Creative services aren’t generic.
They are unique. They have to be. Without uniqueness they can’t add value. That goes for content like advertising, design, games, on-line worlds and music. It goes for idea based consulting like branding, communications and media strategy and the plans to implement them.
Their uniqueness depends on the backgrounds, experience, inspiration and leadership of the people creating them. They are creations of unique individuals for unique circumstances.
Experience and the ability to produce high quality, unique creative ideas set salaries for those who create them. The less one is prepared to pay, the lower the quality one should expect.
The increasing role of procurement in buying creative and strategy services from advertising, media planning and branding industries may indeed save marketers some money, but can have undesirable consequences.
Not least the loss of the very thing that makes creative services valuable – their unique ability to add value to the procurer’s business.
The result? As procurement drives down the cost of buying those services it will drive down their value. With that will come dissatisfaction with those services, canceling of contracts and the appointment of the next low cost bidder. The vicious cycle will continue and the problem will worsen.
The solution? Innovations in procurement to correctly value creative services. This is easier in the on-line space where accountability is high. Off-line it may take longer.
At the same time the providers of creative services must improve leadership, innovation and accountability to improve their ability to deliver and value what they do.
Finally, both sides must realize they share the common goal of adding higher value to brands and their owners through superior creative ideas and innovation.