Are you an ad agency?
No, we’re an independent consultancy that helps businesses, brands and creative services companies alike to improve performance of the business and the creative product. We can help with the business and marketing strategy and help connect to the right industry suppliers for execution. We’re a new kind of service that stands between brands and the service providers in the industry. We act with objectivity and have no vested interest in any solution. Most creative and media services will make recommendations based on the work they offer, and it isn’t always what a business needs.
Equally we consider a creative services company a brand and we consult on their own marketing and business strategies too (often forgotten by the people that are supposed to specialise in it) and sometimes they need help to win a pitch or resolve a high level problem.
Sometimes it is a business operational issue that impacts the brand, so we don’t limit ourselves to just creative execution and getting things done. We are interested in business performance, no matter what side of the fence you come from. Our founder is a qualified business coach and our consultants all have very deep specialist knowledge that you don’t always get in creative services companies who are down-scaling talent to reduce overhead costs.
Isn’t brand strategy the job of an agency?
Yes, it often is. We find that a lot of brands need to get their business and marketing strategy sorted before even thinking about engaging an advertising agency and they want genuine independence without a vested interest in any solutions. That could be brand and creative strategy, content, product or media strategy. We are an independent resource to help develop an independent strategy and to determine what suppliers are required to deliver it. Sometimes it involves market research and customer product co-creation. We can also be a sounding board to help assess pitches and proposals to be sure the brand’s best interest is considered.
Are you a production company?
People are often mistaken about this as our founder, Anne Miles, spent decades as a head of TV in large advertising agencies, started up one of Australia’s biggest film companies and also worked in post production and visual effects. Anne spent some time establishing industry bench-marking and consulting as an auditor in this area.
Since 2009 Anne qualified as a business coach and has been consulting on independent production solutions, teaching others how to get the most strategic and efficiently produced work, assisting creative services companies to maintain profitability while maintaining creative and production values, sometimes setting up departments and managing change. Anne’s experience now spans across print, digital and experiential project management and no longer is all about TV. Anne’s favourite topic is how to close the gap between strategy and execution. More on that here.
Are you a recruiter?
No, however we do sometimes come across a business that has a solution that is better served by hiring an in-house person or team rather than outsource. This can be an agency, creative service or a marketing department that are wanting to do more in-house for various reasons. Sometimes that is for cost benefits, up-skilling the business offering, or it may just be to close gaps in intergrated services. We’ve helped find the right fit team and worked with industry recruiters too. As a business coach, our founder is often asked to consult on some HR and personnel challenges before HR specialists or recruiters become involved.
Who do you market to?
As consultants we work with both brands and creative services. We are independent and consider all businesses a brand. We do have a speciality in business strategy and operations for creative industries, but we also have many years experience on just about every product category you can think of.
Our international creative services directory is soon to be released (February 2017) and we will actively market our members to the Australian market initially and in 2018, internationally. Both clients and agencies alike need to find the best talent, pre-qualified by industry experts and they want the one place to go to find them all. They don’t want to use online project management systems with unproven talent, and they want to run their usual process to qualify, pitch and select suppliers.
Our members will be promoted to both existing agencies (of all kinds) looking for suppliers and also help brands find them all.
Are you auditors?
We get asked this a lot because our consultants have worked as marketing auditors before. Our opinion is that this is only half the job and the creative and business performance is the real opportunity. Cutting costs alone is the old way consultants used to work. We are interested in optimising performance and that includes anything from data based concerns, product and business strategy to creative solutions.
Are you a pitch doctor?
Nope. Although if you need a new supplier for any reason we will match you up for free. We have years of agency experience and inside knowledge to help you with your pitch process and supplier matching. To be honest, we’d rather make your existing relationships work better than to put the work out to pitch constantly – that’s an expensive and disruptive process. Often the partnership is right, but there just needs to be some fresh ideas and process tweaks to stabilise and to optimise.
How many people do you have working for you?
We are intentionally a consultant based model so that we bring in only the experts needed for any problem or project. We have no vested interest in any solution we provide this way. All services are reviewed by founder Anne Miles and an appropriate team is pulled together for each project.