI to query your data and edit it without affecting other programs you use. In addition to an Excel integration, the software’s dashboard is easy to navigate.

13. Datapine

Price: Contact for pricing

With Datapine, you’ll have access to reporting tools that communicate KPIs on a single dashboard. The quick access to real-time, accurate metrics saves you time and keeps your team on the same page.

If you don’t have much technical experience, you won’t have to worry — Datapine is easy to navigate and analyze. The platform is also highly integratable, so you can customize results from other sources.

Datapine's organized Analytics dashboard.

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Personalize further by dragging and dropping KPIs that mean the most onto your dashboard. Datapine gives you access to a global performance filter and predictive analysis. Essentially, the AI-powered software combs through data and suggests improvements.

Let’s say you need an inclusive, sophisticated report that’s quick to gather. Datapine lets you export dashboards by emails, URL, or with an embed code, which is handy for your presentation.

14. Zoho Analytics

Price: $22-$445/mo.

Zoho Analytics is a part of the larger Zoho Cloud software suite. With it, you can synchronize data that’s spread across multiple sources. The data will sync on a periodic basis so you won’t have to worry about continuously deducing the numbers.

Like other platforms, Zoho’s reports are completely customizable. Some of the options you can include are split columns, cleanup data, and calculated fields. This is so you can receive the data that matters most to your business goals.

Zoho Analytics' expansive global insights dashboard.

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If you want to compare data from multiple sources, add lookup columns so they’ll be included in reports. As another feature of reports, format the data to your liking. With over 40 chart types, like geographical maps, funnels, tables, and heat maps, reports can be extremely detailed and streamlined.

As marketers, we use data daily. It’s an integral part of what we have to do for our jobs. That’s why it’s a necessity to have data that works for you.

If, right now, your data reporting tool is nothing short of a headache, one of these tools can be a great places to start. They’re going to offer you personalized results that you can share with your team, which will keep everyone aligned.

Originally published Jul 30, 2020 4:30:00 PM, updated July 30 2020


Marketing Reporting

19 Ways to Spend Your Marketing Budget Next Quarter

The tough part is over — your budget’s been approved for the next quarter. But now, another challenge looms how to spend that money.

You might be a little lost about how best to allocate your budget. Consider the resources and tools your team needs to do their jobs well. Additionally, leave a little room for celebrating your team for their wins — both big and small.

So, how do you accurately plan out that perfectly balanced budget?

Click here to download 8 free marketing budget templates.

Whether you have “use-it-or-lose-it” funds left over from the quarter, or are putting together a budget for the first time, here are some guidelines for allocating that money effectively.

1. Test new versions of calls-to-action that are performing poorly.

Estimated cost: $50 per call to action

In your analytics software, sort calls to action by click rate and conversion rate. Then, redesign ones with the lowest performance and test them. One way to do this is by performing an A/B test, which will show you which design your audience prefers.

Perhaps a simple design change is in order to attract more visitors, like choosing a different photo. Or, maybe tweaking the wording can strengthen the connection you make with leads.

This test will be useful in identifying the best ways to further prospects along in their buying journey.

2. Identify improvement opportunities on your homepage.

Estimated cost: $150

Install heat map tracking software, like Hotjar or Crazy Egg, on your homepage. This software will show where people are clicking and how far they are scrolling down the page.

A Hotjar heatmap example.

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These tools will help you determine if your audience is finding the content you want them to see the most. You’ll gain a good idea of if you need to restructure your webpages to be more effective.

3. Revise landing page copy.

Estimated cost: $150 per page

There’s always room for improvement on your landing pages. Start with pages that have conversion rates of less than 20% and rework the language to tune it into your target persona’s needs.

If you are unsure which language will resonate with your audience, conduct keyword research and perform A/B tests. Additionally, do a little social listening. These methods will help you understand how to connect with your audience on multiple pages.

4. Find SEO keyword opportunities on your website.

Estimated cost: $250

SEO keywords help you use language that improves rank on search engines and boost acquisition. For instance, if you spot a couple of offers that aren’t performing as well as you’d hoped, research the keywords surrounding that topic and revise your offers accordingly.

