Global Optimization of Advertising Production Spend

We hope that you will find the following case to be helpful.  If, after reading, you would like to learn more about our experience, please contact Kerry Kielb at

Company Profile: Leading Global Beauty Products Company Problem: Global Beauty Products Company was a stable and profitable company that needed a winning long-term strategy to survive stiffening competition and fast shifting markets.  Client had multiple brands and product lines but was highly siloed in the US and across Europe and Asia.  Advertising costs and internal marketing departments were burning through resources at an unsustainable rate.  Marketing costs were targeted by finance as an area with great opportunity for line-item savings and/or higher productivity.  The Bedford Group was brought in to determine how to achieve better marketing ROI for the company’s entire portfolio without sacrificing the quality of the final creative output. Situation:
  • Poor organization was partly to blame for these problems as marketing communications within the company was disjointed and maintained its own budgets.
  • Client required assistance benchmarking and analyzing production investment to determine whether or not costs were in-line with the norm or excessively high.
  • Competitive information about production costs in global markets is virtually non-existent.
  • Client needed a way to balance costs without compromising top-of-the line creative output.
  • Client would use future trend data and best practice analyses within this highly specialized industry to identify opportunities for improving systems/procedures.  Optimizing spend across all the brands and product lines in print and broadcast production, irrespective of geography, were critical goals.
  • The Bedford Group’s unique benchmarking process and pricing databases were adapted to obtain relevant data in the client’s industry.
  • The Bedford Group evaluated multiple scenarios to determine which organizational approach would win or lose in the future.
  • The Bedford Group’s analytical process was applied to identify areas of opportunity in creative development, photography, illustration, actor’s fees, top tier director’s costs and other elements in TV and Print production. The resulting analysis was compared to actual negotiated rates to inform the analysis.
  • One-on-one interviews and an online study were conducted with Thought Leaders, from over 20 companies in the US, EU and Asia, to develop a comprehensive list of best practices in global creative production.
  • Modify current bidding process to leverage cost savings.
  • Build a global database of cost ranges for all elements of production.
  • Create a digital warehouse of all production materials that can be accessed throughout the organization.
  • Develop guidelines for new communications managers entering the system.
Client Impact:
  • Global Best Practices being implemented within the organization.
  • New and simplified planning process is streamlined and more effective with about a 10% cost reduction in the first year.
  • Optimized spend across geographies and brands by implementing tighter cross-functional executions was achieved.
  • More tightly integrated vendor-partner relationships have been created and implemented.