HOLD­ING THE BUD­GET

We talk to Paul Martin, global oper­a­tions di­rec­tor of Mov­ing Brands, and find out how bud­gets work in one of the world’s most cel­e­brated agen­cies...

Computer Arts - - Special Report -

At Mov­ing Brands, is it com­mon prac­tice to set a bud­get be­fore or af­ter the pitch stage? Why do you work like this?

Our first step, whether it’s a pitch re­sponse or a re­quest for pro­posal from an ex­ist­ing or new client, is to qual­ify the pro­ject: whether the client’s needs match our ex­per­tise; whether their tim­ing and bud­get pa­ram­e­ters align to how we would best de­liver on their ob­jec­tives.

In re­gards to bud­get, we give an in­dica­tive scope and bud­get pa­ram­e­ters early on to help the client un­der­stand how we would ap­proach the work and the re­lated cost. The re­al­ity is it will take nu­mer­ous con­ver­sa­tions to prop­erly scope the needs, shape the team, plan the tim­ings and pro­ject mile­stones.

How do you typ­i­cally ar­rive at a fi­nal fig­ure for a cre­ative bud­get?

We build a pro­ject plan from scratch for ev­ery pro­ject, to en­sure it’s fit for pur­pose. This process in­volves the pro­gramme lead, the cre­ative lead and con­sul­tant. 1. Dis­cuss and clar­ify the client needs 2. Build the right shape team of ex­perts to de­liver on the needs 3. Build a pro­ject plan which in­cludes scope, tim­ings and of course bud­get 4. Share and dis­cuss the plan with the client, un­til a mu­tual agree­ment is met on all as­pects.

Do you think cre­atives re­ally need fi­nan­cial knowl­edge, or should P&L lines be left to the ac­counts team?

We’re a cre­atively led busi­ness – our CEO joined the busi­ness as a de­sign in­tern, our founders are film-mak­ers and de­sign­ers. We’ve never be­lieved in si­los and don’t think that P&L lines should be left solely to the ac­coun­tants.

At a pro­ject level, our cre­ative di­rec­tors are in­volved in scop­ing ev­ery pro­ject they lead, and along­side the pro­gramme di­rec­tors are jointly re­spon­si­ble for both fi­nan­cial per­for­mance and cre­ative ex­cel­lence.

So yes, a good pro­por­tion of our cre­ative team need an un­der­stand­ing of the fi­nan­cial as­pects, be­cause it’s part of be­ing able to ef­fec­tively scope and de­liver on all briefs, and to run a suc­cess­ful global busi­ness.

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