Digital Marketing agencies have to stay on top of the best ways to improve the client reporting processes.
And recently a number of agency leaders took to online forum, Guild, to discuss the challenges of what can be time-consuming monthly reports. One leader shared that they are currently using a blend of automated data that is then put into a document, but find that these reports still remain lengthy and need multiple layers of quality control.
She shared: “Our current process is a mixture of automated data (looker studio) and a word doc of commentary broken down by channel (where more data is often manually pulled to support narrative). These tend to be lengthy documents with lots and lots of detail. This is what takes up a lot of time and it also goes through a number of layers of proofing/quality control before being signed off by myself.”
She went on to share that her team is looking to move way from word documents and primarily use Lookerstudio dashboards. But notes that she will require some kind of strategic commentary and analysis to make sure that clients aren’t just looking at blind data.
It sounds like a perfect use case for AI
One person commented on the thread to share some advice, saying that automating the process with AI could be the best option. They said: “It sounds like a perfect use case for AI. Automate the extraction of data from looker, then use an AI to analyse it and generate the commentary, then have a human proof read it and adjust before sending it out?”
However, another person, who has been on the client side of reports, shared that a summary page at the front of a report works much better than a large volume of commentary- instead one page of expert insight is much more valuable. They also noted that they would be wary of giving AI systems client data, as it could be considered sharing or information. However, it was countered by the highlighting of in-house AI systems.
Another agency lead shed light on their strategy, sharing that they have also been looking at their own reporting with clients recently. They said: “Every time we’ve looked at this we’ve come back to the same concern – that with any form of automated reporting most of the value comes from the time that an expert spends looking at the numbers and interpreting them. Because of that our focus has moved to how we can reduce unnecessary copy & paste work by pulling the structure of the reports from our internal systems etc.”
The team are now looking at automatically generating Google docs with key structures but keeping the commentary and analysis as a manual, human process to ensure clients are still getting value.
A number of people agreed with this thought process, adding that reducing unnecessary copy and pasting will make the process much more efficient. It was agreed, however, that a lot of agency’s seem to be facing the same issues when it comes to client reports, so definitely opens a bigger conversation about this industry challenge.
What do you think about automating processes like client reports? Do you think there is a perfect balance between AI and manual insight?
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