Taking off from a piece I had written earlier on Linked In.
Cost Cuts. Dreaded words in the industry.
Where the only factory is the factory of ideas. The only product is the brilliance of thought and creativity.
Cost Cuts mean much more than just slashing heads on the budget sheet.
A cup of coffee is not just a hot drink. It is a fuel for energy, conversations, debates, doodles, imagination.
Economising on remuneration is more than just a salary hit. It means a worried, stressed mind.
Definitely hampers that campaign that makes viewers laugh and reach out for that brand on the shelves.
A workshop, an ad festival are where people connect. Share ideas. They are more than just a party.
Training sessions open up minds. Improve knowledge, upskills people with new technology, tools.
Cost Cuts in a creative industry is not easy. It impacts the output as the primary assets are people.
Yet, business realities need to be considered.
The industry does not command as much as it used to, when all services were under one roof and we were the certified Mad Men down the block.
What we need to address is Wastage.
Wastage Control means ruthless decisions. Harder than cost cutting the traditional way, which erases or reduces a vertical column, impacting everyone equally.
Wastage Control means a leadership that identifies the stars from the weeds. And takes action. To keep the stars shining and the weeds from growing undisturbed.
It means identifying unproductive assets and reducing them. More than extra sheets on a printer.
It means a clear mandate on deliverables. And defined responsibilities to achieve them.
It calls for embracing new ways of working. Crack teams instead of armies, for one. Breaking down the walls between the agency disciplines, literally. So that there is transparency, sharing of objectives and a team spirit that is based on rewards and recognition.
Agencies that can control Wastage, will be the ones that are the most productive and profitable.
With a few good. motivated men and women who can rock the stage and the markets, working in an environment that is geared for inspiration.
As for the coffee, that extra cup does make a difference.
More to morale than money.
(The views expressed are the author's independent views as an ad professional and do not reflect the organisation's viewpoint.)