Having the right software and equipment are akin to having a great coworker who helps lighten the load and increase efficiency for the entire team. Determining this type of ROI on your proposed spending will not only help you get buy-in from your CFO, but it will also give you an edge against others competing for those same dollars.
Time is money.
How do we consider and quantify the ROI? I oversee the marketing department as well as a few other areas, and when thinking of building our software stack, I have to consider the entire picture.
If I want to get a new account-based marketing tool or third-party data vendor, is this a multi-point software? Does this eliminate X excess software? So are we saving money overall? Are we saving cycles? Are we saving time by working with only one vendor instead of three? This is obviously a key consideration for us.
The second point is, are we saving labor? If our team spends time in six different areas, it's not just a time cost, which is a third point, but a labor cost. It means if somebody and their fully burdened salary is doing X, which is an administrative task, that could waste time, then that cost is the same thing that can be considered when it comes to content production. We produce video, and if we're working with third-party vendors, such as videographers or people in post-production, and they are spending time trying to find files and emails or get feedback from elsewhere, it's costing us money cause it takes more time.
The third thing is more a consideration of time itself. So specifically, this is something that's near and dear to anyone's heart, when you're either in dailies or in a creative editorial review in post-production, accelerating those review cycles.
So if Jenny is sending you Slack messages and Bill is sending you text messages, Tony is sending you emails and Gabe is flying carrier pigeons with his feedback, that means they have to spend all this time aggregating all this feedback from all these different sources. None of it is tied back to the video. That's a waste of time, right? So when we consider our tools, not just for stuff like video production and post-production, but even if it's stuff like email copy or if we're trying to get those data sources, if I'm getting this from a bunch of different areas, that means that I'm wasting time. So it's a core factor in quantifying the ROI when selling to our CFO. We have to know how this new tool will increase our efficiency.
The fourth one is pretty specific, and this goes back to something I mentioned earlier from one of our customers: pitching and winning new business. We work with various media entities who are trying to go out there, whether it's a commercial production entity that's trying to pitch to work on a new commercial campaign, whether it is somebody representing an entertainment organization who's trying to sell something in a film market or a film festival. If I've got a tool that allows my company to position the content better and save time and effort on building those pitch materials because it's easy to use and understand, that means I'm winning business, which means I'm making more money, which is the goal. And every CFO likes that, so some of it depends on where you are in the production life cycle or what part of the business you're in, but it all gets down to how does this save money? How does this save time? Or how does this help you drive revenue?
Consider cash flow.
To add a couple of other aspects that are not on this technical side but more on the economics, cash flow is part of this formula, right? Every business, every production, everything you have is cash flow oriented. Even on the equipment side, on IT services, which is growing, and on the software side, that's growing, we have to consider this because we could sometimes add value by financing it. So when it comes to building your program, the goal at the end of the rainbow is to ensure you have the right tools and products and not be forced to budget cut because of limitations. Depending on the product, financing might enable you to extend that avenue to get what you want rather than saying, X product is what I need, but I must work with Y. Being able to utilize the resources we have at our disposal enables you to purchase and get what you want to meet your goals.
Budgets are still tight.
You noted before that spend is up. However, despite spending moving in the right direction, budgets are still pretty tight, right? One of the things I wanted to point out is, securing that budget for your individual project or your tool is getting harder day by day, right? Because you're not just negotiating against your vendor for that spend, but you're also going against your colleagues who are trying to spend those same budget dollars that you are. So bringing these considerations forward and thinking of the big picture and how it impacts the company in your day-to-day certainly makes a difference. Maximizing operational efficiencies in terms of labor impact and cost-effectiveness are all things that I am certainly considering as I work with Eric and the marketing team. The example that Michael and Eric brought up on consolidating some of their marketing tech stack, those are the things that we're considering day by day.
Come back for our final installment, where we'll finally break down our approach to decreasing cost while increasing efficiency. Don't want to wait? Watch the entire webinar now.
For tips on post-production, check out MediaSilo’s guide to Post Production Workflows.
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