Marketing ops professionals typically have one opportunity to share their accomplishments with senior leadership every year. This is an exciting time to flex your reporting capabilities and showcase achievements.

However, in order for EOY reporting to be successful, marketing ops professionals must set themselves up for success early in the year. This means beginning in January, they should:

  • Document achievements
  • Consistently report and analyze 
  • Connect data points to tell a compelling story

We recently sat down with Tracy Smith, Senior Director of Business Intelligence at MERGE, to get her perspective on how to make EOY reporting a breeze. 

💡Want to learn how you can impress the C-suite with year-end reporting? Check out these six tips

#1 – Document achievements throughout the year 

It can be hard to remember what happened last week, let alone trying to think back to what occurred 10 months ago. That’s why Smith recommends documenting progress throughout the year. 

At the end of the year, you have to explain what happened and why. Did you miss a goal or was there an unexpected event that shifted your team’s priorities (market changes, layoffs, etc.)? Keep track of these stories, but also remember to keep them high-level. Don’t over-engineer these stories as that may be difficult to keep up with throughout the year. 

Some marketing ops teams use Sprint planning to document progress toward their goals, whereas other groups track weekly. As long as you’re tracking progress at regular intervals, you’ll have a solid record to refer back to at the end of the year. 

“Put yourself 12 months down the road – what will this number mean then?” Tracy Smith Click To Tweet

🪄 Tip for success: Gain alignment on KPIs! If you have a unique metric, make sure there’s alignment on definitions and how things are measured. Don’t forget to document it!

#2 – Leverage the power of storytelling 

So, you’re consistently reporting on an agreed set of KPIs and documenting your work. The next step is to start thinking about how you are going to make this information digestible. What’s the best way to tell the story – is it through data visualizations and leveraging stock photography to support the story, or does senior leadership prefer the traditional route of spreadsheets? 

If your team uses templates for year-end reporting, consider how your work will fit into this. Familiarize yourself with what information you’ll need to fill in – if you’re not already reporting on those metrics, connect with your team to ensure all required data is accounted for.

“Begin with the end in mind. Think about the final product and what you’ll need to get there.” Tracy Smith Click To Tweet

Was something unsuccessful or did you run into obstacles that prevented you from hitting your goal? Be forthcoming – an essential part of year-end reporting is explaining why something was missed. Tell the story and know the why. 

#3 – Keep your eye out for trends

 The last thing you want at the end of the year is surprises. 

During your weekly or monthly reporting, be sure to look for trends. This could be a campaign that isn’t performing as predicted or perhaps you’re lacking engagement around your ads. 

“Surface the problem and introduce solutions.” Tracy Smith Click To Tweet

Do you recognize a trend? Dig in and find out why that is. This is an excellent opportunity to pivot and rethink strategy. Identify the problem, create a plan of action and communicate it to the key stakeholder. 

#4 – Familiarize yourself with your reporting tool 

Consider how you are going to visually represent your story. Is it through a BI tool like Domo, or Google Data Studio, or do you plan on using spreadsheets? Give yourself time to learn the tool – you might need to factor in training time for you and your team.

Anyone using Google Analytics must have a plan for switching to GA4, as standard Universal Analytics will no longer process data after July 1, 2023. Universal Analytics (UA) is not compatible with GA4, so it’s critical that marketers transition to GA4 and ensure they have adequate data for EOY reporting. 

💡 Wondering where to get started? Check out these three tips on how to prepare for a successful transition to GA4.