Creative Skill Set 1.4 – Stakeholder Engagement

Assessing the differing demands on creative services and the available resources

The majority of departments within an organisation respond positively when their performance is evaluated. Even when performance is below par, solutions can be found to improve things that involve a logical and methodical approach.

The exception is creative services – an area where everyone feels qualified to comment, yet they find it difficult to articulate or pinpoint specifics for improvement.
At Town & Town we find that the perception of creative services’ function is often misaligned with its capabilities. Knowing clearly what is expected of the creative services team by its stakeholders and understanding the team’s potential is an important first step towards building a team to meet those expectations.

Here’s a situation you may find familiar…Stakeholder Engagement

Creative Skill Set 1.3 – Productivity Benchmarking

Improving the productivity of creative services

How does an organisation know whether its people employed in creative positions have too much or not enough to do when it is so difficult to measure? Most managers would struggle to answer this question.

Measuring the productivity of employees involved in creative functions within an organisation is notoriously difficult, but it is an area that should be addressed by those serious about overall performance. It is also something welcomed by the creatives themselves. Expectation of performance in other areas is standard practice, and there is little difficulty in setting benchmarks.

At Town & Town we aim to quantify each piece of work undertaken by a creative employee in terms of cost and return for the organisation, measuring the results against agreed norms. This information allows us to test the effectiveness of the resource and make comparisons with competitors if that is what is required.

Here’s a situation you may find familiar…Productivity Benchmarking

Creative Skill Set 1.1 – Cost Analysis

Understanding pricing for creative services

It is likely that more errors are made in the procurement of creative services than in almost any other area. The ‘creative’ element is what makes it so difficult to quantify the value of each item.

Whilst there will always be ingredients of a creative campaign that are difficult to pin down, the vast majority of commissions can be broken down into the constituent parts and costed. This is a great help to anyone managing a busy creative department.

At Town & Town we undertake the task of breaking apart each item in the marketing mix and pricing each component, creating a rate card or ‘menu’ for the majority of marketing items. Armed with this information, the marketing executive gains a high degree of control over the budget.

Here’s a situation you may find familiar…Cost Analysis

Creative Skill Set 1.2 – Marketing Intelligence

Gaining an overview of competitor marketing behaviour

It is well known that, when marketing a service or product, the environment within which all messages are delivered is a key component of success. Perhaps what is less often recognised is that a competitor’s creative output, and the methods by which they deliver their message, can also influence the effectiveness of your own communication. For example, in a competitive market where there might be four or five major players, there is probably only room for one to gain attention by adopting an unconventional ‘ambush’ approach.

Whilst any marketing director worth his salt is likely to have a very good idea of what their competitors are up to on a campaign by campaign, product by product basis, very few have the time or resources to take a holistic look at how competitors are behaving across the wide range of communication channels that now exist.
At Town & Town, we not only gather this information into a manageable format, but present it in a succinct and relevant way to highlight different approaches among major competitors.

Here’s a situation you may find familiar…Marketing Intelligence