Highlights from Henry Stewart Creative Ops Europe 2021


Florian Voigt

Yesterday I joined Europe’s leading conference dedicated to Creative Operations, organised by the lovely folks from Henry Stewart Events.

Flock already partnered with Henry Stewart Events last year, when our CEO Simon Francis moderated a panel discussion around In-housing and we were scheduled to lead a workshop at the NYC event, but then Corona happened…

It was great to see how all the session were expertly run in virtual rooms yesterday.

Still, I’m looking forward to meeting you all in person next time, a pint or any other alcoholic beverage in hand – socially distanced of course for the foreseeable future.

My Highlights from the conference:

Agile Marketing: Great Tesco case study presented by Daniel Hargreaves.

So good to see that Agile can be tailored to serve creative teams and help them to achieve great results – it’s not just for software development and ‘techies’!  

“Empowerment of agile teams will create value” – we couldn’t agree more.

Still, Agile Marketing is a hot topic and the question remains whether Agile Marketing is right for you? Flock has helped many clients on their Agile journey and whether it is defining what works best for you, or writing a company vision for Agile Marketing, defining the right Agile Mindsets and Values, or (and) helping your teams to start the Agile journey by supporting them with Agile coaching sessions, Flock will have a tailored approach for you because there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’.

Production And Creative Process – Rammy Elsaadany, Barclays

Great to see examples of the latest creative and production trends: What works? What’s hot? What’s not?

I remember vividly the discussions I had with clients, creative teams and producers, around expectations and budgets, when I was working in creative agencies. Completely agree with Rammy on best creative doesn’t have to be the most expensive, also on his points to have a clear brief, budgets and expectations agreed early in the process. For me it was always about following a clear process (no surprise, I was brought up in Germany), with key steps and roles & responsibilities which enable more efficient ways of working and should be designed to support the creative process rather than putting creatives in a cage.

Flock’s Marketing Process Design will ensure your marketing teams have ways of working that bring out the best in them.

Top Creative Ops Best Practices in 30 Minutes – Nish Patel CreativeOps.FM

Great best practices shared in this session! Here a couple which stood out for me:

  • Operational KPIs are not enough – measure against marketing performance & business priorities
  • Review your process every quarter and continuously improve and adapt
  • Embed process into existing tech where possible and simplify

Flock recently partnered with the WFA to conduct a piece of research on the evolution of the Marketing Operations function. From this research Flock have developed six top tips for marketing operations

In-housing – Nicola Wardell, Specsavers

Interesting fact: Specsavers never used an external creative agency! And they are mainly based on Guernsey, surrounded by beaches – who knew…

I loved the emphasis on looking at better ways of working, processes, and clear accountabilities for the different teams and partners in this ecosystem to make them work better collectively.

But back to In-housing: To In-house or not to In-house is still a big debate for many advertisers,  whatever you decide to do in the future, make sure you carefully consider all Pro’s and Con’s.

At Flock Associates we have spent many years working with brands large and small to understand what is needed, both strategically and functionally to build and maintain a successful in-house entity.

But if you are looking for a new outsourced agency ecosystem, we have successfully run multiple creative, digital, media, content and production pitches.