Commercial production focus: Is it more difficult to pick up new business in the current climate?


By The Drum Team, Editorial

February 6, 2012 | 4 min read

From industry-wide belt-tightening to advancing technologies, the dwindling importance of TV and the growth of online, commercial production has changed a lot of late.

In a series of articles featuring the questions surrounding commercial production, The Drum catches up with low budget TV and digital ad specialists STV Creative, creative audio company Kalua, video guide producers Flixity, TV and radio commercial production specialists The JMS Group and animators Flaunt Productions to take stock of the industry and find out what we can expect to see going forward.Today’s next question is: Has it become more difficult to pick up new business in the current climate? Are there more production businesses around and increased competition, and is the industry more cut-throat as a result?Jack Garrow, director, FlixityThere is definitely more of the 'one man and a dog' outfits - and there is be a place for them at the lower-end of the market. But high quality allied to strong production experience – and good client skills! – will, Flixity believe, continue to be critical for most clients. Francesca de Lacey, head of TV, The JMS GroupBeing regionally-based we feel we’ve benefited from the current climate. We’ve picked up work from agencies and direct clients who previously worked with much larger companies, or several different specialist production houses on a single commercial, but have opted for the significant cost-savings they can achieve with a company that can handle the entire process. We haven’t noticed a surge in the number of competitors, but it definitely is more cut-throat in terms of pricing. Stephen O’Donnell, head of STV Creative, STVThere’s no doubt the market is tough and winning new business has never been more challenging, but we have an incredible team of account handlers, business development managers and client services specialists who all work tirelessly to win and retain new business. We’ve a proven track record and an impressive showreel as well as commitment to looking after our customers. We also now have the support of a dedicated research panel in the form of Scot Pulse which helps us to mould effective advertising messages that we know work with our audience. This allows us to construct a pretty compelling argument about the power of TV advertising with STV Creative.Paula Lacerda, executive producer, FlauntIt's definitely become more challenging to pick up new business as the world has gotten a lot smaller and easier for suppliers to work with clients across the globe. Everyone's only a Skype call away!There are also a lot more smaller, bespoke companies being set up with lower overheads and greater flexibility to meet client demands. I still maintain, however, that when it comes to larger, higher value projects we have found that clients have tended to stick with who they know and trust for the job and are prepared to stretch the budget a little further for the guaranteed results they know they'll get.Gav Matthews, MD, KaluaIf anything, I’d argue that now is a great time for new business. As clients and agencies review their TV & radio budgets, production costs have to be looked at. It’s a balance of helping a client get the most out of their budget, but not compromising on quality. If you can do this, I think it’s very easy for a prospective client to see what you can bring to their business. Sponsored by:


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