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How to calculate the ROI of Outfit

Kate Elizabeth — 28 September 2018


Calculating ROI for Outfit enables you to demonstrate the power of the solution and how you can both strengthen your brand and re-invest your design time into targeted bespoke work instead of churn and burn. Let's step through the different elements we use when calculating ROI.

The common collateral items

Many of our clients produce common marketing collateral items across both print and digital spheres.

A4 flyer A double-sided A4 flyer promoting your product or service, usually available on location or letterbox dropped.

DL flyer A double-sided DL flyer promoting your organisation, usually letterbox dropped.

eDM Emails produced to send to your customer base, these could be special offers or regular newsletters, or both.

Social media suite The suite of social media cover images, profile images and banners, as well as organic post content.

Display ads A suite of display ads, generally 3-4 sizes (e.g. mrec, skyscraper, leaderboard), produced for each campaign and location and usually produced each month to match promotions, offers and remarketing initiatives.

Stationery A core suite of stationery including business cards, letterheads, with compliments slips.

Display POS Whether this point of sale is used in store, in branch, on campus, at events or elsewhere, it can range from posters to pull-up banners to hoarding to pricing display.

Brand elements per document

Our extensive experience building exactly these type of templates means we know the number of brand elements that appear on each document type.

Brand elements include:

  • Logos
  • Typefaces
  • Colour
  • Images
  • Custom design elements e.g. textures

For example, on an A4 flyer, there is an average of 8 brand elements seen every time someone looks at the collateral. That's 8 things to keep an eye on as a brand manager, 8 things to strengthen your brand perception and 8 things that can potentially be misused by your stakeholders!

Collateral item Average brand elements/document A4 Flyer 8 DL Flyer 10 eDM 5 Social Media Suite 3 Display Ads 3 Stationery 4 Display POS 7

The document variations produced

Chances are you don't just design one flyer for the whole year, you probably do at least one a month.

You probably update your social media suite every month. Your display POS probably changes every month in all your locations.

Perhaps you run several campaigns a month, and produce display ads for each of them across multiple sizes.

This metric starts to give you an understanding of the volume of design work done across the year.

The print volume or impressions

Putting your collateral into market means you print and distribute collateral or serve ads and posts through social media, and your print and impression volume add up quite quickly!

We use this calculation to demonstrate the sheer volume of brand elements seen through your marketing. For example, every time you print a local store flyer to letterbox, you might print 15,000. Your average impressions for a display ad might be 100,000.

Total brand elements

For total brand elements, we multiply the number of brand elements by the number of impressions. We then add each of these up for your total brand impact across all your collateral.

8 elements x 20,000 quantity = 160,000 brand elements.

Outfit, with our responsive but rigorous templates, ensures all these brand elements are always used correctly, that your collateral is always produced on-brand.

Production time per document

Our designers, like yours, have produced hundreds (and thousands!) of pieces of collateral, and understand the time it takes to build one of these items.

Rather than ask you to hunt down your designer and pull this data, we have summarised our knowledge of this:

Collateral item Average time per document (hours) A4 Flyer 5 DL Flyer 3 eDM 4 Social Media Suite 0.5 Display Ads 1 Stationery 1.5 Display POS 1

We have only included one change round in this time allocation, but we know what the change merri-go-round can be like!

Cost per hour

Whether you insource or outsource your marketing collateral, you will be paying for a designer's time - either through wages + oncosts or agency fees. This cost can vary dramatically, but an average for in house is about $50/hour and agency fees are generally $165/hour.

Lead time reduction

For the purposes of the calculation we have assumed a 3 day (72 hour) lead time for design requests into your team (and we know of instances where the lead time is 10 days) and a 10 hour turnaround for lead times in Outfit.

That's not to say it takes 10 hours to build something in Outfit - generally you are looking at building collateral inside an hour! If you have an approval process, however, which most of our clients have, we allow for 10 hours for the production and approval.

In most instances this means a lead time reduction of about 85%.

Total cost of production

We calculate this as production time/document by cost of labour/hour by total volume of work across the year.

12 A4 flyers x 5 hours x $50/hour = $3000

We add up the production costs for all the elements to create the total cost. This total cost isn't necessarily a direct saving to your business. It may be a saving if you are outsourcing the design work to an external design or agency or you might be able to reinvest the time associated with this production into other valuable bespoke work.

Time your design team gets back

There is a demonstrable time saving in the use of Outfit to contribute to the ROI calculation.

Your design team literally get hours back because they aren't needing to produce these items - your clients are supporting their own collateral creation.

We calculate the time your design team gets back using the average design time per document by the number of variations produced.

12 A4 flyers x 5 hours/document = 60 hours

What the ROI calculation means

We calculate your current cost of production as well as demonstrating the time your design team gets back and the reduction in lead times to demonstrate the ROI of the platform.

This methodology and the assumptions we have made have been supported by our clients, who have provided real-time data as a cross reference and have used the calculation to demonstrate ROI in their own organisations.

Implementing Outfit demonstrates both an opportunity to spend time differently, perhaps spend some funds differently and definitely to make stakeholders and your team happier with the ability to self-service on-brand collateral.

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