Cella Consulting and InSource have teamed up for the second consecutive year to release a benchmark report on the creative services industry, chock full of interesting information. We’re going to take a look at it from an approval workflow and content production standpoint.
61% of in-house teams have 10 or less team members, which is consistent with our 2011 report findings. Just 9% of respondents have teams larger than 50 members. 50% of respondents use freelancers, contractors, and other non-permanents employees.[p7]
Freelancers are great additions to a creative services team – they can fill in when you have a high-volume of work, and fill skill gaps. But as non-permanent employees, it may be important to limit their access to proprietary business information and their client contact. inMotion’s Vendor Connect module lets you invite your freelancers and contractors into your approval workflow without sacrificing security.
While it’s true that large teams (50+ people) rarely created less than 4,000 projects per year, and small and mid-size teams (less than 50 people) typically produced less than 4,000, it is not uncommon for the mid-sized teams (21–50) to create upwards of 8,000 projects per year. [p15]
Today’s creative services teams are incredibly productive, churning out hundreds of projects a week. It’s no wonder then that keeping all these projects under control and getting them through the review and approval process is a major challenge for most departments. As demands on creative teams continue to increase, it will become increasingly vital to implement approval workflow solutions like inMotion.
Graphic design, production design and print production remain the top three services provided by in-house creative teams. 73% of departments do web design work and 66% do interactive design. Video production experienced noticeable gains in 2012: (8 percentage-point increase) from 48% to 56%. [p16]
When evaluating tools for managing the review and approval process, it’s important types of content and file formats that a solution supports reflects both the type of creative work your department does and the type of work that you anticipate doing in the future. inMotion supports print, web, video, animation, and audio files (you can try it yourself!).
58% use Creative Briefs for Tier 1 projects, 17% use for all projects.[p19]
Creative briefs (sometimes known as work orders or job tickets) are an incredibly common way of communicating a project’s specs and the intended use of the finished content. While this request process tends to be more formalized than other parts of creative production, it’s still often done over email or in print which leads to inefficiencies and a lack of accountability. inMotion’s Job Launch module automates the job request process, and provides an online archive of every approved, in progress, and rejected request.
Most creative teams (63%) use an electronic solution to collect this data. 21% use paper tickets and manual methods, and 17% have no software for tracking project status. [p21]
Project tracking is something many creative teams commonly struggle with. It can be time-consuming to collect, maintain, and monitor this information. And a project tracking solution that isn’t integrated with your review and approval process is limited in the accuracy and usefulness of its data. That’s why we created Project Organizer – a lightweight project management module that fully integrates with inMotion’s approval workflow management solution so you always know the real-time status of your content, tasks, and milestones.
Top Challenges for Creative Leaders
Two out of every three creative leaders indicated one of their top three challenges was affecting client behaviors. Clients of in-house creative departments can be demanding—there are often too many revisions, not enough time to complete work in a quality manner and too many emails or phone calls that interrupt work. Affecting and, ultimately, changing these behaviors are imperative to the success (and happiness) of the in-house team, so it’s understandable why this may keep creative leaders up at night. [p35]
At inMotionNow, we’re dedicated to helping creative leaders get a peaceful night’s sleep! That’s why we’ve engineered our all-in-one creative production workflow solution to help creative departments get clear, actionable feedback from their clients faster, move projects efficiently through the production cycle, and get the analytics they need to improve productivity. Contact one of our specialists to learn how inMotion can help you move creative projects forward.
There’s more great data for creative leaders in the full report, which you can download for free at www.creativeindustryreport.com.