3 Ways Creative Agencies Can Take Innovation a Step Further

The end results will be more unique and brand-specific

Innovation goes further than just creating, and it's time that agencies start taking the next step. Getty Images

Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed an explosion of new channels. Brands have more opportunities for engagement than ever. The tools for content creation have grown more powerful and yet also more accessible. CGI has opened creative avenues previously resigned to the imagination.

This increased complexity means the production process needs to change. Your creatives shouldn’t just create—an agency or production studio should be leveraged before a camera or workstation is ever switched on. If you’re not making the most of your creative resource, you’re not going to keep up in a world where deliveries are more complicated and budgets are shrinking.

The benefits of integration

We’re living in an integrated age where an artist’s knowledge is just as important as the practical application of their skill.

Your creatives shouldn’t just create—an agency or production studio should be leveraged before a camera or workstation is ever switched on.

You absolutely should not confine a talented creative to just one task if their experience can be brought to bear elsewhere on a project. Segmenting campaign production and restricting creative input is myopic in a world where brands must keep up with this vast range of multimedia formats. Indeed, creatives should be empowered to apply their expertise from conception and onward.

This doesn’t mean giving up creative control. It means more creative potential.

Who knows what new medium could be used to make an idea pop? An Instagram campaign could benefit from an associated 360 film. A CG simulation could provide more control than photographing or filming the real thing. Artists can bring these ideas to the table if they’re given the opportunity to explore outside of their remit from day one.

Take advantage of technical knowledge

Artists, agencies and production studios must push creative boundaries—staying ahead of the game demands innovative thinking, after all. Your creative resource will be invested in the latest production trends so always bring state-of-the-art ideas to the table, ideas that can refine your campaign and—if you invite them into the process early enough —pivotally at a time when it’s realistically possible to implement them

After all, you don’t want to feel you’ve missed the boat if an idea comes into the mix when you’re already deep into delivery, nor do you want to find that an idea simply wasn’t realistic from the word go, but you didn’t have the right expertise informing you of that at the time. Knowing what’s feasible before a single dollar is spent is just as important as knowing what will excite an audience.

Optimize your creative

A creative team, hands-on from pre to post can better plan for a project if intentions are understood from the start.

A seasoned production team can solve complex questions issues if they know the plan from day one. They can empower an agency, brand or project with practical, cost-effective insight founded in direct experience, so long as they’re given the bandwidth to do so.

Deliverables are not just an end process. Working out how you get there starts on day one.

The Mad Men days of bringing in a creative agency, production studio or artist solely to deliver on asset creation are over.

As companies work to complete their digital transformation, we’re seeing an abundance of creative roles open up in-house. But brands should seek to augment these internal teams with outsourced expertise. The ability of an external studio or agency to always put fresh eyes on an account is something that can’t be done with limited in-house staff.

By drawing on specialist experience, a seasoned creative team is well placed to deliver something unique to the brand, comfortably within budget and all on schedule. As long as they’re brought on board at the right time.

@saddbaynes Chris Christodoulou is CEO of Saddington Baynes.