Megalytic for Client Reporting – A Case Study with Digital Agency drumBEAT Marketing

Published January 29, 2015
When you work for a digital marketing agency, your clients want data. Or more accurately, they expect data. They expect it in the form of reports that show:
  • how well campaigns are doing, and how they can be improved;
  • the cost effectiveness of the search advertising;
  • the demographics of their website visitors, and how well social media is doing at bringing the desired demographic to the website;
  • etc, etc., …
And if you work for an agency, you already know this. You know client reporting has become a key service because you’re the person responsible for handling that reporting. Now, you must not only be a master of doing the work, you need to be able to show your results and the value the agency is providing.
Building better reports, faster is one reason many agencies have selected Megalytic as their client reporting solution. In this blog post, we look at one such agency – drumBEAT Marketing from Houston, TX – to understand the role client reporting plays in its business and how it uses Megalytic to better serve clients.

drumBEAT and Megalytic Logos


Identifying drumBEAT’s Reporting Requirements

drumBEAT Marketing first came to Megalytic in February 2014. Once client reporting became of central importance to its business, the agency needed a tool that could help produce custom reports for a wide range of clients, and do it efficiently.

drumBEAT had a few specific requirements it was looking for:

  • Flexibility: The tool needed to be flexible so drumBEAT could create reports tailored to the specific needs of each client.
  • Efficiency: The tool needed to reduce the time required to produce custom reports for clients.
  • Easy-to-use: Several people on the drumBEAT team would be working to produce reports. The tool needed to be easy enough for all to learn to avoid creating a bottleneck where the organization was dependent on one expert.

Before selecting Megalytic for client reporting, drumBEAT tried other tools, but found them too bulky, not user friendly or too limited in their reporting capabilities. It also tried using Excel-based custom reports for all clients. This approach was highly flexible, but time-consuming and labor intensive.

Then, the agency tried Megalytic.

According to CEO Robert Fisher, Megalytic was a “game changer” for drumBEAT and came along at the right time, as its client reporting process was being developed. It found Megalytic to be easy-to-use and helpful in customizing reports for specific client needs. It was impressed with the variety of widgets available to speed the creation of charts and tables to meet individual client needs. It also liked that Megalytic allowed its team to mix charts and text to describe the monthly results and provide insights that specific to each client.

How Megalytic is Helping drumBEAT Today

drumBEAT has been using Megalytic for almost a year now, and the agency continues to be pleased with its choice. Megalytic helps in a variety of ways that are consistent with the agency’s approach to client reporting.

Megalytic helps drumBEAT in:

  • Getting its monthly reports out on time
  • Showing the results of its work
  • Customizing reports to the needs of each client
  • Educating its clients
  • Establishing marketing goals together with clients

Megalytic “Gets our Monthlies Out Faster”

drumBeat has found that Megalytic’s widgets are a great help in putting reports together quickly. It can drag and drop widgets into reports and configure them easily. In addition, the agency can use image and text widgets to import results from other tools and write up summary information and insights for clients. Megalytic lets drumBEAT knock out reports for clients much faster and makes it easier to get through the monthly reporting process.

Megalytic Helps “Show Our Work”

According to Robert Fisher, CEO of drumBEAT Marketing, “The role of reporting is very simple on the face of it: It is how you ‘show your work’ to a client.” Fisher expands on this, however, indicating that reporting isn’t just about showing off results, but about helping the client to understand what is working and what is not – so they can make better marketing decisions.

For most digital agencies, showing your work is one way you demonstrate value and help the client to understand what is or is not driving conversions. But to do this, your reporting has to be accurate – revealing the good and the bad – so that both agency and client have the same facts and can make informed decisions, together, about how to direct the marketing spend. The level of reporting builds trust between client and agency, while also leading to better results and long-term relationships.

As Fisher says, “ultimately, it is about giving clients the kind of data that allows them to make great decisions and to understand where their business is today.”

Megalytic “Makes Customized Reporting Easier”

The difference between doing reporting as an in-house marketer and doing it as an agency marketer is obvious: Agency marketers have a lot more clients! More clients with different goals and that value different metrics. Your job is to determine which metrics they want to see (as well as which ones they need to see).

When asked about the metrics his clients are most interested in, Fisher jokes they want to see “their revenues have doubled!” Of course, everybody is happy when a client’s report shows good news, but different clients will value different metrics and want to see different things reported on. Below are a few items that seem particularly popular with drumBEAT’s clients.

