On October 20, 2020, Cherise Oleson, Senior Creative Director at Franklin Energy and Brittany Pais, Director of Customer Experience at inMotionNow shared how Cherise’s team leverages data to showcase creative value and build relationships with business leaders.
Why reporting matters for creatives
It’s safe to say that reporting and analytics aren’t the most exciting topics for most creatives. Some might even argue that the sort of “left brain” thinking that is associated with data and metrics doesn’t jive with creativity. But the reality is that reporting on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is critical for creative teams that want to continuously improve and showcase their value to the business. As Brittany pointed out in the session, data is the language of the business. By learning how to speak that language, creative teams can build stronger relationships with business leaders that open opportunities for growth.
Reports for your team
Cherise began the session by walking through the reports she uses to manage her direct reports. She shared the report that she reviews with each of her team members on a weekly basis. She pulls a report for each employee that contains a list of all their open projects. In the meeting they walk through the list and discuss the status and any roadblocks for each one. Cherise explained, “We keep track of the status of each project, and in these weekly meetings we just follow to see if we can update something, is there a roadblock anywhere, just to make sure no projects fall through the cracks or get off the rails.”
Reports for your partners
Next, Cherise shared both the weekly and monthly reports she prepares for other department heads that request work from the creative team. For her weekly meetings she brings Status of Open Projects reports for each department. The report details all the projects that have been requested of her team from the departments. This allows the department leaders to see what work their team is requesting, and for Cherise to ask them to help alleviate any roadblocks or provide any necessary resources for her team to complete the projects.
On a monthly basis Cherise prepares a “Snapshot” report that contains key YTD metrics. This report is distributed to stakeholders to increase transparency of what the creative team is working on. Some of the key metrics included in the monthly snapshot include:
- Number of RUSH and Fast Track projects completed YTD
- Percent of all projects completed YTD that were RUSH and Fast Track
- Number of projects completed YTD that had more than 3 rounds of review
- Percent of all projects completed YTD that had more than 3 rounds of review
- Time to Complete vs. Time in Review
Brittany pointed out the importance of this report for setting expectations, “The consistency of this report is key. Your stakeholders can expect to see the same metrics every time, so then you can really understand how these metrics are trending and where you need to dive in if things are going a little bit sideways.”
Reports for leadership
On a quarterly basis, Cherise takes the same data presented in the Monthly Snapshot and packages it into a Creative Scorecard that is presented to company leadership. This visual medium allows the key metrics to clearly resonate with company leadership while showcasing the creative team’s talents. Additionally, within the scorecard Cherise includes samples of the creative team’s work from the past quarter. This puts the metrics into context and really helps to tell the creative story in a compelling way.
Cherise explained how she got her leadership team to buy into this reporting and care about the data she was sharing. “We talked to [company leadership] about what numbers are important to them. We asked, ‘what is going to help you understand the value of the creative team and help with strategic planning for the company?’ We knew if we got their buy-in then they would be interested in seeing those metrics when we presented them.”
You can watch the full session that aired at Adobe MAX 2020 below.
Elise Hauser is a product and content marketer with a passion for telling brand stories. She has produced inMotionNow’s annual Creative Management Report for 4 years, webinars, content sessions for major industry events reaching audiences of 11,000+, and of course, countless blog posts. When Elise isn’t writing about the marketing and creative industry at inMotionNow she is teaching economics and hanging out with her cat, Tucker, at her home in Raleigh, NC.