Landscapers know horticulture, not database management. So selling them a mobile app for invoicing could really be in their best interest. But, you won’t get anywhere if you geek out on HTML code during the pitch. To be successful, you’ll need to focus less on how your product works and more on the landscaper’s pain of fitting billing in after a week of laboring at a job site.

This is an age-old marketing rule: know your audience, speak their language, and focus on product or service benefits most valuable to them.

As sales professionals and marketers, you most likely have this down pat when it comes to promoting your company externally. Are you practicing what you preach, though, when it comes to reporting internally?

Anything and everything can be tracked in digital marketing. It is our job to work through the noise of clicks, likes, shares, and users, and distil the data down to something tangible that proves to an executive team the marketing effort should continue.

Follow that age-old marketing rule: know your management team’s desired level of detail, speak their language of revenue generation, and focus on benefits valuable to them, like lead generation and sales conversions.

Forget marketing industry standards like impressions and engagement rates for a moment. Self-assess your current key performance metrics with these steps. Then, determine how you can update your reporting approach to ensure you measure what matters most to your program and the ultimate client — your boss.

Start with the marketing plan. Your marketing plan outlines the purpose of the marketing initiative, the intended audience, how it ties in with other business objectives, and what success will look like. It’s what business owners and executive management approved, so all metrics should reflect progress against this document, at the very least.

Pull major key performance metrics from marketing objectives. If the objective of your marketing initiative is to sell to a wider audience, a major key performance metric will be the number of closed sales. If the objective is to identify qualified leads by offering a free sample of your product, a major key performance metric will be the number of free samples requested.

Work backward with metrics that show customers moving through the buying process. This varies greatly based on the marketing objectives and overall marketing plan. It’s also where many marketers get lost in the weeds of industry reporting trends. We’re always working to drive traffic to our company’s and client’s websites. If a traditionally brick-and-mortar company is trying to increase awareness online, reporting web traffic is one way to get to know audience behavior and spot trends over time. But if a company is already well-established online, traffic is not the priority. The leads they are actually getting from the website are. How many people per month are subscribing to an eNewsletter or providing contact information to download a white paper? And how many of those people move on to become a customer? The ultimate goal of your website isn’t to get people there. It’s to get people interested enough in your product or service that they request more information or initiate a sale. Track accordingly.

Develop a reporting schedule that best serves the recipient. Whether the executive team is presenting your information in the formal setting of a quarterly board meeting, or sharing it for strategic reasons at a monthly sales meeting, put yourself in their shoes when determining how initiatives are reported on. Take into account how much their audiences need to know about the tasks you carry out every day and what that means to them. Depending on the audience, high-level overviews that connect efforts to an overall goal are most valuable. Anything deeper is over their head and just cause unnecessary confusion.

Create the key metrics that work for you and your management team instead of just doing things how you’ve always done them. You’ll not only provide an overview that your audience understands and can get behind. Your team will be more focused on the marketing vision, and can start garnering better revenue-related results.