For Creatives, Scarcity Is an Opportunity

As budget cuts become more frequent, make your work stand out. Listen to your customers, shift your message as needed, and tell powerful stories.

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As far as economic climates are concerned, 2022 wasn’t an easy year. And we’re facing many of the same obstacles in 2023: supply chain issues, inflation, and budget cuts.

Creatives are already expected to do more with less. While it’s not ideal, these situations also present us with the opportunity to create our best work. Paulo Fogaca, chief executive of Dentsu Creative U.S., agrees.

“I believe we need friction for creativity, so known challenges we may face [this year] (as folks are predicting) will come as fuel for our creative minds, finding ways, solutions, and ideas to solve business complexities in partnership with our clients,” Fogaca says. “There will always be a space for agile, great work. I have hopes we will find a way to re-cultivate our agency rituals, activities, and time in collaboration, as togetherness is very powerful when we add intent.”

Don’t get discouraged by setbacks—there’s strong hope for the creative economy. Whether you’re a CMO or a filmmaker, here are a few things to keep in mind as budgets tighten.

Cutting the budget will cost you in the long run.

Marketing leaders, if you’re tempted to trim your marketing budget, resist the urge. Numerous studies have shown that companies that continue advertising during tougher economic times see significantly higher sales than their fearful counterparts. 

According to Analytic Partners, 60% of companies that increased their advertising during the last recession saw greater ROI. The same brands also experienced a 17% rise in incremental sales. Companies that starved their budgets risked losing 15% of their business to competitors that boosted theirs. 

Yes, short-term savings are important. But slashing marketing won’t help your business—it’ll slowly starve it. And the privilege of being the loudest voice in the room goes to companies that keep the lights on when others go dark. 

Budget constraints shouldn’t limit your vision.

Smaller budgets mean doing more with less, but creatives aren’t strangers to the challenge.

For example, reducing production costs doesn’t limit your storytelling abilities. In fact, “production-free” footage can add production value because it allows for endless storytelling opportunities. With the right, relevant footage, it’s not what you can afford to say—it’s what you want to say. 

This storytelling flexibility also comes at the perfect time. As the economic tides turn, customer mindsets will shift, and their needs and wants will change. You’ll need to pivot your marketing approach quickly, and authentic, relevant footage allows that flexibility.

Even better, Filmsupply works with some of the most sought-after filmmakers around the world, offering licensing exclusivity based on time, industry, specific scenes, and more. This footage is completely yours, you’re telling the story you want to tell, and you’re not paying a day rate or production costs to make it happen.

Creative work will always be in demand.

When the economy is down, consumers always look to various forms of escapism, whether that’s through entertainment or innovative products and services. Ask anyone you know what got them through the most isolating, financially fraught months of the pandemic. With that said, expect more companies to focus on digital platforms—a huge opportunity for more creative work. 

Although there may be an increased demand for content, you’ll still be expected to stretch your resources. This is the essential ingredient for frugal innovation—a tried-and-true creative process of developing something simple, affordable, and valuable. It doesn’t stop at developing new products and services. It’s also an opportunity to find new ways of doing things. 

Budgets may be tightened up, but as creatives, we will always find a way to spark more creativity. 

Good storytelling is your greatest strength.

In tough times, people need hopeful, inspiring stories. Think about the most impactful ads that came out of the pandemic—narratives that remind us of our shared humanity, stories that showcase our connections on a deeper level. 

Whether it’s your frugal innovation story or a client’s, don’t be afraid to share it. Now’s the time to spotlight that vulnerability. It’s more impactful, inspiring, and important than ever.

The right footage is essential.

Regardless of your budget forecast, focus on finding new ways for your work to stand out. Listen to your customer, shift your message as needed, and make powerful storytelling your top priority.

Filmsupply’s cinematic, story-driven footage can elevate your production value and increase the quality of your project—without sacrificing quality and authenticity. Explore our library of award-winning footage today.