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How to report on PPC to a CMO

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

PPC reporting is one of the most valuable assets of any PPCer. Though many of us hate ‘that time of the month’, the better the reporting is, the higher the chances for campaign success and team/agency success.

So what actually makes a good PPC report? You can check out these PPC reporting resources we've collated. It is easy to put together some monthly figures but great reports are able to convey what’s going on in a meaningful way - I will repeat the keyword here; “meaningful”.

It is important to communicate based not only on the numbers we can see in Google Ads but on the needs that our specific stakeholders have from that data. A CMO’s needs are different from a manager’s needs and a successful report should reflect that.

PPC for CMOs

Reporting to a CMO can be challenging. Not only because you are reporting to a chief level but because, regardless of their amazing experience in marketing, they may have very little knowledge of PPC technicalities.

A CMO is the chief executive officer for all marketing efforts. Their goal is to increase awareness of their brand and its products/services, as well as gain new customers and retain existing ones. They understand (hopefully) the basics of PPC but they may have never seen Google ads editor in their life.

Don’t get lost in numbers

Choosing PPC KPIs

Choosing the relevant PPC KPIs for the CMO is key. Giving too much detail or reporting on KPIs that don’t mean much to them will only dilute their attention and generate unnecessary confusion that will distract from their main goal.

So what should you consider?

1. Who is your CMO?

This is definitely your first stop. You would need to understand their experience, background, and overall knowledge about PPC. This will help you to choose KPIs that they feel comfortable with and interpret the data in a way that resonates with them.

2. What does he/she need?

You need to anticipate what questions he/she might have, and answer them with data that is meaningful. A CMO needs insights that are useful for the board of directors, that highlight weaknesses, opportunities, and strengths. They need data that ensures the team is under budget and operating as efficiently as possible so he/she can justify the role and the team to the board.

There are some basic KPIs that every CMO would be interested in:

  • Traffic

  • CPA

  • Sales/Leads

  • Conversion rate

  • ROI

  • Budget attainment

  • Specific metrics about opportunities/threats

As best practice, ask them if they are interested in any specific KPIs so you both can be on the same page. You will also want to agree on frequency and benchmarks. As a rule of thumb, the CMO would be interested in a comparison of the last quarter's or last year’s data so they can understand and predict trends. Depending on the level of involvement, they may also want a monthly or even weekly breakdown to make sure current performance is what they expected.

What about other stakeholders?

Any stakeholder, whether the CMO, the account director or the manager, is going to care about where they’re at now, and a benchmark to determine if they’re on track. It is in the level of detail and the insights about the overall impact where the needs may differ.

CMOs want an overall pulse on performance and how larger campaigns have impacted the overall business, directors would need a closer pulse on the day-to-day of campaigns while managers want to dive into individual ad pieces to see what’s working and what could be improved now.

By understanding these needs and the level of detail that each stakeholder requires, we can select and interpret the data so we can deliver tailored insights to each level of the hierarchy.

Your Reporting Cheat Sheet

PPC Reporting


Make sure that you understand the needs and the goals of your main stakeholders. This should guide you when choosing the relevant KPIs for each of them and it will help you to make relevant interpretations of your data.

You can also check out the slides about What it Really Means to be Data Driven that I put together for the PPC Live UK event on the 29th of September 22. You will find some tips about how to talk to different stakeholders and how to translate PPC KPIs into business goals that are relevant to your CMO.

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