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Brands Continue to Wrestle with Content-at-Scale - Is the Solution Located Offshore?



Latest report from We Are Amnet highlights the challenge of servicing ‘content-at-scale’ demands facing brands and marketers, and looks to possible solutions

Brands Continue to Wrestle with Content-at-Scale - Is the Solution Located Offshore?

Content-at-scale (that’s a snappy way of saying ‘creating a vast volume of content and fast’) will continue to trouble brands and marketers alike in 2023. After historically low marketing budget spends in 2021 of only 6.4%, 2022 saw a welcome increase to 9.5% of total company revenue. While that’s encouraging, it’s still nowhere near pre-pandemic levels and with the current cost of living crisis and looming recession, the challenge of ‘how to do more with less’ is going to be a difficult one to address. 

With this in mind, brands and marketers globally are on the lookout for models and solutions that can help them to deliver on the marketing and content needs while staying within budget and, most importantly, within the high production standards that they’re used to. One such solution is offshoring, which we found to already account for 20% of total production spend. Though the number is currently quite low, it’s not insignificant and it presents the inevitable industry move towards adaptable, flexible and economically-favourable solutions. Our report found that right now 55% of companies that don’t currently offshore will definitely offshore creative production in the next 12 months, with a further 28% considering an offshore model in the near future. 

Offshoring is a rapidly evolving area of production too, with the fastest growing rate of investment relative to other production models. We engaged TKM Consultants to gather insights from numerous global leaders in the creative production space like agency CMOs, studio leads of global brands, and procurement and sourcing leaders, among other industry experts. The ‘2023 Global Benchmark Report: Offshore Creative Production’ explores themes of maturity of the offshore landscape, the savings that can be gained through the practice, which industries are most suited to offshoring, and the barriers currently in the way of successful offshoring partnerships. 

The report is a detailed, global look at:

  • How the offshore market is maturing in relation to other production models 

  • Uncovering the greatest areas of content production spend for 2023 

  • Defining the primary business drivers and assessment criteria for an offshore partnership, including locations and services most suited to an offshore studio 

  • Identifying success factors when selecting an offshore partner and how best to onboard them 

  • Classifying commercial savings by service-line 

  • Defining the technology and automation must-haves as we look to the future

Digital first

Digital is of course not going anywhere, especially as it became the lifeline for brands to reach customers through the pandemic, and remains one of the first points of contact that a customer has with a brand. The past two years have seen a significant increase in marketing budget spent on e-commerce while the growth of social commerce helped brands to reach more and new customers. In line with this, many brands are going to continue pursuing a digital-first approach to cement their online presence. Digital marketing and display advertising was ranked as the number one area of content production that will see the highest spend and investment for the year ahead by 23% of those surveyed. 

With digital-first strategies set to keep growing, two key challenges arise. The first is the constant need for more content to sit across different social platforms in multiple markets. Volume is an issue to address, within it also sits speed - the content needs to be produced fast and at scale to keep up with the market’s demands. Add personalisation - another growing requirement - and the challenge begins to look far more expansive than it did at first glance. 

The second challenge that often crops up is waste. In the context of content-at-scale, wastage happens more often than it should, whether that’s due to the pace, briefing, miscommunication or a combination of all of the factors. Reducing waste is then a key goal in order to streamline the content creation process and improve efficiency, which translates to improved costs. Managing the process better through effective workflows and the right content creation partners is then vital to ensuring that spend goes towards what needs to be created, and not towards something that doesn’t. 

Responding to challenges

The digital-first approach isn’t the only industry development that will require careful consideration, forward thinking, and resourceful budgeting. Our report identified a number of issues the industry will have to contend with. Brands, meanwhile, are trying to problem-solve by finding the right balance between their creative agency, in-house capabilities, and off-shore solutions. How to get the balance right? Our 2023 Global Benchmark Report: Offshore Creative Production takes a deep dive into the problems of today and tomorrow’s market, speaking to global experts about what they’re already doing now and how they’ll be adapting in the coming months. 

Want to know what they know? Download the report here.
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We Are Amnet, Wed, 08 Feb 2023 10:47:00 GMT