How many times do you see a brief that involves a single campaign in isolation? This is probably the standard way of working for many marketing departments, and also the default position for a lot of advertising agencies. Maybe it is time to think beyond the campaign to build a proprietary audience, become more cost efficient, and move the brand further for the long term?
While larger brands capitalize on the wide ranging expertise that the traditional agency model provides, there are many smaller brands that starve for specialist expertise and are desperately looking for ways to increase output from their ever tightening marketing budgets. By moving to project based activities marketers should see an increase in content volume, increase in value and if managed correctly any issues with brand disparity should be prevented – without wearing out the marketing department team members with overload.
As a business consultant, or general manager for hire, for creative businesses for a number of years I have been lucky enough to come across a myriad of different business models and a wide pool of differently talented people. The exciting thing for me has been learning what works and what doesn’t work for businesses, and understanding that key that makes one business succeed and another fail – or simply to stay stuck at the one level despite their best efforts. These learnings then help bring a fresh perspective to solve business problems for others including the talent pool problem and ongoing profitability issues.
Do you take on a job that doesn’t feel right just because it is a job, do you have a policy to take any job regardless, do you have standards too high that you limit your own sustainable growth? When do you draw the line?
Having previously been a business consultant for the last few years I had the opportunity to see deep into creative businesses and what makes for success. Here are the 9 habits I think make them a stand out business (a creative business can be anything from a micro-business up to a large scale):
One of my pet subjects is process that aids creativity. Funnily enough it does often cause alarm for some creatives at first when they haven’t experienced a high functioning creative business before, where creativity and accountability are finely balanced.
The difference between one business making it and another not is often due to the creative work that shows the world who you are. You may be totally experienced and capable at what you do but if the creative work that you put out there is not representing you as you need to be, then the other guy up the road gets the work. Sadly, these days, the best people don’t always get the job! Having the right creative for your branding, the right positioning line, the right copy is the deal maker or breaker and how ready you are to brief them is one of the most important factors affecting results.
This is one of the most challenging times for businesses owners and my experience is that it is often much worse for creative business owners because they’re often skilled artists or operators who have moved up the ranks, but don’t always have the business thinking behind them. So, here are my top strategies for remaining cool, calm and collected during uncertain times: