Decoupling is a buzzword that has been synonymous with the shifting agency landscape for some time. Today, brands are looking to gain greater control, efficiency and transparency across their marketing spend. Outsourcing their creative production function away from the creative agency and partnering with a specialist bespoke production provider is enabling just this. Williams Lea Tag identifies five benefits of decoupling your creative production.
- Increased cost efficiencies
Outsourcing your creative production function away from your creative agency allows marketers to work directly with third-party providers skipping out the full-service agency intermediaries, enabling them to have greater visibility over the entire creative production process. It also gives the creative agency the opportunity to focus on the strategy and big idea rather than the execution and delivery.
Working with a production agency helps build a global or regional view of spend, volumes and overheads, enabling brands to plan and budget more accurately. This reduces the risk of hidden costs and excessive network charges that can often be buried when using a full-service agency. The ability to consolidate costs is also a significant efficiency gain, not only from a staffing perspective will it reduce internal overheads, but it can also initiate more competitive pricing as overheads tend to be lower and turnaround times faster, driving down the overall campaign costs.
- Benefit from greater transparency and control
Transparency both of spend and activity has never been as important to marketers today, as they look to prove ROMI (return on marketing investment) and safeguard budgets. Creative production outsourcing creates a central control mechanism that allows a more holistic overview of spend across the creative production process both regionally and globally.
One of the greatest benefits of working with a creative production agency is that it can connect data and information that previously sat with multiple disparate vendors at both the regional and local level, giving you a single-point of contact that enables more centralised control.
- Safeguard your brand integrity
Most creative production houses will instal brand guardians to protect and police the integrity of the brand, ensuring consistency in every asset produced and of the overall campaign. This type of brand guardianship flexes its value when you consider the use of technology such as digital asset management, where only approved assets can be uploaded for use and brands can be assured that the approval process requires sign-off from authorised brand guardians. This takes a certain amount of onus off brands, as the distinctive assets of their brand are safeguarded and will be applied consistently across markets, channels and audiences creating a stronger brand experience.
In addition, this type of technology acts as a central repository, serving as the single voice of truth when it comes to brand integrity and is a powerful tool to have when activating campaigns across multiple regions and markets.
- Global reach and connectivity
The global scale of most specialist creative production houses means they have an extensive network of production hubs in multiple regions that enable assets to be produced, adapted, translated and trans-created faster, ultimately improving the overall speed-to-market of campaigns. Brands can leverage the high level of expertise across multiple local markets, and be assured their deep understanding of cultural nuances and specialist skill sets ensure that messaging and language work in every market – delivering a higher quality output.
Some established creative production houses also have a dedicated sourcing team, which has an established network of vetted suppliers that brand marketers can also look to leverage in the market. This means the marketer can have confidence that the branded materials reach the expected quality of the brand consistently in market.
- Scalability and agility
Having the ability to leverage a team of specialists allows brands to think more innovatively about their ideas without limitation. They are able to utilise these experts on an asset-by-asset basis, as and when needed, without incurring internal overheads to deliver both innovative and practical campaigns across markets.
The global reach of a production agency means it is able to offer a 24-hour service and can manage unexpected upturns in volumes and can leverage its global network of production hubs to ensure a timely delivery.
Decoupling can deliver many benefits to marketers, including greater control, efficiency and transparency of marketing spend across creative production. But the true value of such a partnership is in the knowledge, network, expertise and security it brings, enabling the marketer to execute on strategy both consistently and efficiently.
The writer is Louise Finlay, chief operations officer, APAC.