This originally appeared in MediaPost.com.

When was the last time your board, or top execs, asked how many impressions a campaign received? Or what type of blog content is performing best?

 

I’m guessing never! Yet many marketing performance reports are filled with such data. And there’s certainly a reason — this information is critical and actionable for your marketing team.

But just like the campaigns you run, your marketing measurement reports should be tailored to your audience. Simply grabbing a couple of slides or charts from your comprehensive internal reporting won’t suffice for presenting marketing successes and opportunities to your C-suite.

What should you present instead? A narrative that shows what happened, why and what’s next, so that C-suite members have a clear understanding not only of marketing results but also of the purpose and intentionality behind them.

Applying the Elements of Storytelling to Marketing Measurement

Using the key elements of storytelling in your marketing measurement presentations can make sure top execs get the information they need and stay engaged in the process.

— Character: Every good story needs a strong main character. Your marketing measurement should not only provide an overview of WHAT you did, but also WHO the intended audience was. Which key buying segment were your efforts focused on? Showing the board that marketing efforts are building high-intent buyers will help them tie your efforts to bottom-line growth.

— Setting: Where did your marketing efforts take place? The measurement program should show you’re reaching your characters in the settings they value. But it’s easy to go too deep here. Remember, the C-suite is focused on financial growth, but they don’t need tactical details about where you are reaching audiences — just that you’re in the right places with the right messages.

— Conflict: Conflict is the crux of business growth. Businesses that deeply understand and speak to their characters’ conflicts are the ones best poised for growth. Your measurement story should show you understand these conflicts.

— Resolution: Resolution is the ultimate metric in your marketing report. How did you solve the characters’ conflicts? This is where you will showcase results. Did sales grow, showing you effectively understood and leveraged your characters, setting and conflict? Did leads grow? This is the portion of the story that your C-suite will care most about, but it will not be fully meaningful without the context of the rest of the story.

— Moral: Last, but also critical to the C-suite, is the lesson learned from the story. What are you going to do more of as a result of success? How will you try to reach your audience even more effectively? What did you learn about customers’ conflicts that will drive future business growth? Like any good story, the moral is key to letting the C-suite know you understand why the metrics are what they are, and what you are going to do about them.

By using a storytelling format, you are sure to secure your C-suite’s attention and provide the marketing metrics they need most. But there is one other key factor in a successful presentation: brevity. Make your story a short, but impactful one, by focusing on the key elements and only what the C-suite truly needs to know.

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