PPC Dashboards: Insights, Impact, and Action

Posted by on Aug 8, 2017 in Advertising, Reporting
PPC Dashboards: Insights, Impact, and Action

Picture this: You just have finished running your PPC campaign. You are happy because it performed well. You can’t wait for your boss to see the results. You grab all your data and start creating the dashboard to show your boss.

After a few hours of work, your dashboard is done. Everything is looking good, so you go to your boss’s office and show her the results. Once you are done talking about the results of the campaign, your boss looks at you, unimpressed, and says, “OK, what’s the impact to our business?”

You mutter a few words, trying to explain the significance of your findings, but to no avail.

You lowered the CPC of your top-performing keywords and increased their CTR. You also tested new ad copies and found new keywords to bid. Why didn’t she like the results?

The problem is simple: your boss doesn’t care about the details of your PPC campaign. She cares about the results it brings to the business. Your PPC report wasn’t for your boss; it was for you.

In this article, you will see how to build dashboards that will win your boss’s attention (and make you look great).

Add Context with Insights, Impact, and Action

Many marketers assume that dashboards should be reserved strictly for graphing numerical data. For these marketers, text is for reports; data is for dashboards. This misconception leaves aside all sorts of information which can help your boss understand your report all within one dashboard.

Your boss is unimpressed every time you show her a PPC dashboard because she doesn’t get the context of your data. If you can make the abstract concrete, your boss will understand what each metric and graphic mean for her.

Analytics guru, Avinash Kaushik, recommends using the following three elements in any dashboard.

1. Insights

Metrics and graphics show what happened during a given period. What your boss wants to know is why that happened. As a marketer, you should be able to explain what could have caused each metric to go up or down. You want your boss to have an “aha” moment that can make her see what’s going on with your PPC campaigns.

2. Recommendations for Action

Once you have explained why things happened they way they did, you need to follow up with a recommendation for action. After you answered the “why,” you need to give them the “what now?

3. Business Impact

Once your boss knows why something happened and what they can do about it, the final piece of the puzzle is explaining why your boss should do what you recommended her to do. Your boss wants to know what impact your recommendations will have on the company’s performance.

Use Benchmarks and Trends

Insights, impact, and actions are all helpful ways to amplify your metrics with some context. No metric reported works on its own. If you show your revenue, it’s likely there are associated metrics that have affected it, like conversion rate and average order value, among others.

Another way to show context is benchmarks. You can show three kinds of benchmarks in your dashboards:

  1. Own data benchmarks. It’s much simpler to create your own set of benchmarks using data from your analytics provider. You can find those benchmarks by looking at month over month trends for each year and across years.
  2. Industry analyst data benchmarks. Industry analysts and companies like Gartner or Forrester, Consumer Electronics Association, and eMarketer sell this kind of information, which can be useful but expensive. If you decide to use one of these companies, consider the data collection methodology before purchasing their data.
  3. Competitor data benchmarks. You can use tools such as SEMrush and Spyfu to analyze your competitors’ performance. These tools give you a real view of how much they are paying per click, what keywords they are bidding on, and more.

Another way to add context to your dashboards is by contrasting segmented metrics with goals. You can also show the trends of each metric and goal, so your boss can see the performance throughout a specific period (usually from a month to a year).

Without context, even the most important metric won’t provide any value on the dashboard.

Choose the Right Kind of Dashboard

Depending on your needs, you can add different elements to your dashboard, broader in scope or more narrow, strategic or operational, real-time or predictive. In the table below, you’ll see example options from Juice Analytics. As you build your dashboard, however, remember to focus on insights, recommendations, and their expected impact on the business.

selecting metrics for your ppc dashboard examples

Source: Juice Analytics

Each of these options will help you distinguish what useful, interesting, and productive information to show or leave out.

Show Business Metrics

As you may recall, your boss wants to see results, not numbers. She may get impatient because her time is scarce. Senior-level executives are responsible for making the business grow, so they care about everything related to that goal, not your department’s one.

To make both your boss’s and your life easier, you need to understand the difference between external and internal metrics. Internal metrics are those that matter to your department. Since you work as a PPC specialist or manager, your internal metrics include:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • CTR
  • CPC
  • Quality score or Relevance score

All these metrics are important for you. But how can your boss translate those metrics into actual business results? Instead of waiting for him to discover that by himself, you need to show him the “external metrics,” the ones that affect the business. These metrics include:

  • Number of acquired customers
  • Acquisition costs
  • Average order value
  • Number of leads
  • Number of trials
  • Revenue generated
  • Sales pipeline contribution
  • Lifetime value
  • Goal conversions
  • Task completion rate

Even if you show your boss your external metrics like the ones mentioned before, you can’t show him 20 different ones. That will make it hard for him to understand which ones matter and which ones don’t.

As a rule of thumb, your dashboard should contain fewer than ten metrics. Each metric should have a specific goal associated with it. Also, you should segment most, if not all, of them.


Segmentation Is King

You have seen how important it is for your dashboard to explain the performance of a given metric and recommended actions to improve it. Aggregated data can help you find if there’s an issue with a given metric, but it won’t explain which segments that influence that metric are over or underperforming.

Segmentation is thus a key way to make it easier to understand why a metric performs above or below the desired threshold. Once you find which segments are driving an average metric down (or up), you can then recommend actions to fix (or optimize) that segment.

In the case of a PPC dashboard, you can segment by a wide range of attributes, including:

  • Mobile device
  • Impressions
  • Cost
  • Number of clicks
  • Spend of ad account
  • Ad network

Your boss and other decision-makers don’t have a clear idea of what happens with their website. Showing them segmented metrics, trends, and results is a useful communication tool.

There’s nothing more important in any analysis than segmentation because your visitors aren’t one-dimensional. They all have different attributes, whether they are demographic, behavioral, or transactional. Unfortunately, most of the PPC reporting and analysis are done in an aggregate way. You must have an effective and persistent segmentation strategy as part of your analytics process.


Creating useful PPC dashboards can help you position yourself as a savvy business member of the marketing team. You have seen what specific elements you need to add to your dashboards to make your boss happy. Not only everything you learned today will help you stand out; it will help your boss drive better results, which in turn can help you progress within your company.

If you’re looking for a way to automate your cross-network PPC reports with business goals, check out our free 14-day trial of AdStage Report.

Introducing the Latest Version of AdStage Report

Posted by on Aug 3, 2017 in Product Updates, Reporting
Introducing the Latest Version of AdStage Report

We’re excited to reveal Report V2—an incredibly flexible way to visualize and analyze your paid search, paid social, web analytics, and sales funnel metrics with customizable dashboards and reports.

Following our mission to connect marketers to their paid channel data and business metrics to gain insight into their campaign performance easily, we’ve introduced a side pane to make creating and editing your dashboards faster, and added 5 new widgets to explore Google Analytics data.

Learn what’s new:

Exploring trends and customizing reports just got easier with a side pane menu
We moved the widget creation and editing pane to the right-hand side—allowing you to build dashboards faster, with better visibility into your metrics while making changes.

Perfect your reporting view by switching widget types
Instantly switch between Bar, Line, Pie, Progress, Summary, or Table widget types. Duplicate and change widgets quickly for different reporting insights.

Report on web performance trends with new Google Analytics widgets
Visualize your web data in flexible ways using our newly supported Summary, Bar, Line, Pie, and Progress widget types for Google Analytics metrics.

Apply templates to your ad accounts, account groups, or folders quickly
Selecting a reporting template reveals quick configuration options to choose your ideal accounts, account groups, or campaign folders.

Get to the right metrics faster with accompanied network icons
Selecting reporting metrics across search and social ad networks can be daunting—especially with many of the metrics having similar names. We added network icons next to each metric, so you can navigate and choose the right metrics with ease.

