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The fourth annual TKM/We Are Amnet 2023 report for offshore creative production has been published. As the demand by marketers for more content increases, the survey offers an insight into how these challenges are being met.
With 60% of all companies utilising offshore production as part of their content ecosystems and a further 83% (of companies that don’t currently offshore) considering an offshore solution this year, it’s unsurprising that the investment in offshore creative production is superseding all other production models.
Why are businesses offshoring creative production?
The economic uncertainty surrounding businesses has meant the attainable commercial savings delivered through offshore production (on average at 40%) have emerged to become the key business driver for marketers, in-house teams and agencies. 81% of all participants rank “access to lower cost skills and resources” as the number one reason for working with an offshore partner.
Additional business drivers including access to talent that can scale, new digital skills, 24/7 resources and to “avoid being priced out of the market”, all contribute to a compelling “offshore adoption” strategy.
The survey results show that digital marketing, short-form video content, social marketing, transcreation and CGI are the top five areas of production spend going into 2023.
Offshore studios provide extensive skills around these high-volume execution areas, with digital banner ads (44%), CGI (32%) and transcreation (23%) all rated in the top five for services most suited to the offshore market.
What to Automate
Automation is playing a more significant role with 65% of all responses believe that social content versioning should now be a wholly automated task. A further 56% believe the same about display advertising (banner ads). 41% believe video localization should be automated where possible.
Nicky Russell, Founding Partner of WDC says “Content automation is a really important part of the ecosystem, I think it can be both effective and efficient when it’s used in the right way. Companies, particularly procurement teams, are ready and eager to invest in that area…that’s what we’re seeing”.
Structured and regular communication is non-negotiable with 65% of participants selecting ‘structured communication planning & ‘regular reviews’ in their top three. ‘Implementing rigorous SLAs’ & ‘QA procedures’ was a close second with 50%.
Quality of work continues to outperform a commercial ROI as the stand-out measurement of success.
Quality was selected by a resounding 91%, up from 76% in 2022 and 73% in 2021. Commercial ROI, selected in the top three by 75% of participants, continues to be a benchmark for success, and is certainly a key consideration for procurement and marketing operations.
Cost savings are a must, especially for those in-house teams and agencies that operate from the US, UK or across Western Europe where day rates are often double or triple the offshore cost.
73% of companies agree with the Smartshoring approach to offshore creative production. Smartshoring combines “regional client services teams with low-cost production hubs” to ensure quality standards, cultural alignment and communication are always consistent with the client’s needs.
This model is emerging as the most progressive and suitable model to combat the biggest barriers to a successful partnership. In addition, India continues to be ranked number one as the primary location for low-cost hubs, with Mexico, Colombia and Costa Rica also ranking highly.
Short to medium-term offshore growth is beyond inevitable as satisfaction levels climb, offshore hubs become a fundamental cog in volume delivery and execution, and creative and offshore production strategies become more integrated.
Biggest challenges facing brands in 2023
The survey also contains a number of qualitative interviews including Ezio Saponari, Creative & Production Category Lead at a global consumer brand who says “The first big challenge is the constant request to have new content. So it’s the quantity of content. It’s getting a little bit more complex, because we are scaling up also in terms of personalization. And the real discussion about personalization is how far we want to go with that, how far do we want to personalize the content?”
He continues “Just as an example: do we want to personalize the content by community instead of demographic? But do we want to personalize also the sub element of the production, like the music, like the voiceover?”
Saponari goes on to say that “The second big challenge that we are facing is how we reduce waste. How we can connect better inside and bring media and creative and production all together in order to reduce the waste?”
And according to Saponari “The third big challenge is measurement. Our content is performing well, but how much do you measure in terms of engagement versus sales. Is being liked on Instagram enough or is there something more related to sales that needs to be measured against the content being produced?
Download the report here: https://www.weareamnet.com/report/2023-global-benchmark-report-for-offshore-creative-production/