In-house creative teams are not service providers, but rather strategic business partners, focused on and dedicated to core business objectives.
According to the 2019 In-House Creative Management Report, only 45% of creatives say that morale on their team is high. Additionally, only 47% say their relationship with marketing has improved since last year, and only 64% think that their leadership is effective.
Why such low numbers? These low scores are a product of rapidly growing in-house creative teams that are not yet seamlessly integrated with their marketing partners. As Alex Withers, CMO of inMotionNow said in his introduction to the report, “bringing creative in-house promises greater efficiencies and higher quality creative work, but organizations can’t just bolt on a creative team and expect miracles”.
3 Steps to Strengthening the Relationship
If your creative and marketing teams could benefit from getting a little closer, check out these three tips from 2019 In-House Creative Management Report contributor, Timm Chiusano, VP Production & Creative Services of Kernel, created by Spectrum Reach.
Think of creative and marketing as one team. Even if you creative and marketing teams are separate on the org chart, both teams will thrive when they function as a single unit, according to Timm: “Creatives must be part of the marketing team, even if they aren’t co-located in the same office. They need to be in the planning meetings, and while they don’t need to make every-day decisions about marketing objectives, they do have to understand the goals and the reasons behind them.”
- Build trust. The traditional creative – marketing relationship can sometimes feel a bit antagonistic. As Timm points out, the only way to achieve synergy and start to see higher quality, more effective content coming from the creative team is to build trust: “Those conversations don’t happen without mutual understanding, respect, and trust. The organizations that do foster these values are more likely to reach breakthrough ideas. It really is a bit like Mad Men’s cliché scenes: they trust each other enough to have aggressive conversations that, just when they seem to be going off the rails, reach a breakthrough moment.”
- Get some perspective. While it seems obvious, it can be helpful to take a step back and remember that both teams are working towards the same goals. “Start by putting all the little squabbles between creative and marketing into perspective. First, you need to be clear with your team that it is counterproductive and unacceptable to make the relationship a one-way street. While that may seem obvious, sometimes a reminder that they’re actually wasting each other’s time – and the company’s time – is helpful. There’s no reason why these two group (with the same common goal) shouldn’t be able to get past minor differences and assume positive intent.”
To hear more from Timm and other industry leaders about how to bring your creative and marketing teams closer together, download the 2019 In-House Creative Management Report.
Elise Hauser is a product and content marketer with a passion for telling brand stories. She has produced inMotionNow’s annual In-House Creative Management Report for 3 years, webinars, content sessions for major industry events reaching audiences of 1,000+, and of course, countless blog posts. When Elise isn’t writing about the marketing and creative industry at inMotionNow she is teaching economics and hanging out with her cat, Tucker, at her home in Raleigh, NC.