We’d Love Your Feedback

What do you think of the new changes? Let us know what we should build next!

21 Google Sheets Add-Ons That Will Make You A Better Marketer

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Reporting
21 Google Sheets Add-Ons That Will Make You A Better Marketer

Google Sheets have quickly become a valuable tool for marketers. And with the addition of Google Sheets add-ons are one the most powerful automation tools marketers have at their disposal.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Google Sheets. I still love Excel’s workflow and power. However, with the right add-ons, I can automatically conduct keyword research, pull monthly campaign reports, merge CRM data, analyze the data, and run predictive models. Plus, I can do all of this without having to cobble together multiple reports, and it’s saved in the cloud which makes it easier for collaboration.

So how can you do this? Below I’ve listed out powerful Google Sheets add-ons designed for marketers. Some are free and others require a fee or subscription. Either way give them all a try and unlock the power of Google Sheets.

21 of the Best Google Sheets Add-Ons for Marketers

1. Solver

Solve resource allocation problems with linear and mixed-integer programming, nonlinear optimization, and evolutionary algorithms.

With the Solver Add-on, created by Frontline Systems, developers of the Solver in Microsoft Excel, you can define and solve many types of optimization problems in Google Sheets, just as you can with the Excel Solver.

You can solve linear programming and mixed-integer programming problems with the Simplex LP Solver, nonlinear optimization problems with the GRG Nonlinear Solver, global optimization problems with the multistart method, and ‘arbitrary’ Sheets models containing any numeric formulas with the Evolutionary Solver.

Solver google sheets add on

2. AdStage

Get all your Paid Search and Social advertising data into Google Sheets.

Stop manually exporting data from all those ad networks! AdStage for Google Sheets lets you instantly add your paid performance data into Google Sheets.

  • Get your PPC performance data from Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads and Google Analytics.
  • Pull in information about your ad campaigns like Campaign Type, Status, and Campaign, Ad Group and Ad Id.
  • Get cross network SEM data in a single table or chart.
  • Customize your reporting views with performance data organized by AdStage Account Groups or Folders.
  • Use our A/B Testing template to find your best campaigns, ad group or ads.
  • Give others access to your reports & dashboards.

adstage google sheets addon

Supported sources in the AdStage Google Sheets add-on include:

  • Google AdWords
  • Bing Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Twitter Ads
  • LinkedIn Ads
  • Google Analytics
  • Yahoo Gemini (Beta)
  • First party data you’ve passed to the AdStage Universal Data API

You must be a AdStage customer to use this add-on. Start your free AdStage trial!

3. BigML

The BigML add-on brings the power of the Machine Learning models and clusters in BigML to your Google Spreadsheets. The add-on provides an easy access to the models and clusters under your account in BigML within the Google Sheet. Using them, the blank cells in your datasheet can be filled with the predictions that the model can extract from the known values in each data row.

bigml google sheets add on

4. Blockspring

No matter your technical background, this add-on gives you the power of engineering and data science – and all you need are your spreadsheet skills. BlockSpring is not free, it’s a subscription for $15/ month.

blockspring gsheets add on

Blockspring features you won’t want to miss. Instantly get data:

  • Pull data from apps like Twitter, scrape websites with import.io, get government info using Socrata, financial info using Quandl, all without leaving Google Sheets.

Add custom functions to Google Sheets using R, Python, Ruby, PHP, and JS:

  • Are you a developer? Skip the restrictions of Google Scripts and extend Google Sheets with custom functions using your favorite language. These functions don’t just work with Google, they automatically work with Excel too!

Machine learning, simplified:

  • Extract concepts from text, run world-class image recognition… take advantage of the world’s most powerful algorithms without programming.

5. Data Everywhere

Share data between Excel, your local databases, Salesforce, and Google Sheets, without importing or exporting!

We publish Connectors that will bring your data in and out of Sheets from Excel, Salesforce, or your local MySQL, Sql Server, Access, Oracle, or PostgreSQL databases. We also have a Google Forms add-on that can send data directly to all of these destinations.

Data Everywhere is a cloud database for spreadsheet data. Open your spreadsheet, highlight the data you want to share, and Publish your Data Feed.

You can share the data with anyone, all you need is an email address. Just add the new users as viewers or editors of your feed.

Our new Automatic Publish and Refresh feature makes it easy to automatically sync your data as well. You won’t need to even have the Google Sheet open in order to get data transferred.

6. Salesforce G Connector

This addon to Google Spreadsheets will let you pull any data from Salesforce.com and schedule automatic refresh of that data even when you’re offline.

Pull a report, set up your update schedule (can be hourly, daily, weekly (on specified days), or monthly), then share the document with any number of non-salesforce users in Google Drive and they will all have access to almost live data coming from your Salesforce.com org.

With this Google connector you will save a lot of time by doing Salesforce data loads, queries, mass updates and insert not from Salesforce, but directly from your Google Spreadsheets.

You’ll be able to pull data directly from Salesforce.com using a custom query or by simply pulling a report you’d previously created in Salesforce.com.

G connector for salesforce google sheets

You can edit the data and push it back to Salesforce using Update command.

You can also import new data to Salesforce.com from your existing Google Spreadsheets using the Insert command.

  • Great for SLT reporting, data manipulation, data migration and data cleanup.
  • Schedule automatic refreshes of a Salesforce.com report or data pulled via SOQL. The updates are running even when you’re offline!
  • Keep historical data by creating report snapshots in your Google Drive automatically up to every hour.
  • Run metrics on your data up to once an hour and send out alerts to multiple people if a metric is off.

7. AYLIEN Text Analysis

Powered by the AYLIEN Text Analysis API, this add-on brings a package of easy to use Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning tools to your Spreadsheets to allow you to quickly and easily analyze any text. Let our Text Analysis add-on transform your Spreadsheet into a powerful easy-to-use Text Analysis Tool!

Whether you’re a savvy marketer or a seasoned data junkie the AYLIEN Text Analysis Add-on for Google Sheets allows you to analyze text with no programming or Text Analysis expertise in a matter of minutes.

AYLIEN Text Analysis for Google Sheets allows Analysts, Marketers and Researchers to Analyze text with no technical programming experience. Use our Text Analysis add-on to analyze documents, news articles, Tweets and URL’s from within your spreadsheet.

  •  Summarize and Classify documents and articles
  •  Analyze the Sentiment of Tweets
  •  Extract context and entities from any text
  •  6 languages supported

Getting started is easy and you can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Check out our walkthroughs and videos on our tutorial page.

8. XLMiner Analysis ToolPak

Statistical analysis in Google Sheets, with functions matching the Analysis ToolPak in desktop Excel.

With the XLMiner Analysis ToolPak Add-on, you can easily perform statistical analyses of the same types available in the Analysis ToolPak add-in that has been part of Microsoft Excel for over 20 years, and has been featured in large numbers of textbooks, videos, statistics courses and the like.

XLMiner Analysis ToolPak
The add-on provides all 19 interactive functions included in the Excel Analysis ToolPak, plus a 20th function often requested by users, logistic regression.  Sidebar input fields and output on the spreadsheet will be very familiar to Excel Analysis ToolPak users.

The 20 functions are:

  • ANOVA: Single Factor
  • ANOVA: Two-Factor with Replication
  • ANOVA: Two-Factor without Replication
  • Correlation
  • Covariance
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Exponential Smoothing
  • F-Test Two-Sample for Variances
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Histogram
  • Linear Regression
  • Logistic Regression
  • Moving Average
  • Random Number Generation
  • Rank and Percentile
  • Sampling
  • t-Test: Paired Two-Sample for Means
  • t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Equal Variances
  • t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Unequal Variances
  • z-Test: Paired Two-Sample for Means

Results will generally match the Excel Analysis ToolPak, as seen in many textbooks, screen images and videos.  The add-on’s Random Number Generation function uses the Mersenne Twister algorithm.

