Value—Get Your Game On
Everything we’ve been hearing for the past several years about consumer confidence, and quite frankly, everything we’ve been feeling as consumers ourselves tells us that VALUE is an important message for advertisers and marketers to relay to prospective buyers.
Well, for in-house agencies, corporate clients are consumers too. Consumers of your services. And just like value is an important message in the external marketplace, so too is it an important message and reality to promote and prove to internal clients and executive management.
Make the bottom line your top priority. That means, all of your efforts should be directed toward contributing to the profitability of the company. To do that, you need to:
Measure your contribution.
How is the work you are doing contributing to corporate revenue? This data can be hard to get. What you want to know is what relationship the work you are doing has on sales—at a project level and overall.
Manage your expenses.
If your people aren’t tracking their time, start today. You need to know how each person within your organization is spending his or her day. How many hours does it take to develop a print ad or microsite start to finish? How long should it take—meaning, if it takes your team 120 hours all in to develop, produce, and place a national print ad, is that competitive with how long it would take for an external agency to do it?
Quantify your productivity.
What percentage of in-office time does your staff spend on client work versus other activity? On the external agency side, this is called “billability.” Some in-house agencies call it “utilization.” What is your billability or utilization rate by job function? What should it be?
Work versus rework.
What is your error rate? Of the 1,500 projects your team completed this year, what percentage contained some type of error that caused materials to be marginalized or re-done entirely? Has that percentage increased or decreased year-over-year?
This is basic information that you need to have at your fingertips. And metrics you should be reporting each quarter to demonstrate the value of your in-house team—particularly compared to outside providers. If you don’t track it, you can’t measure it. And if you don’t measure it, you can’t report it. Value is a numbers game. And it’s time to get your game on.