Layoffs — or right-sizing, or whatever term is now deemed politically correct — abound in our industry, and are likely to continue as companies are challenged by Wall Street's high expectations. Employers are left with shrinking on-site teams with which to meet and exceed rising consumer and stockholder demands.
I have worked with professionals, coaching them into either their next career move or — in a trend I am witnessing with increasing frequency — launching their own businesses.
The number of talented people in the marketplace today who have hung their shingles out can translate into "virtual agencies" available for all of cable's marketing needs.
Take, for example, an advertising campaign for a programming network or a multichannel video provider. Strategy and creative direction are collaboratively worked on with the client, and then the wheels rapidly start their course.
The producer and director are subcontracted, talent is reviewed and hired, a copywriter works on the script, a location is secured, the spot is produced, post-production facilities are negotiated and a state-of-the-art digital TV spot is created and put on-air. This happens in record time and for immensely less money than bricks and mortar agencies would command with their multiple level account people and the usual divisions needing to communicate between all the departments.
The markup is nonexistent, clients are paying for the consultant's time in managing the overall campaign, and the overhead is nowhere to be seen, because it doesn't exist.
Next, a nationally recognized media-buying firm is retained at a much lower rate because of the consultant's existing relationship and voila, the consumer is watching — and hopefully subscribing to or buying the wares being marketed on-air.
The immense plethora of entrepreneurial talent in the marketplace, in our industry, right now is outstanding. The individuals who decide to put their own shingles out is both admirable and, of course, cost-effective for the many needs in the marketplace.
Have you kept in touch with people who are no longer on your team? I mean, really kept in touch with them? They know your business and your corporate climate inside and out, and are ready to jump how high with efficiency and cost savings that you can realize.
Industry events and conferences are active, although perhaps less well-attended than we have witnessed in past years. Attend these events and search out your
past employees. Find out what they're doing and if you and your business can benefit from their offered services. Chances are, you could save a bundle working with the new "virtual agency" or other service they may proffer.
In this thriving and competitive industry, certainly most of us have read Who Moved My Cheese?
The cheese has gone on a cross-country journey, and you would be well-served to take advantage of the new marketing model available. Enjoy the transitioned cheese and take advantage of cost-savings, client-focused entrepreneurs who embody the new marketing model.