9. Merge

Scan two sheets for the same values based on key columns and update your main table with the missing information.

Five simple steps of the Merge Sheets wizard will guide you through the process of joining data from two tables. If you have at least one common identifier column in both sheets, e.g. product ID, the add-on will insert all the missing information for the same records in your main table.

  • Select the table you want to update and the one to pull information from
  • Define common columns the add-on can use to find the same records
  • Choose the columns to update or add to your main sheet

The merge assistant will do the rest. It will quickly compare key columns and find the necessary updates, no vlookup formulas needed. You can highlight changes with color, work only with the empty cells, and have all new records added to the end of the table. When the merge is complete, you’ll see the summary of all changes that the add-on has made.

merge google sheets add on
You can use this tool whenever you need to compare two sheets and bring the latest changes to your table.

10. autoCrat

Flexible, easy to use document merge tool that creates PDF or shared Documents from spreadsheet data. Automate the creation and sharing of personalized documents with autoCrat.

autocrat google sheets add on
AutoCrat is a multi-purpose document merge tool that allows you to take data from a spreadsheet and merge it into a document via a template.  Tell autoCrat which fields to merge via <<merge tags>> and then let autoCrat mass-generate personalized documents.  Optionally send the documents as email attachments.  Optionally tell autoCrat to run when new forms are submitted to created truly automated processes.

In response to user feedback and demand, the new version of autoCrat now has the following upgrades and new features:

  • A single, simpler user interface.  We got rid of the sidebar.  Everything happens through the primary dialogue.
  • More modern design/interface.
  • Cleaner code under the hood. Hopefully you notice faster performance and more reliable triggers.
  • Single document mode.  You can now produce a single document for a merge job.  E.g. a single doc or PDF, with each row of data that meets your job criteria merged into it.  Previously you could only create one document per row of data.  This was one of the most asked for feature requests.  (NOTE:  This only works for docs at the moment, not spreadsheets)
  • Image merge.  You can now merge images into your docs from a publicly hosted image URL.
  • Hyperlink merge. Easily add hyperlinks to your merged Google docs.

11. Google Analytics

Access all of your Google Analytics data in Google Spreadsheets.

google analytics google sheets add on

The Google Analytics spreadsheet add-on brings you the power of the Google Analytics API combined with the power of data manipulation in Google Spreadsheets. With this tool, you can:

  • Query data from multiple views (profiles).
  • Create custom calculations from your report data.
  • Create dashboards with embedded data visualizations.
  • Schedule reports to run automatically so your data is always current.
  • Easily control who can see these data and visualizations by leveraging Google Spreadsheet’s existing sharing and privacy features.

12. Search Analytics for Sheets

Retrieve data and create automatic backups from Google Search Console into Google Sheets.

Search Analytics for Sheets

Search Analytics for Sheets allows you to:

1. Retrieve query, page, clicks and other data on-demand for any of your verified websites from Google Search Console directly into Google Sheets.

  • supports grouping and filtering data by “Query”, “Page”, “Country” and “Device”
  • offers data on “Clicks”, “Impressions”, “CTR” and “Position”
  • allows up to 5000 rows of data per request

2. Create automatic data backups in Google Sheets so you’re no longer constrained by the 90 days Search Analytics limitation

  • backup monthly Google Search Console data for any site in its own spreadsheet
  • create unlimited number of backups
  • create both aggregated-data backups as well as grouped/filtered backups

13. Wolfram|Alpha for Sheets

The introduction of Wolfram|Alpha defined a fundamentally new paradigm for getting knowledge and answers—not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms and methods.

Wolfram|Alpha for Google Sheets

Bringing broad, deep, expert-level knowledge to everyone… anytime, anywhere.

In your spreadsheet, go to the “Wolfram|Alpha for Sheets” Add-on menu and select “Open Wolfram|Alpha Sidebar” to get immediate access to the computational power and knowledge of Wolfram|Alpha.

14. Power Tools add-on for Google Sheets

Whenever you feel like you are wasting too much energy on monotonous repetitive work, you realize there must be a better solution. Power Tools takes the burden of such problems off your shoulders.

Here you’ll find the features you miss most.

  • One-click solutions for the most popular tasks: change case, sum by color, and more
  • Merge records, split text with the special tools you get
  • Delete duplicates and any redundant values
  • Discover plenty other time-savers that come with the add-on

power tools google sheets

Power Tools will streamline all the routine operations in spreadsheets, show your recent actions and keep a list of your favorites so that you can re-apply them to other cells at any time.

15. g(Math)

At last – it’s quick and easy to create equations, graphs, stats displays and math quizzes to insert in Google Docs or Sheets.

g(Math) can create graphs from data in spreadsheet cells, or plot directly from a list of points you enter. And it can instantly visualize statistical data as histograms, bar charts and box-and-whisker plots, too.

Write virtually any mathematical expression directly on your PC or Chromebook’s keyboard or touchscreen. Input’s easy: you don’t need to know any math code or programming languages. g(Math) understands what you’re typing, instantly turning your expressions into clear, accurate on-screen formulas.
gmath for sheets
You can save even more time by picking from a huge range of ready-made formulas and functions, including quadratic equations, matrices and more. Then insert your expression into any spreadsheet cell or doc with a simple click.

If you’d prefer to dictate your equations or formulas, there is a Speech Input function within the Add-on. With these features, you can cater the tool to your unique learning style.

16. Lucidchart Diagrams

Quickly create and insert flowchart, UML, wireframe, mind map, and more diagrams directly into a Google document.

The easiest way to draw flowcharts, mockups, UML, mind maps and more. Work together in real time with your team and clients.

With the Lucidchart add-on for Google Sheets, you can quickly:

  • Create and edit Lucidchart documents from Sheets
  • Insert diagrams directly into a Google Sheet
  • Update inserted diagrams with latest changes made in Lucidchart

lucidchart google sheet add on
Lucidchart is an HTML5-based visual collaboration tool that makes drawing diagrams fast and easy. Work together with an unlimited number of others to create and edit diagrams in real time, with changes merged and synced instantaneously — great for team collaboration and working with clients.

17. OWOX BI BigQuery Reports

Build charts in Google Sheets based on data from Google BigQuery. Easy online integration without CSV. 100% Google Cloud Platform.

OWOX BI BigQuery Reports

* Create your own collection of queries

  • Analysts or developers can save queries with the preset variables that you need.

* No CSV export needed

  • Seamless extraction of query results to Google Sheets.

* Build charts

  • Visualize, works with and share data while enjoying the benefits of Google Sheets.

* Scheduled updates

  • Update your reports and dashboards regularly

* Upload results to Google BigQuery

  • Use data from your sheets in your queries

18. Table Styles

Apply a uniform style to your tables in one click, add your own custom style templates. Table Styles add-on lets you quickly apply a professional and uniform look to your tables in Google Sheets.

You can select your data and use one of predefined styles that come with the add-on. The templates are very flexible in use as they let you apply format only of those table elements that you check off.

Table Styles google sheets add on

If your company uses custom colors, select an existing table and add its style to your collection. You can also create your formatting template from scratch and use it in any spreadsheet: add borders, change font and background color in any table part like header or first row stripe.

Besides 24 pre-supplied styles, the current version keeps three of the most recent styles you create active. At the same time the add-on gives you the possibility to edit or delete all your custom templates to keep them up-to-date.

19. SuperMetrics

Get all your SEM, SEO & social media data into Google Sheets

Supermetrics for Google Sheets is a powerful add-on that turns Google Sheets into a full-blown business reporting system for SEM, SEO, web analytics and social media.

SuperMetrics google sheets

With this tool, you can:

  • Get metrics from multiple sources into Google Sheets. We provide integration for Google Analytics, Adwords, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, Twitter Ads and dozens of other platforms listed below
  • Refresh reports automatically or by a click of a button.
  • Create professional-looking reports with our pre-made templates
  • Schedule automatic emailing as PDF, Excel, CSV or HTML, or give others access to your reports & dashboards.
  • Avoid Google Analytics data sampling and the 90-day limit of Google Search Console data

20. Clearbit Sheets

Create targeted email lists and qualify leads in seconds.

Want to create targeted email lists in a few minutes? Or automate research across all your web signups? Clearbit’s software is the first to fully automate both lead generation and research.

Clearbit Sheets google sheets add on

Select emails in Google Sheets and, with one click, process them through Clearbit populating the spreadsheet with the researched leads. Clearbit returns any public social information they can find connected to an email, such as a Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn account. Clearbit also returns any company information associated with the email’s domain, such as number of employees, investment, market categories and location.

This product has an initial free trial, and is then $129/month from then on.

21. Twitter Archiver

Search Twitter for any keyword or hashtag and save matching tweets in a Google Sheet. It polls Twitter every hour for new tweets.

Twitter Archiver lets you easily save tweets for any search keyword or hashtag in a Google Spreadsheet. Enter a search query, or an hashtag, and all matching tweets are automatically saved in the Google Sheet. You can write simple queries, use boolean search or include advanced Twitter search operators to create more complex queries.

Twitter Archiver google sheets add on

Twitter Archiver can be used for saving tweets around trending hashtags, conference tweets, your brand mentions, geo-tagged tweets, and more. It polls twitter every hour and pulls all the matching tweets into the Google Spreadsheet

Bonus Chrome Extension


For making it this far, I saved the best for last. Catalytics replaces people on the Google Analytics homepage with surly looking cats. Great for playing jokes on our co-workers who leave their computer unlocked while away from their desk. 😉

Catalytics chrome extension


And there you have it. 21 super powerful Google Sheets add-ons waiting for you to put them to use.  I hope you’ve already installed a couple while reading through this post. There are literally hundreds of add-ons available, but these are my favorite or at least the most relevant for me as a marketer.

Which one of these is your favorite? Did I miss your favorite add-on? Let me know in the comments!

Introducing AskAdStage: Report On Your Ad Campaigns in Slack

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Product Updates, Reporting
Introducing AskAdStage: Report On Your Ad Campaigns in Slack

With our core mission to “connect marketers to the data they need to analyze, automate, and report on their digital ad campaigns”, many of our latest products have been developed using our Universal Data API.

The API allows developers and analysts to query ad performance data from eight major channel sources (Google AdWords, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter Ads, and Google Analytics) and pull it in as one, normalized feed. Sending the data anywhere they want.

We use our own API internally to power new products that help marketers report on and analyze their paid campaign performance trends in interesting ways. Whether that’s allowing users to ask their personal assistant Alexa about current ad spend trends, or granting the ability to pull all their ad data into Google Sheets with our AdStage Add-On.

Today, we’re proud to announce a new member to the reporting family, AskAdStage, a smart bot that allows marketers to report on and pause their ads in Slack.

What’s AskAdStage?

AskAdStage is an AI-powered reporting tool that allows marketers to create paid search and social campaign reports on-the-fly in Slack. Then if desired, take action on performance trends by pausing your campaigns or ad groups/sets within a table view.

AskAdStage is an AI-powered reporting tool that allows marketers to create paid search and social campaign reports on-the-fly in Slack

What Are the Core Features?

Integrate and report across your core ad networks

Set up your account in AdStage, and pull reports across your Google AdWords, Bing, Yahoo! Gemini, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter ad campaigns.

Integrate and report across your core ad networks

Pull performance metrics on demand

Create paid social and social reports on-the-go from any Slack supported device (mobile, tablet, or desktop).

Pull performance metrics on demand

Visualize ad performance data with flexible line, bar, and pie charts

Tell AskAdStage your preferred report type, networks, metrics and time range—then receive a report back in seconds. Change your chart type easily with quick action buttons.

Visualize ad performance data with flexible line, bar, and pie charts

Apply advanced filters to hone in on the metrics you care about

Perfect your reporting views with network, campaign type, and status filters. Learn all the possible commands.

Apply advanced filters to hone in on the metrics you care about

Take action on underperforming campaigns or ad creative

View your report, then pause or re-enable a list of campaigns, ad groups/ad sets, or creatives based on performance.

Take action on underperforming campaigns or ad creative

Pull quick campaign performance reports for your team

Add the AskAdStage bot to any team Slack channel, allowing team members to change the chart type, add comments, or pull their own report!

Pull quick campaign performance reports for your team

How to Get Started

Get set up with AskAdStage, the smart ad reporting assistant for Slack, in 4 quick steps:

  1. Ensure you are an AdStage customer or actively trialing the product.
  2. Visit the AskAdStage page or Slack app listing to download the app.
  3. Assign the app a Slack team instance and channel.
  4. AskAdStage to pull a paid campaign report using this format:
    • Chart format (list, bar, line chart) + reporting level (account, campaign, ad group/ad set) + metric you care about (CTR, conversions, CPA, etc.) + time range (ex: last 14 days)
    • Example query:
      • “/askadstage show me a line chart of the top 10 best performing Facebook ad sets by CTR over the last 7 days”

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15 Slack Apps to Make You a More Productive Marketer

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in Reporting
15 Slack Apps to Make You a More Productive Marketer

The Best 15 Slack Apps for Marketers

With over 5 million daily active users, it’s no surprise Slack is one of the most popular apps for businesses. Marketers, in particular, love Slack apps because they can integrate it with other apps and tools, making it the mission control center for managing work.

With over 600 apps available for integration, it can be hard to decide which ones are the best for marketers. That’s why in this article, you will learn about the best 15 Slack apps for marketers.

1. GrowthBot

Delegating to an assistant is one of the most common tasks any manager does to lower his work load. With the fast development of artificial intelligence, now managers can use automated queries to get all sort of useful information.



GrowthBot is an automated Slack assistant that quickly fetches marketing and sales information for you. With GrowthBot, you can find and report the top Twitter users in your city, you can get the search keywords one of your competitors ranks for, or what SaaS companies use a specific tool. All of this with the help of natural language interface, so it will feel as if you are talking to a real assistant

Since GrowthBot doesn’t have a specific suite of features, you should discover some of what it can do by typing in “Hello” and then “Give me a hint.”

Finally, it connects to a diverse set of tools such as HubSpot Marketing, HubSpot CRM, Google, and other data providers to provide quick and convenient answers to common questions.

2. AskAdStage

Running PPC campaigns for different ad networks can be hard to manage. You have to analyze dozens of reports, which can be hard to find and create.

AskAdStage is a paid search & social campaign reporting tool that gives PPC managers access to a wide variety of reports to analyze your campaign’s performance right in your Slack channels.

AskAdStage connects to eight ad networks, which include:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Instagram Ads
  • Twitter Ads
  • LinkedIn Ads
  • Google AdWords
  • Bing Ads
  • Yahoo Gemini

You can use AskAdStage to compare performance metrics across each of the search and social networks mentioned before in just a few clicks. You can get detailed reports on the performance of your search or social networks campaigns, the campaign objectives of each one, and their statuses.

