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By Claire Randall
How can production deliver more for less? Claire Randall Founder & CEO of Claire Randall Consulting, explores how centrally managed processes are the key to achieving cost-effective production
“Centralised asset management and automation will help address the content at scale challenge, as well as reducing asset wastage and tightening controls on rights management. MarTech, in general, is a huge enabler to driving efficiencies in production”
This year has most definitely been the year of advertisers wanting more for less and in even shorter time.
Whilst I have always believed that centrally managed processes are the key to achieving cost-effective production, this has now become even more important than ever, in the quest to create quality content at scale.
Budgets are shrinking but deliverable lists are growing, so it’s no longer just about how and where you shoot but how you brief, who you brief and how you approach production from the outset. Clients need to have an overall production strategy, which is not campaign specific.
The explosion of digital media, streaming platforms and the greater demand for personalisation, over the last few years has resulted in the need for an ever increasing amount of content in various lengths and formats and brands are struggling to keep up with the demand.
Advertisers are producing fewer high cost TVC’s, in favour of a greater volume of lower-cost social and e-commerce assets. Although, the TVC still forms an essential part of the overall mix.
Unlike during the recession of 2008, the tech is now available to help focus reduced budgets in the right place and react quickly to competitor activity.
Routes to consumer are faster, so we are seeing tighter and tighter timelines. This impacts production costs and reduces the ability for the production teams to consider multiple options and ‘go further afield’.
The exploration of alternative production solutions, such as virtual production (which requires more up-front planning), VR & AR should now be considered alongside more traditional shooting methods.
Add sustainability goals into the mix and you start having to weigh up the benefits of off-shore shooting from a cost efficiency perspective, with reducing your carbon footprint from travel and energy.
Advertisers have been examining their operating models for some time, to design the right ecosystem of external partners and in-house resources, with the right mix of skillsets, to meet their business goals. The need to produce quality content, at speed, during covid, further highlighted the requirement for more agile, streamlined processes.
Traditional agency models are simply no longer viable
Gone are the days of advertisers working with one creative agency. Even if brands have a lead agency, they now have multiple additional agencies and production partners, producing and delivering their content. This represents a huge challenge in terms of control and increases the risk of rights violations.
Usage rights management has become one of the biggest challenges for many advertisers, particularly the global ones. This fragmentation is also driving complexity and a lack of coordination between the various partners in the process. With this comes duplication of effort and asset wastage.
Centralised asset management and automation will help address the content at scale challenge, as well as reducing asset wastage and tightening controls on rights management. MarTech, in general, is a huge enabler to driving efficiencies in production.
The industry has evolved so much in the last 10 years that it is hard to keep up but there is so much opportunity for brands and agencies to do things differently. Transformation is challenging and requires such a huge effort in terms of change management, that brands will often opt for the status quo, versus trying to bring new ways of working and innovation into their organisations.
We work with one brand whose culture centres around testing and learning and they are big believers in not being afraid to fail. I admire that. Many of us are too afraid to try new things and fail but we need to be more innovative than ever when it comes to creating quality content at scale.
There are many options open to advertisers to ‘do things differently’ when it comes to production but they all have pros and cons, risks and benefits and need to be considered carefully. In times of economic pressure however, advertisers may need to take some risks and challenge the status quo.
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