Each Friday, Points North gives a senior media figure a platform to air their views on a topical or relevant issue.

This week it’s Andy Rosson, Founding Partner of Hangar Seven. It used to be two a year, but now retailers must create at least eight multi-channel marketing campaigns every 12 months. He explains how best they can keep a hold on time and costs.

I’ve been working with retailers for over 20 years and have seen a huge change in both the demand and the way retailers are approaching marketing.

We’ve moved from a two-season year to an eight (or more) season year with each season requiring its own campaign: new imagery for the website, magazine and store, new visual merchandising assets, packaging and a variety of advertorial content across multiple platforms.

rossonBut how do you manage eight campaigns a year in a time and cost-effective way?

First of all, change the location. Europe is massively underestimated and it’s on our doorstep so why aren’t more retailers already looking there?

Many people have a preconceived idea that you need to travel to faraway shores such as South Africa or Bali to get picture-perfect locations with blue skies and crystal clear seas, but it’s just not true. Europe is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and unlike South Africa you won’t have to drive for hours to find them.

With this in mind, Hangar Seven built a studio facility in Portugal with easy access to over 200 villas, diverse locations and even created an eight-acre site of perfectly landscaped garden environments.

From the stunning beaches of the Algarve to luxury villas in Quinto do lago, Portgual and indeed the rest of Europe offers idyllic scenes that not only compare to, but outshine those found further afield. With cheaper and shorter flights for both the team and products, what’s not to love?

Secondly, use one creative team from start to finish, from taking the brief in the UK to delivering it on location.

A large proportion of retailers use multiple agencies and points of contact to plan, organise and produce their shoots. As with hearsay, the more people your message travels through, the more distorted it becomes. You wouldn’t do it with a family recipe, so why do it with your brand strategy?

From creating the strategy, to producing photography, video and digital content, using one team will not only save you time and money but you will also maintain creative integrity, which is key.

With the rapid increase in number of shoots per year, it’s no longer cost effective to continue to follow the tried and tested methods of the past. Shorter travel time, cheaper travel costs, year-round shooting conditions; Europe is the location and a single creative team is the method.

Andy Rosson is Founding Partner and Managing Director of Hangar Seven’s Image business