The Metrics That Really Matter When Reporting on Client Campaigns

May 01, 2024

Every professional working in a creative agency is accustomed to reporting, whether on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Part of that reporting is choosing the right metrics; however, not all metrics & KPIs are created equal. The metrics chosen when reporting can significantly impact the success of client campaigns and client retention.

When choosing the right metrics, agencies can understand:

  • Whether or not campaigns are working
  • How close a team is to meeting a client’s objectives and goals
  • Where necessary adjustments can be made to improve success. 

All of the above creates better long-term agency-client partnerships.  

Tracking the appropriate metrics also allows agencies to communicate their value. When teams can quantify how individual campaigns were successful and how that success impacted the client’s bottom line, that’s the type of value that yields long-term client retention.  

Through our work with agencies, the biggest mistake we see in reporting is not connecting metrics to objectives. It’s important to connect metrics to the campaign’s goals and the client’s overall business goals and objectives. This starts with choosing the metrics that are important to the client. 

To identify the most important metrics for an agency’s campaign, it’s important to have laid the foundation. We share everything you need to know about developing standout client strategies here

For a quick refresher, the process includes:

  1. Identifying the constraints of the plan, which defines the client’s goals and objectives, timelines, and budget
  2. Developing tactics and strategies to meet those goals and objectives
  3. Choosing metrics to measure the success of the tactics and strategies 

Choosing Your Metrics

When choosing metrics, agency teams should be thinking about them in four categories. These include:

Output. This is the hard data from the strategic actions that the agency has taken. These vanity metrics may include numbers like impressions, website traffic, reach of ads, and number of posts. Output is typically the first of the numbers produced from a campaign and is a great starting point to measure success. 

Outtakes. This is the measure of how the client’s audience and stakeholders have responded to the outputs. These are going to be numbers like click-throughs, engagement rates, influencer shares, and awareness of an organization or brand. Outtakes will indicate if the tactics resonate with the proper audience.

Outcomes. This is the measure of the effect an agency’s strategies have on a target audience. This will include measures like how the agency’s strategies have educated an audience on a new product, industry education, new awareness of the client, new trust with an audience, intent to buy, hire, or donate, and preference for the client. Outcomes indicate if the campaign is resonating with the audience in the way that was planned. 

Organization impact. These are the tangible and intangible impacts the agency’s efforts have on the organization’s goals and objectives. Tangible measures may be metrics like sales and revenue. New relationships with vendors or influencers are intangible measures. Organizational impact is where the client sees true value in their agency partner. 


Each of these categories of metrics should be shared with the client, but not necessarily in each communication or report. Full reporting at all levels will not happen every single month. Output and outtakes may be monthly, but outcomes and organization impact may be quarterly or semi-annually. 

While choosing the right metrics is key, what an agency does with them is of equal importance. Tiny tweaks make a big difference. 

One way to shift the team’s perspective on reporting is to adopt a ‘why does this matter’ mindset. Understand deeply why each specific tactic is being executed and why it matters to the client. Agency teams should be operating from an understanding of the client’s goals and objectives at all times. 

Another great tool is to gain access to the client’s hard data when possible. When agencies have visibility to metrics like Google Analytics, they can better track how much traffic their efforts are driving in real-time. This eliminates having to depend on the client to pull and share reports. Social media analytics is another great way to track how campaign efforts are playing out in real-time. 

Whether an agency has standard reporting practices in place or is just starting to outline a system for reporting, ensuring that campaigns are being measured in metrics that matter to the client is an essential part of being a valuable long-term strategic partner. 

If you’d like to learn more from the Advocation team on best practices for PR & marketing agency teams, follow us on social media–Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.