Efficiency is not a word you’d expect to be associated with an ad agency.
This is because the ad agency is the place corporates go to get creative work produced. It’s the place where people are hired on their ability to be creative.
Somewhere in the mish-mash of climbing walls, 10am tequila, table soccer and caffeine, the creative ones come up with a great idea for an advert. The copy writer words it smoothly, the designer interprets it visually and a creative advert is produced.
To the traditional ad agency, creativity is critical because the big idea must blow the target audience’s socks off… because:
- producing it is so expensive
- Ad space is planned way in advance
- The model relies on replicating the same advert across inflexible mediums
Dare I say it: “There is little space for experimentation in the traditional advertising world once the idea has been signed-off.”
In this post from last week, I discuss this shift in marketing. It further discusses how interruption based advertising has shifted to inbound marketing [with HubSpot].
Why efficiency is lost
An ad agency provides a service. Service based work is carried out through the execution of processes. The traditional ad agency often struggles with efficiency. Creatives are held accountable by logging hours. They are merely measuring a symptom. The ad agency exec takes the approach of simply increasing the pressure on the creative staff when they need more work done. The staff then work more hours because they don’t know how to be more efficient. What the bosses don’t do is manage the steps in the processes that produce the results they depend on. It’s often just more whip or more carrot.
The ad agency should rather be studying and understanding the processes which underlie their production than whipping their creatives for more work.
Inbound marketing and efficiency
Inbound is well suited to efficiency because all the steps in the content creation and publication process can be mapped and planned. Once the optimum production process is in place its outputs are pieces of content which are published online. The results of each article are then used to inform the production of the next piece of content. It is the collage of incrementally improved content that generates such large and impressive results.
This is just one of the principals which make inbound marketing reliable and efficient in attaining goals. With Inbound the risk and results are all incremental – put content up, see if it works, write more of the same if its successful or write the next piece differently. The journey of the campaign can be changed on the fly without the need to change the process which produces the work. There is no need to rework a campaign because its production is continuous and based on live feedback.
The question then: “if inbound marketing is a service, if services are defined as the execution of process steps and inbound is well suited to efficiency then: how does a south African inbound agency [like Wild Pursuit] make its inbound marketing services more efficient than a traditional ad agency? (Or even another Inbound agency working from anywhere in the world or the UK.)
The answer is in the application of lean methodology. It is a process improvement method we use which identifies and eliminates waste in processes. (Lean has its history way back in Henry Ford’s day, but it was largely the work of James P. Womack that brought it all together).
Waste can be divided up into eight types:
- Waste of waiting
- Waste of over production
- Waste of rework
- Waste of motion
- Waste of transportation
- Waste of processing
- Waste of inventory
- Waste of intellect
Without learning about each waste and becoming an expert in deploying lean theory on your agency or company, I am sure you can at a glance see where some agencies go wrong. If associating efficiency with an ad agency was something you though impossible then you might be interested to find that you can outsource HubSpot to South Africa for an Inbound Marketing roll-out
PS. The benefit of outsourcing advertising to an Inbound marketing agency in South Africa is far greater than just the currency advantage and is firmly rooted in increased efficiency – as powered by how we use lean methodology.