Why finding the right production partner is key to agencies delivering experiential success.
‘Consumer demand for brand experiences shows no signs of abating’ Campaign, The future of brand experiences, Sep 2018.
Brand experience is now dominating the communication landscape. Over the last decade with digital media as its companion, it has transformed from bit part promotional player to marketing mainstream. Campaign recently stated that ‘consumer demand for brand experiences shows no signs of abating as brands turn to live campaigns to inspire, engage and provoke’.
The vibrant market is growing and the big agencies are taking note. Media agencies through their sponsorship & partnerships teams have been embracing the experiential medium for a while and traditional advertising agencies are now following in their wake. Both are bringing in expertise and setting up their own brand experience solution teams. Before long all the big players will be offering brand experiences and live solutions as part of their communication services.
Outlined below are some of the challenges agencies face when growing their brand experience offering.
Challenge 1. Find the right brand experience production & activation partner to help you deliver.
Delivering brand experiences is a complex process. For the inexperienced the pitfalls can be huge. Producing and activating successful experiential events takes a specific skill-set and requires resources and infrastructure that is impossible for agencies to have in-house.
To deliver a brand experience agencies need to turn to a production and activation partner to deliver projects. They’ll need to find a supplier who has the experience and insight to translate the big creative idea into something that works in a live event environment. Look for a partner who can handle all aspects of delivery, is a safe pair of hands and can help you handle the hard work.
Challenge 2. Crazy lead times and fast project turnarounds.
Agencies are working with very short lead times, whether that’s in response to a pitch brief or turning around a production. Once a brand experience campaign is signed off, there is often less than 6 weeks before it goes live. This can create tingling nerves and raised stress levels. With demanding clients, cool heads & long hours are often required to get projects across the line.
Leaning on your production and activation partner is going to be key to delivering a successful campaign. Get ready to get close, choose a partner who you enjoy working with, who will go the extra mile and is there to support you every step of the way.
Challenge 3. Delivering complex projects with limited in-house resources.
Macro pressures mean agencies have ever decreasing account management teams, who are stretched across more accounts that ever before. Creating a brand experience campaign is a time-consuming process. The sheer number of associated parties and people that have to be dealt and the amount of work involved can be daunting. Before you know it, your comms team’s swamped and out of their depth.
A good production partner will take away the pain, secure locations, compile and complete health & safety documents, book the promotional staff, handle all the logistics, whilst smoothly delivering all aspects of the production and fully supporting their client agency throughout the pre-live build up. The best production partners are a one-stop shop for everything you need and do whatever it takes to get the job done!
Challenge 4. Staying on budget, whilst delivering KPI’s
Whilst production is in full-swing agencies need to keep one eye or better both eyes on the budget to ensure they are delivering the campaign at a profit. This needs to be achieved whilst meeting or ideally exceeding the agreed campaign KPIs. The answer is to look to for a production partner who can offer a turnkey solution.
Look for a partner that can provide the added inspiration to make the campaign special. That can take the agency’s creative idea and see it through from concept to completion, whilst delivering the project on time and on budget.
Ideally avoid working with middlemen who add layers of cost and result in agencies losing control. Go direct to the production source, work with the team who are actually building/creating the experience from bottom up and who are responsible for delivering the activation on the ground. Always ask the question, where is my stand being built and who’s taking it to site? If there is a pause… then you might want to press the panic button.
Challenge 5. Ensuring perfect delivery and happy clients.
The experience matters. When it comes to perfect delivery, work with a production team who have done this type of work time and time again. Choose a production partner that can bring the idea to life and have a proven track record of delivering perfect representations of concepts and designs. Then when it comes to the real thing the client will be blown away.
Choose a partner that truly has their resources in-house from technical build to large scale print and who has the infrastructure to deliver events of any scale. This will install you with the confidence you have made the right choice. Visit the factory, meet the team and see the build in progress.
It’s your production partner’s passion for delivering the best that will ensure your success. Choosing the right production and activation partner is the key to first-class delivery and having happy clients, so choose well.