  • Mobile trends
  • Referral traffic sources
  • Organic and paid search traffic
  • Search rankings
  • Campaign performance – cost per click, cost of acquisition, etc.

These, of course, are broad categories, and will change depending on the client. It is important to make sure that each client’s report provides statistics that are relevant to the particular situation facing that client – that’s where Megalytic is able to provide value to drumBEAT, helping the agency create better, more customized reports, faster.

For example, drumBEAT has clients in the home services industry. These clients receive much of their business as the result of phone calls – these leads are not tracked in Google Analytics but instead their own tracking software. When analyzing its client success, drumBEAT needs to see both the Analytics data, as well as the data captured through the tracking software. Megalytic helps drumBEAT do this! With the use of the Image and CSV widgets for uploading external data, the agency is able to provide the call data for a given period along with the Analytics data.

On the other hand, drumBEAT’s clients in Ecommerce require very little in outside data but need more robust data from Analytics. With Megalytic, drumBEAT can provide each client with precisely the data they need to tie into their unique performance metrics or KPIs like revenue, sales, man hours, returns, etc. Its better reports, faster and with less hassle.

Megalytic Reports are great for “Client Education”

At drumBEAT, reports are viewed as a tool for teaching, helping the client learn about digital marketing so that he can draw his own conclusions. For example, showing a client a report that breaks down traffic by Social Network creates a natural opening for a discussion about the benefits of social traffic, where the client can expect to get the most social traffic from, and where it might be beneficial to invest in social media.

drumBEAT believes that, as an agency, it is often best served when a client reaches their own decisions about marketing strategies, rather than blindly trusting the agency. By helping the client hone in on the most important metrics, and then giving them accurate data to work with, agencies can actually help teach clients about digital marketing and where they can find new opportunities.

Educated clients understand that things can go wrong, but with good reports based on hard data, good decisions can be made to fix problems and ultimately construct a marketing plan that works. Megalytic helps drumBEAT produce the reports they need to develop educated clients.

Megalytic “Helps Clients Establish Marketing Goals”

Just because a client knows what it wants (more leads, higher revenue) doesn’t mean it knows how to get there (goals). You need to help them.

Ideally, your agency should use reporting as a way to encourage clients to develop marketing goals that can be measured. For these goals, you can work together with the client to develop marketing programs. Reporting provides the method of measuring progress and creates a monthly opportunity to discuss results.

According to drumBEAT, when your agency is just starting out with client reporting, it is extremely important to start with baseline measurements for each client. These will enable you to measure progress. Periodically update baseline measurements and start new baselines whenever a client beings a new marketing effort. For example, if your client decides to begin an SEO program, make sure you have baseline measures of exiting organic search traffic.

Another benefit of baseline measurements is that, should there be any questions around the work you have been doing, you can always compare results against the baseline.

Because Megalytic provides extensive capabilities for historical comparison, it can be used to easily create reports that compare current results to a baseline. drumBEAT uses Megalytic to create charts and tables that compare performance with the previous month, quarter or year.


It has been my pleasure to work with Robert Fisher and the team at drumBEAT over the last year as they adopted Megalytic for client reporting. The team has provided, and continues to provide, great ideas for new features and capabilities that we add to the product. Most of all, I’ve been inspired by drumBEAT’s vision of the role the client reporting should play within an agency, and that vision has helped us at Megalytic to understand the type of product we need to be and how we can help digital agencies create better reports.

Ready to see how Megalytic can help your digital agency reporting? Sign up for a free 30-day trial!

About drumBEAT Marketing

drumBEAT Marketing was founded in 2007 by SEO expert Robert Fisher. Fisher started working in marketing back in 1991 doing direct mail for a large franchise. He began innovating to improve efficiency and demographic targeting. That experience, and willingness to innovate carried over to the Internet where he became an expert in SEO – the initial area of focus for drumBEAT.

Today, drumBEAT remains a leader in SEO, but has diversified and grown to become an integrated marketing firm providing a full complement of marketing services. In addition to all facets of Internet marketing, drumBEAT is also a creative agency and an ad agency. They have branding clients, video clients, radio production and buying, print media, etc.


When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:



It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
Digital marketers spend a lot of time focused on PPC and SEO campaigns in order to drive desirable traffic to a website. The phrases we’re ranking for and bidding on get meticulous attention, so much so that we often forget about some of the other ways that visitors find us.

We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.


Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?

The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.

Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.