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.
Having outsourced for many years at all different levels of budget size – whether that is from the most high end production suppliers to an online service like 99 Designs or Elance there are some pros and cons to doing this well in my experience. Many of these talented creatives are off shore and communicate via web links, online briefing or at least email with hardly any face to face contact these days. Here are my thoughts on some pitfalls and opportunities:
Regardless of the medium, there are foundation principles that apply to making good creative content. The secrets to getting this right run very deep of course, but here are a few highlights that frequently mean the suppliers are not getting the best creative (the most effective*) made for you.
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.