If you prefer to see the performance of your campaigns, you can use AskAdStage to get visualized data trends with bar, line, and pie charts.

Finally, you can use AskAdStage to pause or enable your ad campaigns, ad groups, or individual ads.

3. Statsbot

If you run a software or e-commerce business, staying up to date with analytics can be tough. There are many tools most marketers use, like Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Salesforce, among others.

StatsBot is an AI-driven analytics monitoring assistant that delivers reports to your Slack channels. Whenever there’s a change in an important metric (which could include pageviews, lead acquired, or revenue), StatsBot sends you a message in one of your Slack channels.

The tool pulls specific metrics you define from all your favorite analytics tools, including Google Analytics, Stripe, and Mixpanel.

4. Drift

Get to know your customers,” is an old mantra that business has been practicing for a long time due to the vast amount of marketing ideas it can help marketers untap. Given the scarce time marketers have, talking to your customers can be a challenging task, to say the least.

The situation changes with Drift, a communications tool which makes it easy to talk with your customers in real-time. Drift also simplifies the way your marketing team generates leads and schedule meetings faster using real-time messaging.

Thanks to the integration between Drift and Slack together, you can manage all the conversations without having to leave Slack.

5. Autopilot

Marketing automation is a powerful way to communicate with your customers. By creating and sending automated customer journeys, you can give all the information your visitors need to make them more interested in your company’s offers.

autopilot slack app

With Autopilot, you can send personalized emails, in-app messages, SMS, or even postcards, and nurture your leads into high paying customers.

The integration between Autopilot and Slack offers many benefits to marketers, some of which include:

  • Get notifications when the sales team gets a demo requests
  • Send internal message to the team’s Slack channel, so that the team can now view new user challenges as they happen and respond fast
  • Engage your users by showing signs they are ready to upgrade or churn

6. Hootsuite

There are billions of social media users, making them a priority for marketers as a communications channel. But how do you take the time to create and send all your team’s Facebook updates, tweets, and Instagram posts?

HootSuite is the most widely used platform for managing social media, with over 10 million people around the globe and trusted by more than 800 of the Fortune 1000.

The Slack integration for HootSuite allows you to send social messages from your Hootsuite dashboard directly to any channel within your Slack team.

7. Baremetrics

baremetrics slack app

As a marketer, you must follow the most important metrics closely for your startup, like the monthly recurring revenue, the churn rate, and the number of new customers.

Baremetrics is an analytics and monitoring tool that gives you access to metrics you can act on. They also provide you with information about your customer profiles. You can find out their LTV and MRR, among other metrics.

The integration of Baremetrics sends important updates to your team’s Slack channel. You can receive the latest data from your most important metrics so you don’t miss what’s happening in your company.

8. Mention

Whether your company is large or small, people will talk about it in both good and bad ways. You must follow what they say about you, so you can react fast if there’s any PR problem or if a potential customer needs an extra push to sign up.

mention slack app

Mention is media monitoring tool that gives you access to real-time brand mentions across the web. You can also use Mention to analyze your competitors, reach out to influencers, or get insights on your industry.

With Mention’s Slack integration, you can monitor important keywords right from your team’s Slack channels. You can also ensure that all mentions are attended to by assigning them to team members with Slack’s @mention feature.

9. Drum

drum slack app

Meetings, one of the pillars that makes up any company’s culture. Whether you find them useful or not, you will have to meet with members of your marketing team. Sometimes the need for a meeting shows up without short notice. You can go and create a meeting with Google Calendar or another similar tool, but if you are in a hurry it may take you more than you wished to do so.

Drum allows you to create an instant web meeting within your chosen Slack channel or direct message. By integrating Drum into your Slack team, you can benefit from instant web meetings with the same functionality you would expect within your face to face meeting.

You can create a meeting quickly by using the code “<code>/drum</code>” into your Slack channel or direct message. Your team will be able to join a meeting with Drum’s local dial-numbers at no charge. They can even join a web meeting with just a click.

10. Zapier

If you are like most companies, you use dozens of different tools to make your job. After a while, it can be hard to get anything done with so many tools to use. To simplify your life, you could use a bit of automation.

Zapier allows you to connect over 750+ apps, including Gmail, Basecamp, HubSpot, Evernote, Google Sheets, Typeform, and more. In just a few minutes, you can set up automations called “Zaps,” which will turn your Slack into your team’s central command.

You can connect calendar events, social media mentions, or new lead details straight into any chat.

11. Content Tracker

Content marketing is one of the most effective channels for online marketers. Despite its power, 57% of B2B marketers have a hard time measuring its effectiveness.

content tracker slack app

Content Tracker by Priceonomics is a dashboard for measuring content marketing performance. By integration Content Tracker with Slack, you can get real-time notifications of events such as:

  • When you get an inbound link to your content
  • When new content is published
  • When your blog content hits big milestones on social sharing and traffic
  • When one of your articles goes going viral

With the Slack integration, you will get all your content marketing analytics directly in Slack.

12. Raven

raven tools slack app

We’ve mentioned PPC, content marketing, and analytics. But we can’t forget about SEO, which is another highly powerful marketing acquisition channel.

Raven is one of the most complete SEO tools. Lots of marketers use Raven to schedule marketing reports, discover on-page SEO issues, and manage their marketing campaigns. By automating your reports, you can save many hours. You can get ranking reports, analytics, SEO, social media, and advertising data all in one place.

The integration of Raven and Slack gives you real-time information about your marketing campaigns right in your Slack channels. With Raven, you can receive notifications such as:

  • When one of the on-page SEO audits are complete
  • When someone adds or removes an inbound link
  • When a scheduled report is sent to a client

13. RandomGrowth Marketing Ideas Bot

Growth hacking is a popular term among startups marketers as it brings the power of customer acquisition, data, and programming all in one place. There are many growth hacks which are very simple yet effective, which is why marketers love sharing and using them.

The RandomGrowth Marketing Ideas Bot gives you short, actionable growth hacks and marketing ideas used by the most successful startups in your Slack team. The RandomGrowth Growth Hacks Generator is Ideal for busy early and seasoned entrepreneurs constantly working on multiple projects.

14. Trello

Project management is a discipline all marketers use to plan, execute, and control the work of a team to achieve specific goals. That’s why most companies, whether they are large or small, use project management tools to improve their results.

trello slack app

Trello is one of the most popular project management tools due to its simplicity. With Trello, you can create new projects (called “cards”), and see who’s responsible for each task within each project.

If you have separate teams working on specific cards or tasks, the Trello integration can help you manage the process efficiently. You can create a Slack channel with everyone in the loop and have a central chat/content management system to keep all projects in check.

Trello lets you create cards (projects), assign them to teammates, set deadlines and leave comments when necessary.

15. Google Drive

It’s a fact employees generate vast amounts of files for their work: writers make content pieces, designers create Photoshop files, and developers have multiple files with their code.

Google Drive allows you to store all your files securely online and access them from anywhere. The integration of Google Drive with Slack helps you create Google Docs and import any type of file from Google Drive without leaving your conversations in Slack.

Here’s a handy guide made by Slack on how to setup and use Google Drive.


As you have seen, Slack isn’t just a powerful communications app. The vast amount of app integrations will help you save time, which in turn will make you a more productive marketer. Now it’s your turn to get started.

Pick one of the mentioned Slack apps, and integrate it with your company’s channels. Try it out for yourself, and see how powerful Slack apps can really be.

What Makes a Good Monthly PPC Report?

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Reporting
What Makes a Good Monthly PPC Report?

Take Your Monthly PPC Reports from Good to Great

PPC reporting is a necessary evil in our line of work. Though nearly all of us would much rather be making campaign optimizations based on all the data we’ve accrued, it’s important that we’re sharing with stakeholders and able to convey what’s going on to them in a meaningful way.

So what actually makes a good PPC report? It’s not terribly difficult, but it’s easy to put together just a mediocre report if you’re not paying close attention. Great PPC reports require some foresight and a little effort upfront to ensure they’ll have maximum impact. Let’s walk through some of the most important aspects that I try to focus on with each report I send out.

Start with the End Reader(s) in Mind

Before you begin to build your reports, it’s important to think about the recipient. More than likely they have their own areas of focus and style of communicating. Before you strike your first key or make your first chart, ask yourself questions that can help drive what your end product looks like:

  • Who is the recipient of this report?
  • Are there multiple levels of personnel I need to convey information to?
  • What is important to the recipient(s) and what do they to want to know?
  • What is important for them to know, whether they’re interested in it or not?
  • What questions will they have about what I’m presenting and how can I answer them?
  • What level of knowledge does the end user have? Can you utilize industry jargon or do you need to explain things more explicitly?

This certainly isn’t a complete list, but each of these guiding questions can help you determine what should and shouldn’t be in your reports and how you convey that information. For the remainder of this post, I’ll show you the questions I hear in my head while I’m putting together my monthly reports based on a fictionalized client to ensure I’m covering my bases.

Call out the portions in the data that are important to each stakeholder. (If you don’t, they’re just going to ask you about them later.) For a CMO, you might stick to higher level discussions about account trends, competitor trends, and ad messaging. For a fellow Marketing Manager, you might be better off digging further into the details and zeroing in on a couple specific areas of focus for them.

That said, your reports shouldn’t just include pandering information. It’s also critical to call out things that are important to account performance, whether they want to hear them or not. Use your expertise to identify important positive/negative aspects of the performance and address them in the report. Who knows, maybe one of these days folks will stop worrying about tenths of percent changes in CTR when CPA is fluctuating by 20%.

Visualize What’s Most Important

In a perfect world, our report recipient would have endless time to read, review, and digest the amazing reports we’ve put together for them. And some people might make that time. But most will not. I’ve found it valuable to make the top two to three takeaways from the month into visuals.

You might be saying, “But I already use charts to highlight the data in my report”, and that’s great! But odds are you’re showing some iteration of clicks vs CPC, conversions vs CPA, or ROI compared to average order value throughout the month. And you’re showing that every month. Again, that’s great and can be valuable, but it’s not what I’m referring to.

Similar to calling out your recipients focus areas, find a way to visually represent the top pieces of the month. If you’ve been trying to make non-brand search a larger share of the budget and you made some good strides this month create a before and after style pie chart calling out the progress. This might not be a permanent staple of all your reports, but it’s important for this month and something you want to make sure your client/boss remembers.

Pro tip: it’s important to make sure your visuals are telling the right story. Check out this post to get a little insight about making valuable charts.

It’s the Data, Stupid

It’s fairly obvious that it’s hard to have a great PPC report without the actual data, but it’s even harder to have one that doesn’t make a couple of pretty common mistakes. Let’s go through the two biggest mistakes with data in PPC reports.

Data Dumping


Just because you have lots of data doesn’t mean you have to throw it in people’s faces. The people you’re reporting to don’t have time to dig through the data like you do. That’s why they hired you in the first place. Distill things down to what they need to know. In my mind that consists of the following:

  • A high level summary of important metrics that show how your efforts are performing overall.
  • Breakdowns of channel statistics and performance.
  • Insights into campaign groups within channels when applicable (i.e. Retargeting vs Search vs Display).
  • Top performing ad variants and keywords.
  • Insights into specific tests of interest.

That’s about it. Otherwise, you run the risk of including so much data that someone simply can’t wade through it all and come out the other side with a concise understanding of what happened. They’ll be all over the place.

If there are other areas of interest that are frequently discussed, like top performing geographies or mobile insights, then certainly look to include those. As we’ll cover a bit more here in a moment, you want to include the stats that the stakeholder is interested in, but be conscious of data dumping and don’t throw data at them just for the sake of doing it. Include the high level, things that need action, and the points they care most about and leave everything else for another day.

Leaving Out the Goals

More than likely, when you began the month there were clear goals as to what you wanted your campaigns to achieve. If you’re not calling those out in your report and whether you crushed those goals or fell short, then your reporting needs to have a change in focus.

If you’re needing help figuring out how to add goal numbers, there are a couple different ways.

In the Data Itself

Create some charts that show your PPC goal metrics

Create some charts that show where your goal metrics are and where you ended up, then call out the surpluses or deficits. Sometimes it can be very easy to just add an additional column to a table or a new chart to the report to directly, visually compare actual performance to goals.

In the Written Portion of the Monthly Report

“In May, we spent a total of $73,136 (1% below goal of $74,000) and generated 1,283 conversions (7% over goal of 1,200) bringing our end demo CPA to $57 (7% below goal of $61.50).”

You can also include them in a written portion of the report. This can be a bit easier since it won’t require additional formatting, but can be more easily overlooked by your recipient.

It’s not so much important as to where you put them, it’s that they’re included and a major point of the report.

Give Context to Your Data

Numbers without context are effectively meaningless. It’s up to you to provide the context so your client/boss can understand what you’re showing them. Be sure you’re making clear, high level context to what the numbers mean and what that means for your accounts.

Outline the Strategy Changes and Their Impact

Each report should call out what your actual strategy was for the month.

  • Did you decide to launch new channels?
  • Were there changes to your call to action?
  • Did you decide you want to be in position 1 no matter what?
  • What things were different last month that would have impacted the stats?

If you’re not calling out the changes made you’re losing context as to why the numbers are what they are.

Draw Conclusions About the Strategy

If you’re not drawing conclusions about strategies, you’re leaving it up to your client or boss to do it, and that’s not their job. That’s your job. Draw conclusions about the strategies based on the data and context you’ve provided.

Did your strategies work?

Did they fail?

Somewhere in the middle?


Call Out Outside Influences, Unforeseen Problems

Best laid plans

Your strategy isn’t the only thing that can greatly impact performance. Were there delays getting the strategy in place? Did an outside force affect your campaigns and either give your efforts a boost or squash them?

It’s important to give context around the things outside of your control but that influenced performance. Again, without this you’ll be painting an incomplete picture and leaving the recipient wondering why things were so different without a good enough reason.

Compare to Historical Performance

Although you’re tying numbers back to goals for the month, it’s also important to keep an eye on bigger trends. Great PPC reports should include some form of historical data to provide trend insights.

Some examples would be:

  • Month over Month: good for showing recent fluctuations in performance.
  • Year over Year: important if seasonality is in play and more recent comparisons won’t yield true comparisons.
  • Rolling 3 or 6 months: great for showing a long term trend in a positive or negative direction.

Each of these has their role to play, but again, don’t include too much data. Find the historical reference that’s most important for the particular month and focus there. In future months you can call out other ranges if needed.

Ok, What’s Next?

If you’re a fan of The West Wing, you’ll know that one of the famous quotes from President Bartlet is “What’s next?” It sounds simple enough, but in the context of the show, it’s full meaning was “I’ve understood what you’ve said and I see where we’ve been. Let’s close that chapter and move on. What are we going to do next?”

I’ve always felt that the folks who completely ‘get’ PPC would have similar discussions with me about their PPC reports. “I understand the full picture of last month’s performance and findings and how that compares to the past. Now what are we going to do next month to make things even better?”

All great PPC reports should end by looking forward to the future. Based on everything that’s come prior in the report, what are the strategies for the following month? Do we need to stay the course or make big swings in strategy? How are you going to improve performance next month?

