Born Social Grew Over 25% In Under a Year Using Productive

Born Social is a global, full-service social media agency of over 90 people who serve the needs of clients such as Guinness, Uber, and Nando’s. They operate and deliver content globally, with teams in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, and Germany. We spoke with Born Social’s Head of Operations, Kate Higham to hear about the benefits they’ve experienced since having switched to Productive.

Can you tell us about your role at Born Social?

I’m Head of Operations. I describe my role in two parts, part finance and operations, how we’re running the business as smoothly and effectively as we can, and part people and culture, so how we’re evolving our culture to meet the growth of the agency.

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Let’s head straight into the learning curve you had with Productive. What has the UX been like?

I’ve only got positive things to say about Productive. It has really changed how we do things at Born Social. We timed the launch of Productive with the hiring of our first Resource Manager, so it was timed really well with us going through a change management process of centralizing our resource function. To have a fresh slate and a new tool to do that with was a really great opportunity.   

When we were on the hunt for a new tool, one of the most important things for us was the user experience. You can’t underestimate finding a tool that feels like your company. Productive was exactly that for us. Onboarding and getting the team engaged in it has been super simple and smooth because of how intuitive the platform is. And, yeah, one of the things I love the most is that it looks and feels like Born Social.

Having the internal chat function at Productive, along with the 3-month dedicated Slack Support for onboarding has been a real game changer.”

How about customer success? What has your experience with Productive’s support been like?

I can’t speak more highly of the customer success and service team at Productive. We have moved from a tool where getting help and support was clunky—it was through a ticket system that could sometimes take days or weeks at times for requests. Having the internal chat function at Productive, along with the 3-month dedicated Slack Support for onboarding has been a real game changer.  

In my role as Head of Operations, I can often be the funnel for requests, but thanks to the features at Productive I don’t need to be.  Everyone can get their own help & support when they need it. That saves me time to spend on bigger things across the business. So, Productive’s customer success through those tools and that intuitive UX has been just an amazing time-save for us as a business.

When did you start seeing you were using the tool to the fullest?

We’ve been using Productive for around 8 months. If we look at the Scheduling, Budgeting, Time tracking, and Reporting—even during month 1, the reporting we were getting out of there, we felt like the data integrity was right. We were understanding how our time was being used better than we ever had before. We’ve had a big improvement in time tracking accuracy, particularly throughout the last quarter.

As an agency, what kind of reports do you focus most on?

Out of the key business metrics we’re tracking, I’m focused on 3-4 that are the most important to us. I immediately built a series of custom reports based on these key metrics, and it’s been so powerful to get such a clear picture of how we’re managing our time Recovery is perhaps our most important one. Recovery for us is like utilization but of just billable time.

Thanks to Productive’s Scheduling feature, and having our first dedicated Resource Manager, I would say we’ve been about a 10% growth in recovery so far. So you can really see the impact of better management of time in our commercials.

Next is our tracked vs. scoped time. So, of the time we sold, how much have we tracked? This is the metric that continues to grow in accuracy. With diving into that and really being able to see on an account-by-account level which roles are over-burning, or where we haven’t sold enough time—we’re getting all that clarity through the reports now.

We also look at account contribution. For us, that’s the profitability of accounts. That’s really helped us see which clients are bringing in a good margin and how we can make operational changes to improve that.

“Productive has played a key role in how we plan resourcing and hiring—really fueling that growth for us. Our headcount has grown 27% so far in 2022, and it feels like we’re on track to hit 30% growth by the end of the year.”

Since you started using the tool, you’ve grown from around 60 to over 100 people. Would you say that Productive was in any way beneficial for your growth?

Yes. It felt like for the first time we could see more clearly where we’ve got time available to sell, so that helped us use all of the time we had. Through the pipeline feature and Placeholder scheduling, we’ve got a clearer 90-day forecast.

All in all Productive has played a key role in how we plan resourcing and hiring—really fueling that growth for us. Our headcount has grown 27% so far in 2022, and it feels like we’re on track to hit 30% growth by the end of the year.

To wrap up, what would you say is the main benefit Productive brings you?

If I had to describe the one thing that Productive does for us it’s decision-making. Not just in my role, but across our finance and operations team. We are in and out of the platform on a daily basis, using the data and the reporting to help us make key commercial decisions about how we’re running the business, running our accounts, how we’re hiring and managing resources. It really is the tool for helping us make decisions.

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