FOUR THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU CREATE AN IN-HOUSE STUDIO

Contributed by Andrea Ruskin, Strategic Consultant / Partner at Blum Consulting Partners

Brands today need to make a realistic assessment of the potential benefits of investing in in-house capabilities. This can mean anything from creating an in-house agency to setting up an internal social team or content production unit.

Here are four things to consider before you take the plunge.

No. 1: Define the Goal

Step one of any effective process is to define the goal.

A lot of companies miss this step because they believe instinctively that it is a good idea to have in-house capabilities but they move ahead without taking enough time to outline the goals, and hence, fail to clearly define the process. Are you trying to save money by bringing resources in house or are you looking to produce a large volume of work at scale and you don't have the right external partner? Maybe you just want to have the freedom to experiment in an environment where you can control the cost and the process. Whatever your reason, make sure you have a clearly defined set of goals before you commit dollars and start adding resources.

No. 2: Outline the Model

There are many different ways to bring creative services in-house. Here are just a few examples of different models that serve different creative agendas:

Classic Studio Model

A team focused on print production and / or producing banner ads

In-House Social Media Team

Management of social engagement with a universe of brand followers

Creative Agency Model

Creative capabilities to create campaigns and executions across media platforms

In-House Content Production Capability

Producing videos and editorial content for web, mobile, etc.

No. 3: Assess Capabilities

No matter which model you choose for your brand there will be several steps to take to implement an effective and efficient in-house studio.

Hardware and technology needs will be very different for a classic internal studio vs the content production model. There is big difference between a print production studio and a video post-production studio, for instance. Similarly, the software tools will be dependent on the execution capabilities required to produce the work in-house. Internal creative and production may require a workflow tool that supports timely creative and legal approvals. It will be important to define the requirements and find the right user friendly systems for your output and your internal workflow.

No. 4: Resources

Consider the resources needed to support your desired studio model. Often, brands start by sourcing creative staff before they have clearly defined the goals for the studio. This can be a costly way to set-up as the people you hire will work from whatever their capabilities are and that may drive a different agenda than the problem you thought you were solving. If your first hire is an agency creative director, you can be pretty sure you're going to end up with something that looks like an agency. Similarly, if you hire a production person, you're going to end up with more of an executional entity.

In fact, there are staffing agencies who set up and manage internal studio models or ways to utilize existing studios for content creation, which may address your needs without the long-term commitment involved in doing it yourself.

Before you do anything, start with Step 1. Like any new process, you want to identify what success looks like before you dive into a new and costly venture.

Blum Consulting Partners works with brands and their creative partners to define production process and maximize creative results.

Andrea B. Ruskin