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w w w. b r i g h t o n f u s e . c o m

Rolls Royce wanted its brand to be loved, so iCrossing

period without winning work. CDIT firms contract

operationalized this by helping to increase their

freelancers to solve this problem, which is one

social media engagement. Payments to iCrossing

reason why being in a cluster with a critical mass

were triggered by milestone numbers of Facebook

of talent is an important source of competitive

followers added, but also by stronger indicators of

advantage (see Section 5), even if the ideal talent is

engagement such as Facebook Likes, comments,

not always available for the ideal price. This may add

and shares. It required a range of creative-digital

unforeseen costs to projects.

skills to lure and grow this engagement from 10,000 followers to over 1,200,000.

The other problem is that projects are generally

Several of the other high growth businesses in the

outcomes with an end date and the competitive

Brighton cluster similarly exploit these new forms

process usually means there is little slack for the

of value. Brandwatch’s successful product is used

‘thinking and tinkering’ necessary for innovation.

by leading global brands to track sentiment toward them on social media, allowing them to sense trends among consumers and the general public. The traditional media spend approach is increasingly seen as rudimentary in the online world with value and payments directed to new objectives and indicators.

Project models The project form is used in all sectors and typically in those producing digital content, for media such as video games, animation, television, and smartphone/ tablet apps. Project-based firms dominate these sectors, which face the classical problems of trying to fund the substantial bidding work that may or may not be successful in securing new projects. The essentially unpredictable nature of projectbased work presents difficulties in planning human resources to adequately staff projects, without overburdening the company in the event of a fallow


commissioned or contracted to deliver specific

A Managing Director of a well-managed creative digital agency explained the problem with web design jobs: “Websites are always project based. We lose money on those as many times as we make on them, the bigger the company gets.” (Interview, 02/08/2013). This is partly because of the tendency for creative ‘creep’ and unanticipated hours in completing new work, and also because of the increasing complexity of websites and the numbers of parties involved. A website serving a single event can typically involve multiple partners and advertisers whose brand and content are all integral. Each partner may ask for iterative rework, which generates unforeseen hours and escalating costs that may not be visible to the single contractor until a late stage in the project. These costs can quickly become multiples of the original budget, and since clients are not happy to

The Brighton Fuse  
The Brighton Fuse