It is one thing to say how successful a campaign has been, but in this day and age, success is nothing without the proof to back it up. Every little detail of a campaign should be reportable and recallable at a moment’s notice. In order to set up your business for future reporting, steps should be taken throughout the campaign to gather the needed information. During our most recent national campaign, we felt it was important to receive reports on a weekly basis. Depending on information needs, your company may decide to have reports submitted daily or twice throughout the week.
Each week, our team leads were sent an email reminding them to submit reports by our established due date. It is essential to have a firm day and time that reports are due. Reminders may feel redundant, but a quick weekly reminder email will ensure that all employees remember to submit things on time, which can make a world of difference.
We found three different weekly reports to be extremely important in gathering the information we may need down the road.
The three reports we focused on were:
1. Weekly Feedback Report: This report required our leads to log what locations they sampled and how many samples were distributed. Additionally, we asked them to record consumer feedback regarding the product being sampled. This proved to not only be beneficial for our internal tracking of samples distributed, but also became very beneficial to the client. Our client was very happy to see what the consumers were saying out on the streets and took the feedback to heart when making some important product modifications.
2. Expense Report: As we provided advanced expense money to our team leads, it was absolutely necessary to track what was being spent and the current outstanding balance due to or from the lead each week. Receipts are also absolutely necessary when reconciling expenses.
To be honest, this form of reporting evolved as a learning experience. We did have one lead that came up short at the end of a campaign once things were reconciled. We were able to follow our company expense policy and deduct the balance from their last payroll, but we did learn the lesson that all expenses should be tracked in real time.
3. Time Sheets: Weekly submissions of hours allowed us to track each team and their use of resources. It is great to have team leads that plan their own schedules, but sometimes things do slide by. Each week we made sure the leads were taking full advantage of the hours available to them to schedule, without costing the company extra in over time.
The main point of all the reports we requested was to keep our eyes on all aspects of the campaign. When running a national campaign, you cannot possibly be at each market location every day. The best you can do is request that your leads stay in constant contact and report on a regular basis. Weekly reports can help the campaign stay focused and provide all information needed to compile campaign end reports or whatever else your client may desire. Reports serve as a benchmark for success. Overall, they are a very important tool for managers to determine what areas are doing well and what needs improvement, before it is too late.