If you’re having regular calls with your client/boss, odds are you’ve already begun discussing strategies for the future. Those should also be included in this section of the report. Discuss what you’ll be testing and why you’re giving that strategy a shot. Bonus points if you can tie any future strategy pieces to the specific stats in the report.

Writing a great PPC report isn’t rocket science, but it’s certainly not something that can be done on autopilot. Spend a little time upfront to fully understand your audience, then craft the report in ways that are meaningful to them and don’t just drown them in data.

Lastly, give them a full understanding of where they’ve been and where they’re going. They’ll appreciate the extra effort, you’ll like that they start paying more attention to the report you’ve worked so hard on, everyone wins. And isn’t that what we’re all after anyway?

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Quick Guide to Amazon’s Advertiser Audiences

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in Advertising, Reporting
Quick Guide to Amazon’s Advertiser Audiences

Amazon Announces New Lookalike Audiences Tool

Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is intriguing news that’s been covered by just about every major media outlet, but the company quietly announced another addition to its capabilities in the past few weeks. One that marketers may find even more exciting.

Amazon, in its blog post, describes Advertiser Audiences as “a new self-service capability that allows advertisers to securely engage their customers and extend campaign reach on and off Amazon.” If you haven’t yet considered Amazon as an advertising channel, this could be a good time to start testing.

Advertiser Audiences allows you to reach existing customers – of which Amazon says case study participant Burt’s Bees saw click-through rate increase by 2x, consideration rate increase by 9x, and purchase rate increase by 4x to 8x – but the real power lies in creating lookalike audiences. To do that, advertisers anonymously match a list of their customers with Amazon shoppers to create new targeting segments to use in Amazon advertising campaigns.


Pros of Advertiser Audiences

Unlike other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest, people looking at Amazon are the farthest along the funnel, and couldn’t be closer to a purchasing decision. This allows marketers to shape messaging accordingly. Instead of spending time and money on ads that inform, educate, or interest, messaging can be much more blunt and aggressive.

While you won’t get direct insight into Amazon’s customers, campaign results, if interpreted correctly, will reveal behavioral data for those people who have made it nearly all the way through the funnel. This information can inform future advertising decisions, even outside of Amazon campaigns.

Cons of Advertiser Audiences

Currently, Advertiser audiences is not an easy-to-use, intuitive platform. It’s a manual process that unless you’re experienced (or very patient) may require agency assistance.

As mentioned above, the tool will help you reach lookalike audiences, but don’t expect a huge dump of data in return. Some analysts have described Amazon’s advertising offerings as “black-box,” and this one is no exception.

Only Amazon advertisers (advertisers placing buys directly with/through it) have access to the channel and can use it only for their Amazon campaigns.


Advertiser Audiences In Action

Amazon worked with Burt’s Bees to test and ramp up Advertiser Audiences. Over the last holiday season, Burt’s Bees wanted to focus on their gift packs and stocking stuffers. Using Advertiser Audiences, they discovered 68% of their website customers also used Amazon for online purchases. They used that info to build a lookalike segment and saw that matched customers purchased 4x more.

How to Get Started

Though technically Advertiser Audiences is a self-serve platform, Amazon suggests you contact your account exec to get started. Pay close attention as he or she walks you through the process so you can take over from there and not have to depend on someone else to launch future campaigns.

As part of Amazon’s terms to use Advertiser Audiences, you will need to anonymize your customer email list using either a self-service user interface or if you know how, you can pre-hash your list before submission. (A search for “SHA256 generator” turns up quite a few encryption options. SHA256 refers to the algorithm that carries out the anonymizing).

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Data Visualization: When and How to Use Graphics for PPC Reporting

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 in Advertising, Reporting
Data Visualization: When and How to Use Graphics for PPC Reporting

Technology, an increasing demand to squeeze the most out of every minute, and the desire to objectively present information are driving our world to become ever more visual. Whether in news media, on social, or in daily business reports, there exists a need for detailed information to be presented and understood quickly.

You probably deal with mounds of data every week, but it’s often hard to sort through what really matters, and when it does, how to effectively tell a story with the numbers. No doubt you’ve come across a graphic before that either didn’t make any sense or did little to present information in a way that illustrated a point. Visualizing data isn’t always necessary, but when used correctly at the right time, can be crucial in getting your point across.

Reasons To Use Data Visuals In PPC Reports

Popping a graphic or two into a report can give it a professional look and save space where’d you otherwise need to use a bunch of text, but before you go drawing up a complicated line graph, make sure there’s a valid reason for the graphic. A few of the more obvious include:

  • Presenting and understanding complicated info quickly – Your client just sent a request for week over week CTR data for each active social platform going back 6 months. Instead of dumping it all into an Excel sheet and leaving them to decipher it, a simple graph can tell a story that might otherwise need a thousand words.

adstage CTR by week

  • Highlight emerging trends – Laying all the data out in a visual manner is often the easiest way to predict where certain trends are headed. If you’re seeing a bump on a piece of creative featuring a certain style of your retail client’s denim, you could use a data visual to help them see why another look at their website promotions and store layout could be an effort with a huge payoff.
  • Spot overlaps and patterns – Let’s say you’ve been A/B testing creative and you want to show your client why they should funnel their budget into creative A, even though they love creative B. A line graph could help show the disparity between the two pieces, and the power of reallocating the budget to the winning creative.

You don’t want to spend time on a meaningless graph, but you also don’t want to miss the opportunity to include valuable information that tells a powerful story. Make sure there’s a compelling reason to visualize a chunk of data and it’ll be a natural part of your report.

When To Use Certain Visuals

Pie charts, line graphs, bar graphs, Venn diagrams. Just hearing that list can bring back middle school memories of math class. Sometimes it’s obvious which chart type is most appropriate, but other times – not so much. Figure out what the goal of your chart is, and you can easily discern between which to use.


If you have many key players referring to the data, and each will be interested in his or her own piece, a table or metric is a good call. In this example from the NY Times, a table is used to show how common certain birthdays are, based on how many babies were born on that date between 1973 and 1999.

While it’s interesting to see how your birthday might compare to another one, you’re likely only looking for information that pertains to you and then moving on. One thing to note is that unlike other data visualization options, a table won’t bring your audience to an immediate conclusion, rather it will simply organize and present the information for reference.

how common is your birthday


The very structure of a line graph is set up for data to be shown over time. In this interactive chart from USA Today, four bar charts show why Apple recently cut the price of the iPad – starting with declining market share, then slipping quarterly sales, declining tablet shipments, and finally a comparison to other tablet manufacturers. The first three graphs are shown on a year over year scale, helping highlight the iPad’s rise, plateau, and decline – a strong indication it’s time for Apple to make decisions to reverse the drop in sales.

google table market share

Tailored Visualization

Depending on what you’re trying to present, a traditional chart might not do the job. If that’s the case, you have to get creative. Time does a great job categorizing and then visualizing the daily routines of famous creative people in this interactive chart.

daily routines of famous creative people

How To Use Data Visualizations

No matter what type of data visualization you’re using, you must set the narrative. On a basic level, all graphics should be correctly titled, and all data clearly labeled. Providing the right context will help avoid misinterpretation of objective data.

AdStage’s Report product takes care of all of that for you, and helps you generate better PPC reports in minutes. As we highlighted in a previous post, the cross-channel dashboards in Report offer customizable widgets for advertisers to select the data set and the visual components of the dashboard, such as tables, metrics, graphs, and charts.

How to Easily Bring All Your Marketing Data into One PPC Report

Posted by on May 30, 2017 in Product Updates, Reporting
How to Easily Bring All Your Marketing Data into One PPC Report

Introducing New Report Table Upload Widget!

