Finding the time to be creative, tighter deadlines, The Great Resignation, trying to do more with less – less budget, less time and less people resource… Whatever way you cast the die, in 2023, agency life comes with a complex set of challenges – more complex, arguably, than we’ve ever seen before.
In 2020, the world was rocked by the pandemic, wreaking havoc across almost every sector and industries like the creative and advertising sectors, being hit hard with knock-on effects. Ultimately, this caused a seismic shift in terms of recruitment, talent availability, work life philosophy and shifts in consumer behaviour.
To help balance the books during this time, agencies were forced to slash headcount and in the last half of the pandemic, agencies like Omnicom and IPG, were forced to cut staff numbers by 10%, equating to 10,000 jobs in total. But they weren’t alone, with WPP reporting job losses of 5,000 and Dentsu 60001. That said, while revenue dropped and cuts to staffing were made to stay afloat, the advertising industry as a whole has since bounced back. And now agencies around the world find themselves in a landscape where they’re being forced to play catch up. Work smarter, not harder; think lean; do more for less… How often do we hear such corporate catchphrases with little detail provided as to what they actually mean?
In 2021 Statista reported that global advertising revenue was $649.22 billion2, illustrating that despite pandemic-driven budget cuts, the advertising industry as a whole grew by 11.2% last year. A far from shabby result! That said, digging into this data more deeply, traditional advertising fell by 15.7%, with brands instead opting to embrace new and alternative ways of connecting with their audience. For example, digital advertising grew by $42.56B even throughout the pandemic, and Statista expects digital to reach a total worth of $455.3B by the end of 20213. Perhaps most relevant to us here at 90 Seconds, any drop previously noted in pandemic-crazed 2020 across video advertising has since bounced back, with brands and businesses cottoning on to the unprecedented power of video as a marketing medium.
While the pandemic hit the industry hard, recovery has been swift and demand for agency services increasing. But with reported talent shortages and agencies scrambling to build the teams they need in order to not only deliver to existing clients, but respond to RFPs and attract new business, the knock-on effects from the pandemic are still very much being felt across the sector.
Late last year, renowned management consultancy, The Observatory International, warned that the battle for creative talent would present a multitude of issues for agencies around the world4 – with The Great Resignation upon us and revealing that 20% of us plan on leaving our organisations this year5, the war for talent shows no signs of abating. What’s more, demand on supporting creative infrastructure – such as studio spaces and crew – is also at an all-time high, placing extensive pressures on the marketing ecosystem. The Observatory International also reported a sharp rise in agencies declining new business opportunities, due to the fact they’re currently operating at a full – and many times, an overstretched – capacity. According to The Drum, anecdotal evidence indicates that some major brands, in a bid to get around this, “have paid up to six-figure sums to encourage agencies to participate in substantial pitches.”6
It might seem like a good problem to have, but the reality is, turning away new business needn’t be the answer. Agencies should look to expand their offering through partnership by bringing in the right specialist expertise to free up precious human resources.
When looking at video content creation for example, at 90 Seconds we work with over 13,800 global content creators. We know how to create award-winning video content that cuts through the clutter and delivers clear ROI – and what’s more, we know how to do it efficiently and sustainably, capturing content at speed, scale and capacity.
Having been in operation for over 12 years and working with over 200 of Forbes global brands in 164 countries around the world, we’re the world’s preeminent content creation partner. With over 40,000 videos created for some of the world’s leading brands from HP and Amazon to Marriott, KPMG and TripAdvisor, we work across every sector in every market and provide agency partners with a complete end-to-end workflow platform. Our model provides complete visibility and the ability to manage and control projects at their fingertips – no matter the time zone – factors that our agency partners like Ogilvy, Edelman and more have found brings great benefit.
Acting as a virtual extension of an agency team, 90 Seconds’ cloud platform allows seamless collaboration with multiple creators – essentially meaning that while the production is outsourced, you still have complete control of projects and can answer clients’ questions on a whim. Management is centralised with agencies able to get a high-level or detailed overview all at once, across individual or multiple ongoing projects. And what’s more, they can also avoid managing local payment challenges, with 90 Seconds taking care of billing.
This virtual event, commissioned by agency Walton Isaacson, titled ‘Lexus Uptown Honours Hollywood,’ comprised of a whopping 21 videos across eight different shoots – a campaign that, without our expertise and access to global content creators and local talent, would have placed a considerable drain on agency resources.
Audio technicians, camera or drone operators, copywriters and more, with almost 14,000 content creators on our books, the talent crisis is no longer a problem, with 90 Seconds having access to skilled and experienced local experts. Working locally also means you’re not only saving costs and operating sustainably but benefitting from working with creators who are equipped with local knowledge and familiar with all important cultural nuances… Paramount when it comes to creating hyperlocal content on a global scale.
In this example, in partnership with agency Octagon, titled Virtual Anfield, 90 Seconds’ virtual events product is showcased to strong effect, alongside our centralised management system, which enables seamless captioning, alongside worldwide distribution at the click of the button through social platform integration.
Video is arguably the most powerful marketing medium of our time – it delivers stronger SEO, higher open rates through email marketing and with streaming accounting for more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic7, agencies should be integrating video into client activity as an integral part of their strategy. Those who do so win overall, growing revenue 49% faster than non-video users and generating 66% more qualified leads per year.8
Outsourcing can improve efficiency and productivity, even more so in the case where another entity performs such tasks better than the outsourcer itself9. As a strategy, outsourcing can also lead to faster turnaround times, increased competitiveness within an industry, and the cutting of overall operational costs. In fact, organisations that embrace outsourcing business models can achieve a 60-70% reduction in costs.10
Agencies that look to embrace such models, are better placed to not only better service the needs of existing clients, but also respond to pitches and win new business. And if you’re looking to outsource video content creation, then there is no better external expert than 90 Seconds.