Alma Flórez is the Regional Creative Director of Havas HOY Colombia agency, in addition to occupying the role of Creative Director within HAVAS for 6 years. From COR we have had the opportunity to talk to her about the importance of how to return value to the creative industry and avoid being seen as a commodity. We aim to allow each part of an agency to develop and grow as much as possible within the same company, trying to make the industry more profitable every day. We thank Alma for her valuable input on the state of the industry and how our solution has helped her!
Services and not goods
The world of advertising and marketing is in check, and many of the senior positions are walking towards other directions / industries. When comparing agencies you can see that what makes the difference is an experienced guide leading the team. How can you make sure that agencies do not lose their soul, their expertise, and avoid becoming a commodity?
Advertising is a market in constant evolution where being anchored in a comfort zone is something that would seem to detract from its value. A good way to allow the introduction of new ideas and trends is to give place to the new generations that are entering the labor market. Being in the same type of work for many years can create certain blind spots when it comes to conceptualizing the world.
“No matter how senior you are, the important thing is the ability to be fresh,” says the creative.
When creating a team it is important to accompany this new wave of talent with the wisdom and already sharp problem-solving skills that can only be achieved through experience. That is, knowing how an industry is organized, how to handle key tasks and processes.
Alma explains that COR allows us to show in a concrete way the value of the work done, being able to visualize the breakdown of the path taken to reach the final product. “The customers value it very much”, says the creative. It is also a great help when taking a step back and observing the fine thread of all the tasks that lead to the end of the project: if suppliers take too long to do their work, if the delay lies in an excess of tasks on a team member.
The traceability of the processes for an excellent final result gives the client a good organization and internal communication, besides the added value of the feedback for the brand. When all parties use the same tool, dialogue is more fluid and communication is clearer. When a number of suppliers and partners with whom you work can use the same tools it allows the work and communication to flow more simply.
The valley of lost resources
Where is more time wasted, where are more resources wasted? In the reworks, in the corrections, it is a wear and tear for the whole company. Because it uses billable hours that could be dedicated to new projects and other clients, from the financial point of view it is to dedicate resources to something that has not been contemplated in the original cost of the operation.
In the era of communication in which we live it is known that information is power. Being able to know where the most resources are being spent and how it influences the internal chain of the agency is very valuable. If you know that the correction of active projects is one of the greatest expenses of time and resources, you can see how this has a great effect on the agency’s finances, on the wear and tear of the creatives, and on the bond with the client. If you are aware of these steps you can take action to modify the system to avoid these situations becoming commonplace.
On the one hand, when a client has a greater perception of the resources used he can analyze and dedicate himself to be clearer when communicating his ideas. This depends on the method used to assess and charge for the work, whether it is by the hour, by project, etc. In addition, it may be that the executive of that account is not being able to achieve the order of the brand effectively.
COR has been a great tool when it comes to readjusting or negotiating the price of certain services provided, shares Alma.
It is essential to have the relevant information when it comes to demonstrating to the client the real value of the tasks provided. In this way, it is a resource that allows mapping the cost of each hour and the relevant profitability of the company’s work. For example, in the current context of pandemic, many companies have reduced their ability to contract for services. Knowing the profitability of certain jobs is a requirement in order to achieve a plan that is beneficial to both parties in the agency-brand relationship. Besides being the basic tool to be able to organize in a new home office labor system, managing the information in a clear, precise, transparent and integral way. “If it is not in COR it does not exist” This slogan was created in the midst of the pandemic and it is that for us the use of COR for distance work has been vital,
A guide: Transparency as a gearing method
Sometimes it can be perceived as a “control” the time tracking by creative and junior talent, but according to Alma it is not like that. Creatives have the space to organize themselves within a team with transparency. The big problem of each team’s gear entering the amount of hours worked per task is that it highlights poor human resource management. If a creative is assigned 20 hours of work in a day, it shows an imprecise management or an unsustainable planning.
COR is an ally when it comes to fighting the well-known industry burnout because when we are all aligned in what we want and in what we can, the quality of the work improves
If all agencies had the relevant data to be able to work within a labor welfare state and negotiate profitable prices, it would raise the profitable and humane standard of the industry. For the existence of other agencies that charge far below what they should be, limits a possible standard of remuneration, a reasonable base, for the rest of their competitors.
Of course, said in this way it seems like a utopia, existing a point of regional comparison by the economic proposals offered from each agency, but in this way the competitive rod would be given by the creative talent. “I am more and more worried about thinking about how productive you are instead of how creative you are”, finishes the creative. There is a concern about the human notion behind the systematization of each person’s work data, a concern to stop seeing those people as human beings and only see them as numbers that produce deliverables. The creative comments on the impossibility of incorporating into the system the monitoring of the thinking that goes over the concretion of deliverables and ideas. This is not a minor issue, and it is linked in a macro way to an industry that asks for more but is not ready to give us more.
From COR our purpose is to help agencies to grow not just in number of clients but in profitability, so that all those who make life in the industry can be valued much better. It is our purpose as a company and is the reason why we work every day.