Outsourced Creative: A Partnership Approach

An outsourced creative services partner is an effective way to supplement creative production without the high costs associated with an in-house team. However, without a clear understanding of where outsourced creative teams fit within a client organization, efficiency and innovation can take a back seat.

Procurement processes and MSAs don’t often focus on this operational detail in a way that sets proper expectations. Traditionally, the procurement function focuses more on service deliverables and less on upstream activities. Establishing ways of working with the marketing team, agreeing to joint expectations, and defining areas of responsibility across marketing programs and campaigns is crucial if we want creatives to work more effectively and drive even greater value for clients.

Over the years, we’ve learned that building solutions on a framework of partnership powers an unparalleled level of efficiency. By breaking down silos and openly defining where responsibility starts and stops among marketing teams, agencies and outsourced creative, you improve execution, reduce duplication and increase speed to market. This clear path also fosters communication, giving all parties involved the confidence to share not just assets, but the learnings that spark innovation and support bringing complex programs to life.

Partnership in Action

INWK’s creative team is working closely with the marketing team and agencies of a leading FMCG to ensure maximum effectiveness of our offering and expertise. Defining where we each play – and doing so early on in the relationship – has been critical to our success.

Early into our partnership, INWK arranged a “Brand Day” at the client’s headquarters with the client’s agency of record, branding agency, and ATL production partner all invited. What we collectively gained from this day was invaluable: first-hand information on campaign strategy, brand heritage and identity markers, and vital insight into the effort and cost invested in protecting the brand from dilution in a global market where every adaptation has the potential to erode integrity.

This important day helped all involved understand why each was in the room and the importance of working in harmony with one another. Roles and responsibilities were clearly defined to address any unnecessary ambiguity – who is managing the brand guidelines, who acts as the brand guardian for global adaptations, who owns the in-store experience versus who is activating retail campaigns.

Spoiler alert: in-store creative is a sweet spot for INWK and as a result of the Brand Day is now a clearly defined role for INWK in this particular relationship.

Successful Execution Requires Joined Up Creative

Central to success is a creative services function that carefully aligns with a brand’s overall execution plan. It’s one thing to have eye-catching creative… It’s an entirely different thing to have eye-catching creative that is optimized for production. From initial concept development through to adaptation, sourcing, production and delivery, INWK adopts a philosophy that places emphasis on creative’s ability to impact execution and vice versa.

For our FMCG client, partnering with nimble provider whose expertise spans from ideation to installation is game changing. Our unified, cross-discipline team collaborates transparently at local, regional, and global levels to maximize efficacy while ensuring consistency and compliance across programs and geographies.

Having a clearly defined process that aligns both creative and execution ensures marketers and their brands are best equipped for long-term success. To learn how you can drive more efficiency in your marketing strategies, connect with INWK today.

Jake Curtin

Creative Operations Director, EMEA & APAC