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By Ina Nießler
Ina Nießler discusses why decoupling asset production allows marketers more quality time to focus on strategy, increasing the influential role of marketing within the company.
A Decoupled Approach
“A decoupled approach offers you the ability to measure production KPIs which allows the marketing department to gain clear, transparent insights into the production process…they move away from being a pure service provider to an internal consultant that works closely with relevant stakeholders”
Many businesses are implementing huge changes to their corporate strategy as they attempt to adapt to the challenges of the new normal. They’re exploring new ways of meeting customer needs and changing the way marketing assets are both designed and published.
To facilitate such transformations, businesses are revaluating the effectiveness of their marketing departments and investigating whether a new setup could help them achieve more.
The first question they ask themselves is:
Does our marketing department possess the right competencies?
Many companies develop their marketing strategy internally, using all their experience and knowledge to devise a plan that can succeed. They will then usually employ a creative agency to develop a conceptual approach that can deliver their strategy. But when it comes to producing all the required assets for a marketing campaign, companies can sometimes encounter unforeseen challenges.
As marketing trends, needs, and requirements are constantly shifting, in-house marketing teams don’t always have the right mix of competencies to create the assets required for a new campaign. This can often leave companies with a headache…do they bring in digital specialists, expand their marketing team, or partner with external service providers?
A decoupled approach to production could be the answer.
Decoupled production means separating marketing production from strategy and creative ideation and assigning it to a dedicated marketing execution partner. In practice, by decoupling marketing production, brands can revolutionize the way their marketing department operates with new skills, enhanced production quality, lower costs and, most importantly, more flexibility.
Seven advantages of a decoupled approach
A decoupled approach allows you to measure production KPIs, allowing the marketing department to gain clear, transparent insights into the production process. This upgrades the entire marketing department as a whole, they move away from being a pure service provider to an internal consultant that works closely with relevant stakeholders.
Experience has shown that marketing production is subject to seasonal peaks and troughs. Sometimes you’re busy, sometimes not. A dedicated marketing execution partner can be switched on or off depending on demand.
By outsourcing to a marketing execution partner, marketing production is transformed into variable costs instead of fixed costs for marketing staff doing the implementation in-house.
Digital communication and social media require speed in implementation. A marketing execution partner is dedicated to producing assets that guarantees that they can handle large volumes of work at any given time with speedy time-to-market timescales.
Focusing on marketing strategy and the implementation of core brand communications will strengthen the company’s head office functions and especially the role of marketing. In short, marketing will move towards more qualitative work and away from the pure quantitative implementation of assets.
What are the advantages of having access to a full range of marketing implementation services?
There is only one entry point for all implementation requests of marketing materials. Marketing staff do not have to think about which provider to request and to commission for which project. Also, with a broad-based service provider, different implementation areas can work directly with each other without someone from marketing having to transfer data or deliver extra briefs.
This avoidance of micromanagement reduces the burden on the marketing department, providing greater agility and flexibility. And most importantly, brand consistency can be ensured across all channels, also on the part of the service provider.
By decoupling to a specialist provider, it is easier to achieve complete transparency regarding costs and which assets exist. As a result the central marketing function also gets a transparent overview of asset usage and channel implementation when working directly with different subsidiaries, markets, territories and countries.
Challenges of decoupling
While decoupling has many benefits, it can also bring challenges.
For many companies, it will mean a change in the role of the marketing communications department within the company. A strengthening and an upgrading. Transferring lower-tier, high-volume work to the external partner creates more time and focus on developing core marketing and communication strategies.
By specifically focusing on strategy and conception, marketing as a result, also creates a focus on quality. This in turn means, with the cooperation of all internal stakeholders, a change of responsibilities for marketing and a rise in the potential influencing role of marketing within the company.
What is covered by marketing strategy?
Marketing is a very broad field. Here, we are referring specifically to the field of marketing communications. The strategy is of great importance and determines the medium- to long-term focus for communication. It is the basis for the development of the marketing concept and, finally, for its implementation.
And what is covered by the marketing concept?
In the field of marketing communication, there are certain components of the communication concept:
So, what is marketing production?
This is the execution and implementation of the individual marketing assets. In short, the production of all conceivable materials for marketing communications.
About the author
Ina Nießler is Director Client Development at SPRING Production.