Operational Excellence

Demonstrating ROI for In-House Creative Teams

by Julie Huntley, June 14, 2016

Creative ideas and flawless execution are important. However, clients aren’t interested in just witty copy and stimulating art direction. They need cold, hard facts to help them understand a project’s role as it pertains to their organization’s revenue contribution.

These days, the best creative agencies understand that it’s a data-driven world. And they know that if a campaign isn’t adding to a client’s bottom line, you run the risk of losing the account.

Metrics matter. But how do you show off the effectiveness of your in-house team? Read below to see how in-house teams can show ROI for creative projects.

Metrics Matter

Thanks to technology, there’s an overwhelming amount of metrics that can be monitored. However, in order to track data that’s relevant to your campaigns—and to measure the ROI of your in-house ad teams—be sure to decide upon goals before launching a campaign.

Typically, increased sales will be a goal, but oftentimes, campaigns are used for product launches, to drive traffic to a store or website, or to boost a client’s reputation. Track all measurable data points to get an accurate snapshot of your campaign’s history—then, use this data to judge a campaign’s ROI.

Monitor Your Team’s Work

You may be surprised that a majority of creative teams admit to not using any kind of project tracking software. It’s no wonder that in-house teams are often undervalued. Tracking planned vs. actual hours spent on tasks provides your agency with the ability to make accurate estimates and gauge how long projects actually take—thus, proving the ROI of individual resources.

The best way to track your agency’s processes is to utilize creative briefs and automated templates. By identifying what steps need to be taken in order to achieve attainable goals, you can improve internal workflow and eliminate unnecessary roadblocks.

Utilizing robust project management software can give you a comprehensive overview of all your project team’s resources. To measure individual performance, compare output against the aforementioned data.

Revenue to Cost Ratio

Once you launch a campaign, be sure to monitor all applicable data, including resource expenses and sales revenue. Typically, advertisers look for an increase in gross sales margin, or the increase in sales revenue minus your agency’s costs to run a campaign. ROI can be calculated by dividing the gross sales margin by your ad campaign costs.

To breakdown these costs to determine the ROI of your in-house teams, an agency can take the revenue driven by a specific campaign and divide it by the costs of the campaign. Depending on your agency, typical costs include management time, software and hardware used by resources, and creative costs (including video and photo editing, animation, wireframing, and equipment rentals).

Tracking the costs to complete tasks, what vendors might charge for the same work, and your client chargeback rate shows your company the cost efficiencies you provide—in real dollar value. Not only will this help you discover the true value of your in-house teams, it helps you justify your resources and budgets based on historical data.

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