There are the obvious reasons: metrics, performance reviews, and goals achieved. Other subtler reasons are to improve employee morale, restore investor confidence, and diagram a strategy for moving forward. Reports are essential—they help companies grow and record things that worked for them.
This makes end of year reports extremely crucial for your company. All company activity is usually made to fit into one year, divided into three to four quarters. This division presents end of year reports with a much bigger challenge: how can you both compile the metrics of an entire quarter and still make room for what these reports will indicate for your future performance?
Challenges like these often come with another factor: engagement. The end of your company’s year might not exactly be the best time for a long report. There’s employees going on holiday, gifts to buy, bonuses to dole out… It would seem immensely frustrating to put you and your staff through such a long report when there are so many other things that you all could be doing.
So what can you do? Here are a few of our own suggestions on how to neatly gift-wrap those marketing strategy reports
There are five key factors that play into the presentation of any information of any kind. These basic rules can guide you on planning a better report, if not necessarily making one yet. That’ll come later on.
- Information density - how much data do you need to process, and how much data is actually relevant to the report?
- Speaking/delivery - how will you be conveying this information?
- Design - how is the information presented? Do the graphics, charts, and other visual representations make sense to your audience?
- Context - in what context will you be delivering this report? Is your company doing well? What about how will this affect your future strategies?
- Rapport - is your audience paying attention to you? Have you communicated well how important this report actually is?
If you’re able to cover those five areas well, you’ll be right on track to creating a well-made annual marketing report. Knowing what you’re presenting, who you’re presenting to, and how you are going to do it are essentials in any report—but especially so for one as exhaustive as this.
Reports come in all shapes and sizes. There are some more familiar ones, such as:
- Excel worksheets
- Powerpoint presentations
- Pie charts of the bar goals you’ve reached
- Bar graphs of the business pies you’ve gotten
There are also a few more uncommon ones that require a little more effort. However, these presentations have the benefit of being more engaging and poignant to your audience once done, making it shareable to more than just your staff.
- Prezi - a visual storytelling software, Prezi’s map-like presentation flow and the conversational presentation mindset it approaches reports with allow for a much more engaging report, both for the presenter and listener. The ability to zoom, focus, reveal and panning of information convey a sense of flow and movement in presentations. Along with an arresting narrative, this kind of presentation is a step above the slide-based traditional reports that we’ve gotten used to.
- Video - video is nothing new; ever since the popularity of handheld cameras, video is a constant presence in today’s information. The advantage that video has on reports is the capacity to carefully craft a story around the information you need to convey. This approach not only guarantees engagement but encourages retention.
The particular advantage of the two approaches above to presentation lie in the shareability factor. The aim of annual marketing reports—or reports in general—is to share knowledge. Thinking of how to best convey this knowledge is also a metric for the success of your efforts. Properly handled, good marketing performance reports can be shared to a wider audience. Social media is a perfect place for content with much higher production value. Your community’s engagement is bound to spike, if they’re given a clear indicator of how you’ve grown with them as a business.
Reports are simply a means to both celebrate the past and what’s to come in the future. With the end of year nearing and celebrations erupting everywhere, it’s important to also note that your celebrations need to be as good as everyone else’s. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little more fun with it.
We’re looking to spread the holiday cheer! If you ever need help with your annual marketing report or a way to make a better marketing strategy report, drop us a line.
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