The recent announcement by the AANA on television production costs is simply a reflection on the rising importance of this category. It has also seen an increase in the use of either procurement production or production consulting resources, including TrinityP3.
The value of these Advertising Production Consultants is sometimes questioned, mainly by advertising agencies and production vendors who resist this level of evaluation. But often the perceived lack of value is because of the limited way the Advertising Production Consultant is engaged.
One of our production consultants drew my attention a post by Jillian Gibbs at APR on the issue of how production consultants are best engaged and in it she talks about the consultants being in the Foreground or the Background.
Jillian wrote “Advertising Production Consultants can either be used in the Foreground (working directly with agencies and sitting side-by-side with marketers during the process), or in the Background (to review bids and paperwork, review invoices, reconcile costs)” and of course somewhere in between.
Our experience is that the choice between Foreground or Background depends on a number of advertiser factors including:
- The size and complexity of the productions being undertaken
- The volume of productions in both number and variations
- The marketing and procurement resources level and skills
However, what is clear is the earlier the Advertising Production Consultant is involved, the more effective the outcome.
Expanding on Jillian’s thoughts, Advertising Production Consultants can add value in three main areas:
- Providing industry subject matter expertise to individual productions for marketing and procurement
- Providing procurement with industry expertise to identify and develop improved strategic sourcing in this category
- Providing a broader industry and market view at a local, regional and global level to help coordinate production management
1. An industry subject matter expert advisor
As an industry expert they can:
- Provide production with a day-to-day overview to ensure the process is as efficient and effective as possible, minimizing waste, while maximizing value “on-screen”
- Act as a translator, demystifying much of the technical production jargon, allowing marketing and procurement to make more informed decisions.
- Identify issues early in the process, especially at concept stage, providing insights into potential problems, issues and complications that may arise.
- Relieve marketers of the more mundane, compliance stages of the process, allowing them to make decisions faster and focus on higher value tasks.
- Inform and up-skill procurement in common production issues so they are better able to manage these more effectively in future.
2. An industry strategic expert advisor
Beyond production management and overview, the Advertising Production Consultant can be a strategic sourcing advisor to procurement. Production Consultants understand the market through experience and through managing multiple clients. These understandings can be shared to help Procurement identify opportunities and position the advertiser for the future.
These opportunities can include:
- New internal production and approval procedures to increase speed to market and lower cost.
- Identify and develop with procurement improved sourcing processes to take advantage of technology and market trends.
- Unbundling and developing direct relationships with third party vendors to achieve economies of scale.
- Identify “unintended consequences” of company policy to help marketers, agencies and vendors achieve greater efficiency.
3. An expert glocal knowledge resource
It is true that sometimes global and regional Procurement teams are challenged to get visibility local market production trends. Local markets are inclined to control and manage their own budgets and marketing/communications activities, which is one of the frustrations of the globally managed approach. While an Advertising Production Consultant can help individual markets improve their production efficiency, they can at the same time provide regional or global Procurement with more visibility to spend and activity.
With a regional or global overview, Advertising Production Consultants are also better placed to be able to advise on production opportunities both local, regional and global that are outside of the remit of the marketing team and their agencies who often have a local market view.
Beyond simply assisting with the management of your advertising production, you can use a Production Consultant to gain traction in another market by offering this expertise as a resource, prove the value, and begin to establish productive relationships with the local markets. Then together you can identify opportunities on a local, regional and even a global basis.
What has been your experience with Advertising Production Consultants? Let us know where you have seen the vaue or not by leaving a comment here.