Browsing through Twitter the other day I read a rant from a fellow marketer where he bemoaned the cost cutting of companies these days.
(OK, we all know it’s pretty grim out there and budgets have never been tougher, clients more demanding, competition more cut throat, and… well I think that’s enough of the stating the obvious, but the point I shall make here depends on accepting the fact. Let’s just say, things are not going to change in the foreseeable future.)
The said rant was about a company that thought they were getting something done more cheaply by using a designer to make some coding changes. It had plainly not worked out that way in his case, not surprisingly as the two skills (design and coding) are so different they rarely go hand in hand with the same person.
One’s a left brainer and the other’s a right brainer. You could say it was a no brainer.
I responded half jokingly but with sufficient acid to say I too was frustrated by companies that think because they have forked out for a copy of Adobe’s Creative Suite that automatically makes the person using it a designer.
Well my colleague and I would say that wouldn’t we?
But the point is there to be made.
Sure, you can cost cut in your business to your heart’s (and Financial Director’s) content, and on paper there are many things you can do to achieve that. “Why not have an in-house solution to our web / creative / coding needs – no paying costly freelancers – and there’s so much to be saved by doing it internally!”
But is that necessarily true?
Is your in-house resource always going to give you a fresh response day after day? Are they going to have the experience and the wherewithal to be adaptable to different needs? Are they aware of what can be done, how a job needs to be done (and alternatives to doing that too), and whether there’s another, better way of looking at it? Quite seriously, a collection of programs such as Adobe CS are immensely powerful – but they take a while to learn.
I would argue that agency designers are used to having to come up with something fresh all the time – that’s one of the reasons why they love the freedom of the ‘every day is different’ opportunities.
An agency employs people that are at the top of their league and want to succeed in a demanding job that requires constant adaptability. That’s why the best, most creative ones, are working in agency land and not directly employed in a single organisation.
And there are also experts on hand for every part of the process from conceptualising right through to building the back end.
Granted, I am an art director by training who happens to be able to write a bit too. But I’d never have a clue where to even begin when it comes to the tecchie side of things.
And long may that continue…