View data from your CRM, Marketing Automation apps, BI tools, and billing systems in a single PPC report

Your customers frequent across many different channels, devices, and touchpoints. Understanding how to pull different levers in the buyer’s journey is crucial to driving successful ad campaigns.

Advertising data reveals great insights into performance metrics such as conversions or web actions (such as a form fill). But, analyzing ad metrics in a silo doesn’t reveal how cross-channel campaign performance impacts deeper business metrics such as lead quality, opportunity size, and revenue (sales).

Add Custom Tables to Your PPC Reports

Now you can add custom data tables to your PPC reports for a 360° view of campaign performance. Table uploads give you the flexibility to compare ad performance data with your CRM, marketing automation tools or third party data in one report.

Quickly add any table Excel, csv or Google Sheets to visually present ad performance down the marketing funnel, and better understand campaign impact on ROI. For example, you can include metrics such as email, organic, event, and sales data to round out your ad campaign reports.

Add Custom Tables to Your PPC Reports

Try Manual Upload Tables

How Can Custom Tables Help Your PPC Reporting Workflow?

(1) Measure Return on Ad Spend by Opportunities Closed

  • Drop in your monthly opportunity and revenue reports from Salesforce into your cross-channel reporting views.

(2) Track Top-of-Funnel Conversion Trends

  • Pull a campaign level performance report from your marketing automation system to see the landing pages or content driving the most conversions from your campaigns.

(3) Get a 360º View of Cross-Channel Top Performers

  • Add in metrics from other channels, such as email, event, or organic social performance data.

(4) Add Custom Tables with Google Sheets

How to Get Started with Custom Tables

(1) Select the ‘Table Upload’ widget in any existing or new report dashboard.

How to Get Started with Custom Tables

(2) You can upload your table three ways

  1. Drag csv or xsl file from your computer and drop it in the widget creation flow
  2. Click ‘Upload’ button and choose your csv or xsl file
  3. Paste a shareable Google Sheets link in the provided fieldAdStage Report Custom Table Upload

(3) Click ‘Save’ and you’re all set!

Wrapping Up

Table uploads give you the flexibility to combine ad performance data with your CRM, marketing automation tools or third party data in one report. Take the internal business / customer data you’re already collecting in your marketing automation tools and CRM, and add it alongside your ad performance data for a deeper understanding of impact and ROI.

Go ahead and give AdStage Report Table Upload a try

What’s New in AdStage: May

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Automation, Product Updates, Reporting
What’s New in AdStage: May

Welcome to the May edition of What’s New in AdStage! We spent the last month building a ton of feature enhancements in Report and Automate.

Let’s take a look at the latest and greatest in Report and Automate below👇.


Bring All Your Marketing Data into One PPC Report

New Table Upload Widget

Take any excel, csv, or google sheets data table you have and upload it directly to Report!

Use Table Upload Widgets to Help You:

(1) Measure Return on Ad Spend by Opportunities Closed

  • Drop in your monthly opportunity and revenue reports from Salesforce into your cross-channel reporting views.

(2) Track Top-of-Funnel Conversion Trends

  • Pull a campaign level performance report from your marketing automation system to see the landing pages or content driving the most conversions from your campaigns.

(3) Get a 360º View of Cross-Channel Top Performers

  • Add in metrics from other channels, such as email, event, or organic social performance data.

(4) Add Custom Tables with Google Sheets

  • Customize your reporting views using Google Sheets to show data from your custom formulas. When uploading a table from Google Sheets, you’ll always have the most recent data – no need to worry about data accuracy problems 🙌 .
  • Get step-by-step help with Google Sheets 👉  How do I upload a Google Sheet into Report?

Save Time Creating Reports with Dashboard Settings

Set Default Data Source at the Dashboard Level

Now you can choose to view data from specific account groups, accounts, folders, campaigns, ad groups, or ads at the dashboard level by setting a ‘Data Source’.

The data source you select in the dashboard settings, will now be the default level for any newly created widget.

Filter Your Performance Data Views Faster

New Widget Creation Layout 

The widget fields now have natural language making it easier to breakdown performance data by any level of your ad account, and uncover deeper KPI insights from your reports.

New Widget Creation Layout Filter Performance Views via blog.adstage.io

Easily Identify Top Performing Networks at a Glance

We Standardized Network Colors!

Now when you create a cross-network widget, you’ll see each network has a standardized color. These network colors will be consistent across all dashboards and reports.

Standard Network Colors AdStage Report via blog.adstage.io

Standard Network Colors AdStage Report via blog.adstage.io

See Your Copy Next to Your Ads in Performance Tables

Add Headline, Image, and Description Columns to Ad Tables

We added the ability to see ad creative next to performance metrics,  so you can diagnose which creatives are working, and what’s not, faster.

Add an ad level table widget to your reports for a side-by-side comparison of winning headline, image, and description combinations.


Sequence Ads Together to Tell Your Brand Story

New Automate Flighting Feature!

Drum roll please……introducing the latest addition to Automate: Flighting!

Now you can show campaigns, ad groups, and ads in an ordered sequence to reach your target audience at every buying stage (resulting in higher CTRs and conversion rates🤑 ).

Top Direct-Response and Brand Awareness Flighting Strategies

(1) Funnel-Based Storytelling

  • Increase CTR and conversion rates using a specific series of sequenced ads to walk potential customers down the purchase funnel with relevant call-to-actions.
  • For example start with a brand awareness message (Step 1), product information / value proposition message (Step 2), and finally use a targeted CTA to convert potential customers via signup form or make a purchase on product page.

(2) Prime-and-Remind Storytelling

  • Use different ad formats to both “prime” people with the brand’s story using video ads, and “remind” people of the video narrative with display ads.

(3) Progressive Promotions

  • If you are running a promotion with different percentages off per week, you can flight your ads to show accurately and timely.
  • Easily schedule specific times to run your first week 10% Off Promo (Step 1), second week 20% Off Promo (Step 2), and third week 30% Off Promo (Step 3).

Have questions about Flighting? Check out the full product update for Flighting templates and getting started guides.

Let Your Alerts Do the Optimizing for You

Convert Performance Alerts into Optimization Rules with Just One-Click

Now you can easily convert your existing alerts into rules to automate the same actions you’re already taking on your accounts after you receive an email notification.

AdStage Automate Convert Alert into Rule via blog.adstage.io

Automate Convert Alert to Rule AdStage via blog.adstage.io

Your converted rule will have the same conditions as your alert, but now you can specify an optimization condition to apply once the rule is triggered. In other words, you can save yourself a ton of time on performing tedious management tasks.

Common Alert → Rule Use Cases to Save Time & Boost Results

1. Avoid Wasting Spend on High CPA Ad Sets

  • IF Cost Per Result > $100 AND Spend > $250
  • Using Data from Last 30 Days
  • THEN Pause Ad Set
  • Run Every 6 Hours
  • RUN & EMAIL results

2. Pause Low Performing CTR Ads

  • IF Status is Active AND Impressions > 5000 AND CTR < .05%
  • Using Data from Last 7 Days
  • THEN Pause AD
  • Run Every Monday at 10am PST
  • RUN & EMAIL results

3. Maximize Your Daily Budget

  • IF Spend < $15
  • Using Data from Today
  • THEN Increase Bid Amount by 30% with Max. Bid = $10
  • Run Daily @ 2pm PST
  • RUN & EMAIL results

Common Alert → Rule Use Cases to Save Time & Boost Results via blog.adstage.io

Wrapping Up

We always love hearing from you! Let us know what you think about the May product updates in the comments below.

P.S. Want to check out the full product release?

Visit our product updates portal, where we’ll be keeping you up-to-date with the latest and greatest from the AdStage labs!