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A guest post by Brian Whalley.

The crux of a great online marketing campaign is being able to demonstrate the value to the business at the end and the success that resulted. In particular, it can be really tricky to help management or other groups that are not connected to the marketing team’s overall goals or with a web marketing background understand your success.

Today, we’ll examine two powerful methods to communicate value and benefit back up the chain to your organization and leadership. If you implement these methods as part of your weekly or monthly reporting, it will be very straightforward to show off your results without requiring too much additional work or slowing down your marketing performance. If you’ve found other methods or systems that work well for explaining the success of a marketing campaign to your management team or other groups, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Method #1: The Killer Five-Slide Deck

Most great marketing campaigns can be cut up into a five-slide deck that concretely explains the goals, progress, and success of the work. The first important lesson to keep in mind when constructing this is that non-marketers are generally not interested in the methods or clever methods of accomplishing a goal. This can be tough to resist introducing because it represents what you are actually doing and your own inventiveness, but ultimately, people without your background and experience will not be able to digest the information appropriately, and it does not communicate your success. Especially among management, they are less interested in the methodology and specific actions, and more excited to see the results and benefit.

Slide #1: Goal proposal
Share, in high-level language, the purpose of the campaign that you’ve been working on. Are you working to generate new leads for your sales team? Is this a branding project or a new advertisement that you are running? Keep the language accessible to people who you don’t interact with on a daily basis, so that they can read this and understand what the point was. If you had an objective goal, like “Generate 500 leads,” include that here as well.

Slide #2: Overall progress towards goal
This is where you place your burndown chart, the funnel, or however you can represent the progress of your campaign. Don’t get into the details of what specifically you are doing or what steps are accomplished, unless it’s absolutely critical and can be explained in a way that will make sense to people not involved in the project. Try to keep it results focused as much as possible. Tell them how many leads have been generated!

Slide #3: How close are we to goal or past it? Any interesting detail?
Pick out an interesting or insightful detail from the campaign to show here. What surprised you? Find an interesting stat to show about how you’re accomplishing your goal faster than expected, or in a better way than expected, or some other cross-section of your project that shows interesting detail. For example, did you undertake an SEO project for your website that had an unexpected positive benefit with another project or goal? Show it off here.

Slide #4: What did we learn?
Now that you’ve shown your progress towards goal and concrete information, break down the impact this project will have. Show off any insight that you’ve had that will help this project fuel something in the future. Did you find a new website or way to promote to an audience that you didn’t know about before? Does some part of your success tie back to a new tool you are using, which is making your job much easier? If you recently purchased a tool or something else that enabled you to do your project well, give it credit here. If other people understand that the investment is really fueling growth and success, they will be very comfortable with that.

Slide #5: Wrap-up

What’s next? Next steps
Combine the details of slides 2 to 4 into your next steps for the project. Wrap it up and put a bow on it to show off how you’ve pulled this all together in a coherent fashion. You’ve hit a goal, found a useful insight for the future, and learned an interesting lesson that you can share back with your organization, and done so in a concise and colorful way that is useful to others without your background.

Method #2: The Five Sentence Summary Email

Ideally, any campaign summary email or information can be communicated in five sentences or fewer, similar to the above. By keeping it short and specific to the interest group, you’ll greatly increase their chances of both reading and comprehending the material, and give them the one sound bite to remember about the performance of the campaign. The five sentences should align with the slides that you made above, and concisely explain the progress so far and the benefit, and what is next. Remember that this is what will get forwarded around to other people who might ask or be discussing the impact of your project, so make sure that the explanations work for someone who isn’t familiar with your daily work.

The critical point to accomplish with this deck and email is to keep your goals and achievements very clear and accessible. If you are able to do that, it will be much easier to show your success and achievements off to your entire company. Have you had any other experiences or success in translating this information to your company? Let us know in the comments.

A guest post by Brian Whalley of HubSpot. HubSpot is a software company in Cambridge, Mass. that makes marketing software to help with lead generation online.

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