Ad Age recently published an article that argued that the “Team of Record”, as opposed to the “Agency of Record”, is the new agency paradigm. Teams of record, represent the sum of the agency partners that come together to service a client’s marketing programs. These teams of record often cross agency borders, with client’s selecting best-of-breed partners whether they exist in the same agency group or not. Leading advertisers like General Motors, Ford, Bank of America, and MillerCoors have begun embracing this collaborative model in order to broaden expertise and wring more savings from their marketing budgets.
Cost-cutting is quickly becoming the primary driver of collaboration. Marketers continue to face cost and spending pressure, and as a result, are looking to their agency partners to help them deliver the savings. Some agencies are proactively responding to the call. For example, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of our parent company, WPP Group, has committed that WPP will strive to provide cost savings of 10 – 20% for clients on an annual basis.
One area that promises to deliver these kind of savings is on the production side of the marketing equation. Outsourcing production, particularly for digital initiatives, where spend continues to increase, provides not only cost-efficiency, but enhanced brand consistency and time-to-market. What’s more, by outsourcing to experienced production partners with production experts in low cost markets, marketing organizations can realize savings between 20-50%.
Agencies have long collaborated with marketing services partners to extend the reach of their campaigns into retail establishments, live experiences, and social media. However, many advertisers feel uneasy about introducing partners into production processes traditionally undertaken within their own agency. Agencies need not worry if they have a production partner that makes the collaboration process simple, seamless, and risk-free. When choosing a production partner, ensure:
- Offshore digital production experts have deep expertise across digital media, and are well versed in working with creative agencies.
- The production partner has a well-defined process to transition and manage work from the creative agency, as well as ensure quality deliverables.
- Collaborative communication technologies are leveraged to ensure all stakeholders remain up-to-speed on projects no matter the time zone they operate in.
- The production partner has broad execution reach, with staff in local markets globally.
Agency collaboration is here to stay. Clients are demanding it and agencies must master it.
Ben Rolly is VP Business Development North America at Deliver. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.