More than ever, today’s creative departments are being asked to demonstrate the financial value they add to the company. If your CFO or director isn’t already asking for metrics from your department, it still can’t hurt to crunch those numbers. Showing what you bring to the table can help protect your resources and even negotiate for additional resources.
The first step is to demonstrate the value of what you’re producing. The easiest way to get that figure – and the most likely to have a visceral impact with your stakeholders – is to research how much it would cost for your company to outsource all of the work that your team does. It’s also important to note that outside creative departments will probably have other priorities in addition to your company, and won’t have the insight and relationships that come with being part of the same organization and may not be able to get projects to market as quickly (see our post Measuring Time to Market for tips on calculating that metric).
Another way to show your departments value is to provide data on the results of completed projects. Did the website redesign increase page views and time-on-site? Did the banner advertisement successfully drive traffic to a landing page? Did the exhibit booth design attract visitors? Did the product launch translate into sales? There’s no question that design has a large impact on campaigns, and quantifying these results can help to illustrate that.
In addition to your creative department’s contributions, your company’s CFO will likely also want metrics on your department’s costs. There are a couple of approaches to consider here. One is a project specific approach where you look at expenses specific to a single project or content type, say printing costs for a direct mail campaign or video editing software purchased to create product demos. You’ll also want to identify the amount of man hours spent on the project, and the “hourly rate” for involved staff. If project level costs aren’t necessary, you can add those expenditures to your overhead -things like software, training, supplies, etc. – for a high level perspective of your creative department’s spending.
All of this will help outline for your bean counters the benefit of all your creative work. Got other metrics tips for measuring creative department value? Leave them in the comments!