Creative Skill Set 4.4 – Supplier Partnering

Improving two-way communication and streamlining workflows

It is not unusual to hear suppliers say that their clients just won’t let them help them. At Town & Town we know exactly what they mean, as clients often fail to give their suppliers the opportunity to contribute to the marketing process. More often, suppliers are simply on the receiving end of difficult jobs with impossible deadlines.

Busy marketeers are unlikely to have the time to sit down with their suppliers and listen to their suggestions for improving quality and workflow, but creative suppliers often have a unique understanding of the client’s business and can offer useful comparisons with the working practices gained from their other clients.

Similar issues arise with workflow, where internal systems are inadequate to handle ever-increasing volumes, and are clearly not ‘fit for purpose’.
As good listeners, unbiased in our views and with the time and skills required, we are well placed to develop better working relationships and more efficient workflow systems for our clients.

Here’s a situation you may find familiar…Supplier Partnering

Creative Skill Set 4.3 – Brief Building

Translating requirements into actionable tasks for creatives

The single most difficult task for marketeers is good briefing. Creative briefs must avoid suggesting the solution, yet not be so vague as to be unfathomable. When the person giving the briefing does not have an advertising or marketing background, it makes the task doubly difficult.

Problems can also arise when someone at a senior level has to take an active part in the creative process, or when someone from outside the creative environment is asked to manage a major project. These circumstances have a habit of arising at times of tension within an organisation when major changes are afoot and good decisions are vital.

We help clients get the brief right by using appropriate language to communicate key fundamentals so that the creative supplier is able to deliver what the client requires and fulfils all aspects of the brief.

Here’s a situation you may find familiar…Brief Building

Creative Skill Set 4.2 – Service Selection

Advising on selection of appropriate creative services

The way in which creative services are acquired often influences the quality and effectiveness of the work produced by suppliers. Clients generally veer towards one of two extremes, either seeking out the company with the brightest reputation within the industry for their creative work or, at the other extreme, concentrating solely on cost and looking only at the most competitive providers.

It seems unlikely that an organisation would make that kind of mistake, but often we find that the selection process can be subtly diverted from its true course and this is how it ends up.

By setting out in detail the organisation’s requirement for creative services, sensible criteria can be agreed and all supplier applicants measured fairly against it.
At Town & Town we regularly manage this process for clients, and in situations where confidentiality is required, suitable applicants can be selected and shortlisted whilst shielding the client’s identity.

Here’s a situation you may find familiar…Service Selection

Creative Skill Set 4.1 – Communication Auditing

Understanding and reconciling conflicting objectives

In today’s competitive environment, organisations focus on the detailed analysis of each campaign they run and base future activity on the results. Some go further and allocate a cost against every response they get, so why is there a need to add to this careful, considered process?

At Town & Town we believe that if the only way to get responses is to constantly run promotions and money saving offers, then the marketing effort has only been successful in a limited way. To truly assess the effectiveness of the current creative work, one needs to look more closely at the brand building component to see whether a bank of goodwill (creative capital) is being created with your customers or eroded.

Good creative work can do more than just sell products and services; it goes beyond a bigger and brighter banner, a larger and more aggressive discount or cash incentive for customers to use your products or services. Truly effective creative can be a key component in building a loyal customer base. With our background and wide experience in creative service provision, we can assess the effectiveness of your creative output and measure it against your competitors.

Here’s a situation you may find familiar…Communication Auditing