Find software that has built-in SEO tools, like HubSpot’s CRM. These tools optimize your content to get found on search engines.

5. Do a social media engagement analysis.

Estimated cost: $250

An analysis of social media messages will reveal which received the most engagement. Find out what worked best for your business. If you find that one or two channels are outperforming others, you can begin to infer how to plan for its use next quarter. Maybe you invest more into successful messages or deactivating underperforming accounts.

Or maybe you’ve found that there’s a huge YouTube audience you’re missing out on. Look at your analysis and decide if YouTube is worth investing in moving forward. Check out this resource for growing a YouTube audience in a little over a year for quick tips.

6. Conduct a usability test.

Estimated cost: $350

A usability test gives real feedback from potential customers. Similar to the results you get from a Net Promoter Score, you’ll figure out what customers are and aren’t liking about your web pages.

Using the results from a usability test, figure out how to revise the content on your website to be more user-friendly. For instance, if you find that your product pages aren’t effective, you can mark this as a place to work on for the next year.

7. Try ad retargeting to boost performance.

Estimated cost: $500

Ad retargeting catches those visitors who almost converted into customers. They bridge that gap so the process is completed. Retargeting ads give you the chance of hooking in a previously interested lead with a new, personalized offer.

Ad retargeting can give your acquisition numbers a boost. Look for ad retargeting options on social networks like Facebook, so you can build and revise ads within the channel.

8. Experiment with social media advertising.

Estimated cost: $500

Social media strategies should be evolving as customer behavior evolves. When you hit a block with planning, mix up your strategy. Try a new channel or a new approach with a network you’re already using

Advertising with social media takes some experimentation. Knowing your audience and conducting social listening gives you an idea of how and where to reach your audience, but knowing which copy, format, and design will be a hit calls for some testing.

9. Invest in employee knowledge.

Estimated cost: $500

Because marketing is an ever-changing industry, investing in learning opportunities makes your team well-equipped to excel in their day-to-day tasks. Training can come in the form of ebooks, blog posts, or webinars.

Additionally, scope out courses online that will give team members a deeper understanding of the industry. For example, HubSpot Academy offers courses about content marketing, social media marketing, and sales, in digestible, interactive lessons. Courses update as needed, so you don’t have to worry about getting a certification for an outdated skillset.

10. Celebrate your success of the past quarter.

Estimated cost: $500

Remember to allocate some funds to celebrate your colleagues and their wins for the quarter. This doesn’t have to be a huge blowout party, but it could be something small, like sending colleagues a care package, that will remind your team their hard work is appreciated.

Come up with superlatives and present them in a year-end meeting. Awards like “Best Movie Buff,” or “Funniest Marketer” build up morale.

11. Perform customer research.

Estimated cost: $500

Customer research is important. You may have done previous customer research at the start of the quarter, but allocate some funds on an ongoing basis to routinely refresh your understanding of customer behavior.

For instance, how are you monitoring the web behavior of your customers? Are you investing in social listening tools? And have you revised your personas to reflect the change in customers?

Invest in tools that will help you accurately perform customer research so you can develop new ideas and strategies for future campaigns.

12. Design an infographic.

Estimated cost: $150

Run an analysis, such as a deep dive into customer demographics on Twitter, and create an infographic to give your results a visual representation. This infographic can be used to provide a bird’s eye insight about a section of your customer base. Additionally, infographics can serve as great material for a blog post.

Check out this infographic about font sizes. On the surface, it sounds like a dull topic. An infographic makes the information more exciting and easier to comprehend.

A font size infographic.If you were to write a blog post about social media demographics in the marketing industry, for example, you could use the Twitter infographic to illustrate your findings. You can use a tool like Canva to design your infographic (Plus, it’s a tool that integrates with HubSpot).

13. Optimize your outdated blog posts for conversion.

Estimated cost: $100

Because the life of a blog post can span several months, and because you’ve published new content offers, you may need to revisit old posts and see if there’s a more relevant call to action to improve conversion on your blog.

SEO tools help identify posts that are falling in traffic and can be updated with new information. Keeping an archive of previous blog posts will assist with keeping track of blog performance.

