Individually Talented, Collectively Brilliant

Issue 20

Having been in the marketing industry for more than 25 years, Barry Pollock, Managing Partner at full-service marketing, advertising and digital agency, The Works, has seen the value placed on collaborative working increase in recent times. But is collaboration a here-today, gone-tomorrow buzzword that some companies pay lip-service to, or is it something that can have a genuine impact on a business long-term?

Collaborative working is a phrase that has been thrown around in our industry for a number of years. Agencies and clients working together to achieve a common goal has always underpinned the work we’ve done in our industry but as things have evolved, this collaboration in working has become increasingly important. A lot rests on an agency-client relationship.

We’ve all heard the saying two heads are better than one- and I truly believe that this is the case. Every individual or company is a specialist in their area of work, and when two or more people or organisations come together for the benefit of a mutual project, that’s when, in my opinion, you see collaborative working truly come into its own.

A number of our clients at The Works have in-house comms functions. Whether that be marketing teams, studio departments or media buyers- they’re all people who are specialists in the areas they work in. When working with our clients who have in-house teams, we prefer to work as an extension of their team, rather than in silo. This collaborative way of working can take many forms- we often produce creative themes or identities, then pass them on to our clients for them to roll out, sometimes we work alongside a client’s studio team to create the various comms pieces- each client and project is different. We’ll often work alongside our clients’ partners on a project too- why would you not work together for the benefit of your mutual client and project? That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. We find this way of working to be much more effective, and our clients do too.

At the end of last year, we were awarded the CIM Northern Award 2016 for Best Public Sector campaign for our work with Gateshead College. This project saw us create a brand identity for the college that was bold, stood it apart from its competitors and ultimately maintained the college’s application numbers in a reducing market. Working with the college’s marketing team, we then rolled out the new identity in various ways as part of their summer recruitment campaign. Each member of the team who worked on the project played their part towards a much bigger goal- the perfect example of how hard work and good collaboration can achieve great things.

In a recent interview, Mazda talked about how, as they work towards launching their biggest pan-European campaign to date, the work and relationship they have with their creative agency has been vital. Others in their field have recently ceased their agency relationships in a bid to save money, however Mazda has recognised that when you have an in-house team and agency that are creatively aligned, it’s a winning combination that keeps things fresh and produces results which would be unrealistic to try and achieve alone.

At The Works, collaborative working is now at the heart of everything we do- it works for us, our clients and ultimately, has had a positive impact on our business. Henry Ford once said that “if everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” never has a truer word been spoken.

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