Is your marketing team truly empowered?
True empowerment goes well beyond a job title.
Nowhere is this more evident than when production begins on a major video initiative.
While there are many internal stakeholders, it is the marketing lead who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the creative is completed on time, on budget and that it is engaging enough to motivate consumers to buy, click or become aware.
And while the marketer may own the creative development process, they can also, at times, feel powerless.
It is not about job title, skillset or work experience
Working within an agency-driven process can be difficult; especially as production ramps up and the agency begins to take control of the timelines and executional details. At this stage, marketers are often put on a “need to know” basis.
In some ways this is good. The agency’s role is to work through the logistics, solve the smaller issues and minimize any unnecessary noise for the client.
However, in other ways this is bad, as it can create transparency issues that puts undue pressure on the back of the bid; where marketers are often forced to make major, time-sensitive decisions without necessarily understanding the full range of viable options available or their potential impact.
It is about an outdated bid process
It starts with the agency bid spec which are usually put together in haste and go out to production houses with a fair amount of ambiguity still in them. This may be due to compressed timelines or a marketer’s lack of production knowledge to question the specifics. Regardless, it creates the real possibility for misalignment on major issues between the Client and Agency before the bid process has even been initiated.
Next comes budget setting. While the agency does provide a preliminary rough cost in the bid spec, this number is typically just based on a simple allocation of the marketer’s original budget. The issue is that the production house portion, which is by far the largest component, is rarely revised and therefore ends up becoming the cost target given even though it was never based on the actual scope of work. This is a major reason why organizations overpay for production and creates, yet another opportunity for misalignment; most likely without the marketer even being aware.
Once bidding starts, communication flow slows and a cloud begins to form around the transparency of information. This particularly holds true during the award phase when unannounced changes to the bid specs and a lack of full disclosure of competitive bids may come to light as agency biases kick in.
After the job is awarded, this cloud can even get darker. It is at this stage when the agency begins to work in a complete vacuum with the production house. It is only at the pre-production meeting that the marketer begins to learn about other recommended adjustments and changes that significantly impact the budget or the creative product.
It is at this time that marketers start to hear ultimatums like:
“We need approval now or we won’t make the media window.”
“We know it's over your budget but it is the only way to get this shot.”
To make matters worse, these ultimatums are often presented in difficult and sometimes intimidating situations, where the marketer is significantly outnumbered by senior agency and production house executives with a shoot date that is only days or hours away.
Unfortunately, the traditional bidding process that marketers currently rely on is putting them at a distinct disadvantage whereby they are over reliant on the agency for guidance.
With that said, there is considerable opportunity for organizations to truly empower their marketing teams by simply providing them access to additional resources that can support them through the process and allow them to feel in more control.
The result can be the best of all worlds; far greater transparency, much-improved time efficiency and significant cost savings without ever having to jeopardize the agency’s ability to manage the direction of the creative.
This is where we can help...
Haynes-Vozza is a marketing production consultant that specializes in large scale video. We leverage a highly unique blend of procurement, production and marketing expertise to help our clients get the most of their production dollars.
We are different from your typical cost consultant.
We offer a non-traditional, common-sense approach to production house bid management that will deliver improved process efficiency, significant cost savings and a more empowered marketing team without ever jeopardizing the quality of your creative.
Learn more about what we have to offer.