How to Write a Report on an Advertising Campaign

by Sam Ashe-Edmunds; Updated September 26, 2017
businessman using a laptop in an office

Although advertising is a creative endeavor, it should also rely on a variety of objective factors and measurements to help a business determine its effectiveness. When writing a report on an advertising campaign, you’ll provide more valuable information to stakeholders if you address the campaign’s goals and provide information about results you can track.

Meet With Key Stakeholders

The first step in creating a report on an advertising campaign is to meet with the people involved. This can include anyone who’s affected by the ads, such as the sales staff, customers, clerks, cashiers and waiters who come into contact with customers, the people who sell your company ad space and your webmaster. Ask them their observations on the campaign. For example, ask your sales reps if retailers have noticed an increase in sales due to the campaign and gather data to confirm if that's the case. Ask customers if they’ve seen your commercials or ask in-store salespeople and cashiers if they’ve heard customers mention your ads. Ask your webmaster to review traffic statistics shortly before, during and after the campaign. Learn how many coupons or online codes have been redeemed for a discount or promotional item.

Determine Your Sections

Decide what you want to include in your report. This can include the goals of the campaign, the amount of money spent on it, sales numbers before, during and after the campaign, and number of coupons or codes used. Include the total increase in profits the campaign generated if you can accurately subtract the campaign’s total expenses from sales increases you can attribute directly to the campaign. Include information about the campaign’s subjective goals, such as increasing brand awareness or customer loyalty.

Order Your Contents

Once you have all of your information, rank it in order of importance, then how it should be presented. Consider starting with an executive summary that tells readers what your report contains, including a bottom line result of the campaign. Don’t add support detail in this summary; you’ll do that in the body of your report. Start your report with a description of the campaign, including its theme, run dates and goals. Discuss the execution and cost. Finish with the results, addressing both objective information, such as sales and profits numbers, and subjective benefits, such as more customer awareness.

Determine Effectiveness

Finish the report with a conclusion of whether or not the campaign met all of its goals, if it was a success or failure, where it can be improved for future use and if you recommend repeating the campaign, modifying it or dropping it. Include input from key stakeholders to support your conclusions, as well as a bottom-line return-on-investment figure if possible. In some cases, such as with a new product launch, you might need to spend more money introducing the product to the marketplace than you’ll gain in sales during the campaign. However, the new customers you’ll gain might become long-term buyers who help you turn a profit for years to come.

About the Author

Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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