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Marketing Leadership Updated on: Sep 15, 2023

How to present marketing reports to your board (w/ template)

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For marketing leaders, board meetings usually mean standing in front of a group of people for a very small window of time and somehow making sure they are getting across where the entire marketing function stands, from KPI performance, important milestones achieved, current priorities, all the way to potential challenges and how they plan to overcome them.

The challenge here is finding the right balance between offering the right level of detail that shareholders need to get the answers they want, and not getting sidetracked with nonessential topics that will often lead to more questions, doubts, or concerns.

Having a concise, executive, and clear structure to guide the conversation along is what will set you up for success from the start.

What marketing slides should you bring to board meetings?

Whether you are putting together a presentation for a monthly, quarterly, or annual board meeting, consider what type of questions the board would like answered in the meeting, as well as what are the exact takeaways that you would like them to remember from the meeting. To learn more about what to expect from and how to prepare for a board meeting, check out this podcast episode hosted by our founder, Stijn Hendrikse.

Marketing outcomes, costs, and KPIs

As you will hear from Stijn, board members are usually interested in learning how their investment is doing and if the performance of their investment has proven to achieve the targets initially set forth. That’s why you should always offer an overview of outcomes, costs, and performance. It’s particularly helpful to show how your funnel and KPIs are progressing, comparing targets to actuals. This will help you present a clear picture to the board in regard to what is working well and where additional focus is needed to perform against expectations. 

Marketing trends overview

It’s also very helpful to showcase the ebb and flow of some of these outcomes. Not only do you want to present the total number of MQL conversions versus targets, for example, or the current state of your SEO performance. You want to show the fluctuations in time and trends that have led you to where you currently are, allowing you to dive slightly deeper into when, how, and why there have been positive or negative impacts.

High-level summary 

Because these types of slides tend to be “data-heavy”, make sure you always include one at the end where you summarize highlights and challenges (including how you overcame these), as well as the next steps or upcoming initiatives for marketing. This will allow you to end your presentation on a high note, as you tie up all of the information you have laid out and present a clear path ahead to keep moving towards your targets.

It is likely you will be asked to go deeper into certain slides or data, so make sure you create additional slides to build further into your plans if needed. 

To give you some additional help, we have created this free template for you to create your own Marketing report for your next board meeting.

Ace your next board presentation with our marketing report slides template

Fill out the form below to get your copy of our marketing board presentation slides template, with examples of six essential slides covering performance, learnings, and next steps.

How to present marketing performance to your board

Presenting marketing performance to your board is a critical task that demands precision and clarity. Focusing on results is something you’ve probably heard a lot when putting together executive presentations. As a marketing leader, your ability to focus on results and address questions that arise from hard numbers can make or break your board presentation. Let’s dive into some strategies and insights you need to communicate your marketing results effectively.

Choose the most relevant set of KPIs

Depending on the objectives and priorities of your marketing function, you’ll want to choose the right set of KPIs to show the performance of recent (or historic) marketing efforts, from conversions and website sessions and visitors to customer churn, conversion rates, and customer acquisition costs. Think about previous board meetings and the type of questions or concerns that have been raised to make sure you are able to address and show progress on these.

Consider including your performance against these 10 B2B SaaS Metrics and KPIs in your next board presentation.

Focus on the bigger picture 

A board of directors is usually focused on big-picture and strategic decisions that have a long-term impact on the company's growth. This group of executives is in charge of making decisions to protect their investment and ensure the company is making consistent progress on its goals. Every part of your presentation and the way you frame your ideas needs to support the answer to these core questions:

  • Why is this important?
  • How does this support the company goals?
  • What is the long-term impact? 

Bearing these questions in mind as you cover the concrete and measurable results you’ve driven in a specific period of time will help you go through a smoother Q&A at the end of the presentation –and perhaps even avoid it altogether!

Present accurate and reliable numbers

Board members need to be able to trust the numbers you are presenting. That’s why as a Marketing leader, you are expected to be on top of the performance of your initiatives and KPIs. Make reviewing your funnel trends, your pipeline growth, your conversion rates, and your website traffic a regular habit, and make sure that before you present anything to the board you confirm every single MQL count, conversion rate, deal size, etc., within your CRM, across your marketing team, as well as with your CEO. 

Prioritize visuals over text

When choosing how to present information, especially when it comes to data, always choose visuals over text. Images and media, in general, help communicate data in a much more effective way than words can.

Using graphs, bars, and charts to present the ebb and flow of your funnel, website sessions, and any other preferred KPIs will ensure your audience retains and digests the information more easily.

Give as much context as possible needed 

When presenting hard numbers, you should always put them in context. Tie your numbers back to historical data, your company goals, industry benchmarks, or the competitor landscape to point out any positive or negative trends to action upon.

Do not present data if it is not actionable

This is less about withholding information and more about defining a clear strategy to action on the data you’ve presented. Board members appreciate concise and purposeful information that guides decision-making and drives results. This proactive approach not only highlights your problem-solving abilities but also demonstrates your commitment to achieving results.

Pro tips from Silvia Parra, senior fractional CMO at Kalungi:

  • More frequently than not, board members are not known for their availability, which means that you need to be concise. Stick to the scope and agenda of your presentation.
  • While it’s great to incorporate storytelling and humor, avoid getting sidetracked. Be clear and keep it simple.
  • If you had to pick two or three points you want them to remember, which ones would they be? What do they care about? What are their main concerns? You can get some insights from the conversations and interactions you’ve had with them in the past. What topics are recurrent? What comes up often in meetings that you have with the executive team? 
  • To keep the audience engaged, avoid using jargon and industry-specific terms unless you are completely sure that everybody in the room will understand. If you need to use technical terms or industry-specific jargon, make sure you explain what it means –not everyone will be an expert in your area of expertise.
  • Try to rely on your slides as little as possible so you can connect with your audience and read their reaction. If you sense disagreement or confusion, go deeper into the topic you are addressing and keep that connection on while you present. 

Mastering the art of presenting marketing performance to your board requires a strategic approach that prioritizes clarity, relevance, and trustworthiness. By choosing the right KPIs, focusing on the bigger picture, and providing a clear strategy ahead, you can make your board presentations not only informative but also engaging and impactful. And remember: don’t miss out on our template to create your own marketing slides to be one step ahead of your next board meeting! Get your copy below.

Ace your next board presentation with our marketing report slides template

Fill out the form below to get your copy of our marketing board presentation slides template, with examples of six essential slides covering performance, learnings, and next steps.

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