14. Perform a sales analysis.

Estimated cost: $1,000

Finding qualified contacts in your CRM that your company wasn’t able to connect with could close sales that didn’t happen last quarter. With a sales analysis, identify those contacts so you know who exactly to target within the next few months.

Once this is done, come up with ideas to reach out to those customers and connect with them. There are a couple different ways to do this: You can send a personalized email, for example, create a specialized offer just for closing sales, or look into performing an account-based marketing campaign.

15. Invest in a better CRM integration.

Estimated cost: $300

Does your website automatically send leads into your CRM? Can your sales and marketing teams share feedback on leads? Now might be the time to make adjustments to your CRM integration to make it work better for your company.

Look into CRMs that automatically integrate with the programs you use on a daily basis, like HubSpot. This will streamline all the work you need to get done. Collaboration between teams will improve as well as navigation between the inner workings of your job duties.

15 Conduct an SEO audit on your website.

Estimated cost: $500

Re-evaluate your website for SEO opportunities every six months or so. Have your core web pages reviewed to optimize on-page factors, and review web copy for missing keywords.

SEO audits clean up your website, improve the user experience, and boost the chance of web pages being found on search engines. When you improve the SEO language on specific pages, you’re making them easier to be crawled by Google and recommended to searchers.

16. Plan and script a webinar for the next quarter.

Estimated cost: $200

A webinar is a great way to generate new leads. Focus on topics that solve your target persona’s pain points and produce a high-quality webinar. It can be live and saved for later or pre-recorded.

Persona pain points you can focus on are topics you know your audience has questions about, such as sales analytics. For a webinar like this, reach out to a top salesperson at your company and ask them to host. Alternatively, interview them about topics they see as trending.

Once you shoot and edit the webinar, you can promote it via email subscribers and on social media.

17. Localize your website for an international audience.

Estimated cost: $2,000

If you have an international audience or are planning to expand internationally, remember to update your website. A localized website will make the content on it enjoyed by audiences everywhere. Go beyond translating the language and think of what customers in other countries will really love.

For instance, research some topical elements and offers that are popular in different regions — really familiarize yourself with culturally relevant graphics and website formats that are compelling to global audiences.

18. Compile an ebook of relevant information.

Estimated cost: $200

An ebook is another content marketing idea for generating leads. Studies or experiments you’ve conducted over the course of the quarter that provided interesting results could be very valuable for your customers.

Look at ebooks that are impressive and take notes of what’s inspiring about them. Decide on a topic for your ebook and work on formatting it as an offer to subscribers and for social sharing. Additionally, create an offer you can add on a couple of relevant topics to expand the reach of your ebook.

19. Contact industry thought leaders for an interview.

Estimated cost: $500

HubSpot likes to host “HubTalks,” in which different thought leaders are brought in for an interview. This could be a book author, an educator, medical professional, or motivational speaker. These talks are meant to inform or entertain attendees.

Talks like these expand the knowledge of employees and give them opportunities to explore their interests. Have your team vote on possible interviewees or topics so you’re picking the right thought leaders, and ask them to submit questions. This is a great opportunity for team bonding and learning.

It’s tough to make sure you’re spending your budget wisely. When you stop and think about what your team needs, what your audience needs, and what those parties want, however, you can begin to form a pretty good idea of how to plan out those resources.

Once you do a little research, plan your budget accordingly, and get ready to step into a new quarter on a great note.

download free marketing budget templates

Originally published Jun 11, 2020 3:00:00 PM, updated June 11 2020


Marketing Reporting

How to Calculate ROI in Marketing [Free Excel Templates]

It’s a brand new month, everyone! It’s a time for new beginnings. New campaigns, new landing pages, new blog posts, new emails, and new social media posts are all on the horizon.

But wait … aren’t we forgetting something? With last month’s activities all done, we need to pause for a second to examine what worked and what didn’t. And you can’t do that just by saying last month’s activities were “great” … “great” doesn’t pay the bills.

Continue reading “How to Calculate ROI in Marketing [Free Excel Templates]”