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INTERVIEW | 17 MINS

"We don’t want to spend the time reporting the things," says Kevan Lee, Director of Marketing at Buffer. "We want to spend the time doing the things."

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Kevan Lee

Kevan Lee heads up the marketing team at Buffer, a social media management platform for brands and businesses. He's written for the likes of Lifehacker, Time, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, and The Next Web. You can reach him over at his personal site, where he writes about startup marketing, management, and leadership.

 

We sat down with Kevan to discuss how marketing reporting works at Buffer. Hit the play button below to learn more, or scroll down for some interview highlights.

Data-Informed,

Not Data-Driven

"One distinction that we make at Buffer," says Kevan, "is that we are not data-driven, we are data-informed." Subtle as it may sound, this distinction has profoundly changed the way Buffer deals with data, goal setting, and marketing reporting.

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We don’t need to track everything. if we know where we want to go and the metrics tell us if we’re getting there, that’s more of the direction we want to take.

Kevan Lee

The Scoreboard Concept

One thing is striving for long-term goals, fewer metrics, and greater data simplicity in general. Another is actually putting it to work. "When it came to introducing the concept to the team," says Kevan, "one concept that kept coming up is the concept of a scoreboard."

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One Team; Two Squads

The juggling act between awareness and acquisition is something marketers have been grappling with for ages. Focus heavily on 'transactional' content and you might damage the brand long term. Focus on cool new stuff at the top of the funnel and you might end up with a hip brand that's struggling to make ends meet.

 

"What we've done at Buffer is split our team of 10 into two squads, an awareness squad and an acquisition squad," says Kevan.

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Our awareness squad will report on all the reach metrics. (...) Same on the acquisition squad, they report on new Buffer users, across all our different products.

Kevan Lee

The One Metric

That Matters

"It’s better to run the risk of over-focusing (and miss some secondary metric) than it is to throw metrics at the wall and hope one sticks," writes Alistair Croll, co-author of Lean Analytics. The one social media metric that matters at Buffer? Engagement Rate.

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Though clicks are important to us, we've shifted our view where it's not so much about referral traffic but about engagement and conversations.

Kevan Lee

THE Social Media Report Card

Marketing reporting informs your decisions, but fact of the matter is, you spend hours working on it every day, week, month, and quarter. To speed things up, the Buffer marketing team has created a nifty Social Media Report Card. Available for anyone to use, it’s designed to give you a snapshot of the last seven days of your social media activity.

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Tools & Data

Visualization

As data continues to proliferate, so does the number of analytics tools and data visualization options. Before you know it, you’re staring at an intimidating portfolio of tools designed to make your life a little easier. Collectively, though, they easily add up to greater complexity and confusion. How Buffer deals with this? You got it: Keeping their tool stack lean.

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How Marketing Reporting Works at Buffer: An Interview with Kevan Lee

11:11 / 11:11

Kevan Lee heads up the marketing team at Buffer, a social media management platform for brands and businesses. He's written for the likes of Lifehacker, Time, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, and The Next Web. You can reach him over at his personal site, where he writes about startup marketing, management, and leadership.

Reporting at Buffer