Why Should Creative Leaders Care About KPIs?
Not everyone understands or appreciates creative work—especially executives, who often make it to the C-suite because of their unwavering focus on numbers, numbers, numbers.
It’s an unfortunate reality that those who control the purse strings often lack a natural understanding of the creative process. If it can’t be measured, counted, or quantified, it doesn’t matter. And there are certain parts of the marketing and creative worlds that will always resist measurement.
But if you’d like to be able to prove the value of your in-house creative team—and protect your jobs from being outsourced—there are certain key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can and should measure.
How to Prove Your Value with Numbers
In her blog post, “4 KPIs Every Creative Team Should Be Tracking,” marketer Raechel Duplain outlines a few ways creatives can learn to speak in the native language of their superiors at work. She says:
“It’s up to you to show the C-levels and internal clients why you matter, why you’re a better choice than outsourcing, and what you have to offer. Start measuring the right key performance indicators (KPIs), if you aren’t already, so you can show your company that you and your team are an invaluable and integral part of the success of the business, and to ensure that creative work stays in your hands—as well as the decision to outsource.”
Naturally, the most important key performance indicators will vary from company to company. But Duplain cites four that are fairly universal:
- Lead Time Per Project
- Estimated vs. Actual Project Time
- Estimated vs. Actual Project Budget
- Client Satisfaction Ratings
As valuable as these metrics may be, they still shouldn’t overshadow your primary roles and responsibilities. If you use a comprehensive project management software, these metrics may already be easily at your fingertips. If you don’t, be careful about wasting too much precious creative time to get the data.
Measure What Matters
Being able to speak in the language of upper management (i.e., in numbers) is becoming an increasingly important skill for today’s creative leadership. Just make sure you are measuring what’s most important to your company in particular, and that you use those metrics to help your team be more cost efficient, more time efficient, or to improve the quality of your work—or perhaps even all three.