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By Steve Ferreira
Steve Ferreira, VP Managing Director at Craft Canada, explains the strategic steps which brands can take today to partner with an external production agency while maintaining brand consistency across channels and cultures.
“Always there, always diligent. Always communicative. Craft has become a true extension of the creative team at Yelp, allowing us all to elevate our creative and gain efficiencies” – Peta Martin, Director, Creative Operations and Project Management at Yelp
Over the course of my career, I’ve seen several trends where clients move services from one agency to another, split responsibilities between agencies, de-couple production from agencies, spin up their own internal creative services teams, or even dismantle them.
While these trends have benefits, they can also bring notable downsides.
In recent years, we’ve been constantly approached by brands with in-house creative service teams facing several challenges such as:
… and that’s only the beginning.
A daunting challenge? It doesn’t have to be.
Partnering with external creative production agencies has proven to provide cost-effective outlets and solutions to most, if not all of these challenges. In this article, I will walk you through some basic factors to keep in mind when considering if it makes sense for your brand to follow this model.
Production is one of the most significant challenges that agencies face, as their teams often lack the necessary skill sets to produce content that efficiently scales across formats and channels.
Partnering with a creative production agency provides the benefit of collaboration for both strategic and creative elements of a campaign under one roof, resulting in meaningful content that elevates your brand, optimizes your message, and transcends language barriers.
Let’s say your team comprised of a creative director, a graphic designer and a copywriter, has been tasked with developing concepts that drive awareness of a product or service for your latest campaign. The project may consist of several executional elements ranging from online assets, video, product imagery, banner ads, brochures, and many other deliverables.
With the team already at capacity, this new program may require you to deprioritize others to accommodate, causing delays with other initiatives.
Having a creative production partner on your roster provides your teams with access to readily available designers, developers, writers, proofreaders, video editors, audio engineers and producers with existing knowledge of your brand, tone of voice and access to asset libraries.
This offers you peace of mind knowing your teams will not have to compromise in their work, still have insight and final oversight of all assignments.
Add in the ability to provide cultural consultation for deployment into other markets and you’ve now expanded your output and reach.
The struggle is real. For example, Yelp had been struggling to meet their increasingly growing internal and external needs for marketing and business communication. Craft Toronto was the perfect partner for Yelp, as they were looking for a nimble, flexible team that could function as the creative extension of Yelp’s internal leads, providing different production resources, wherever and whenever required.
Peta Martin, Director, Creative Operations and Project Management at Yelp says of the partnership with Craft, “Always there, always diligent. Always communicative. Craft has become a true extension of the creative team at Yelp, allowing us all to elevate our creative and gain efficiencies”.
Harnessing the power of collaboration.
Clients have found partnering with external creative production agencies has delivered several benefits, including:
Another benefit we’ve found that separates partners like Craft, is our ability to bring various strengths (unique combinations of first-rate creative and technical knowledge) to deliver comprehensive solutions that work across channels and cultures.
Three actionable steps you can take today.
Below are several actions you can take to start improving and enabling your creative services teams to collaborate with an external creative production agency:
It is essential to work with a creative production partner who is aligned with your agency’s philosophy to effectively collaborate, communicate, and connect on the right path.
At Craft, we offer fully integrated creative production solutions that have been successful in solving several issues for our clients. Our producers sit alongside strategy, creative and media, to bring the expertise that informs how a campaign, experience or asset come to life – in any language or culture.
Along with best-in-class processes, workflows, technology, and overall expertise in integrated production, we offer:
If you are interested, feel free to drop us a message about your concerns, and we will come back with solutions for your brand.
About the author
Steve Ferreira is VP, Managing Director, Craft Canada. A tenured project manager and long-time studio operations lead with McCann and Craft, honed his skills managing multichannel integrated programs for many top tier local and global clients.