Alex Withers, CMO of inMotionNow, joined Cassidee Owens, Creative Services Manager at the Denver Broncos, and Courtney Brown, Creative Projects Manager at the Minnesota Timberwolves + Lynx, to discuss how bringing marketing and creative teams closer together helps them build awesome creative.
HOW Design Live 2019, which took place in Chicago from May 7th through
May 10th, was jam-packed full of inspiring keynotes and insightful breakout sessions. During one of these sessions, Ignite Creativity Together: Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and Creative, Alex Withers, CMO of inMotionNow joined Cassidee Owens, Creative Services Manager at the Denver Broncos and Courtney Brown, Creative Projects Manager at the Minnesota Timberwolves + Lynx to discuss how bringing marketing and creative teams closer together helps them build awesome creative.
The Status Quo
Alex set the stage by sharing key statistics and insights from the 2019 In-House Creative Management Report about the current state of the relationship between creative and marketing teams. According to the report, about half of creatives report both that their relationship with their marketing partners is worse than it was last year, and that the collaboration with their stakeholders is not effective.
This rocky relationship leads to more functional challenges. Specifically, 46% of creatives report that they don’t get enough information in the creative brief to get started on a project, and 1/3 of creative teams never get feedback on how their work performed in market.
When marketing and creative teams collaborate better together, they can produce some amazing work, as demonstrated by the Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Cassidee Owens, Creative Services Manager at the Denver Broncos, kicked things off by sharing the simple one-pager her team put together to outline the creative process for stakeholders. Cassidee showed that process doesn’t have to be complex, and that by providing her stakeholder with a simple one-pager the clients knew exactly what to expect.
Cassidee went on to demonstrate how they complete the review portion of their process by showcasing the work her team did to prepare for the NFL Draft Party earlier this spring. Courtney Brown, Creative Projects Manager at the Timberwolves, also showcased the presentation her team gave to their company for their City Edition campaign this year. Each year the Timberwolves do a City Edition campaign that highlights something special about Minneapolis. This year the theme was Prince.
By showcasing their work to their entire organizations, Cassidee and Courtney illustrated that showing off a little and sharing you team’s work with the entire organization increases the team’s visibility and establishes the creative team as a strategic partner to the business.
Cassidee also shared a bigger project, a 60th anniversary logo redesign, that follows the same process outlined in the one-pager, but deals with higher-level stakeholders and requires closer collaboration. Cassidee talked about how she and her team shared their brainstorming and inspiration process with their stakeholders, and showed them three final logo options. Together, the creative team and these key stakeholders were able to develop a final logo for the Broncos 60th season this year!
Courtney also shared how her team was able to use the foundation of their strong process to take advantage of a unique opportunity with HBO and Game of Thrones. Even though the project was quick turnaround, Courtney’s team was able to work together seamlessly with executives to complete an exciting “Minnesota Direwolves” logo swap-out just in times for the final season of Game of Thrones.
If awesome, inspiring creative work isn’t enough to convince you that marketing and creative teams benefit from working better together, then check out a few key stats from the 2019 In-House Creative Management Report:
Creative teams that have strong collaborative relationships with their marketing partners are 26% more likely to spend less than 8 hours a week on admin tasks.
Creative teams that spend less time on admin tasks are more likely to:
- Be on teams with high morale (+23%)
- Say creative leadership is effective (+16%)
- Get projects approved in 3 days or less (+17%)
Appeal to the CMO
So what comes next? If you are ready to take your team to the next level in their collaboration and relationship with their stakeholders, then check out these 5 points to bring to your CMO:
- Give the creative team a seat at the strategic table
- Provide workflow automation (like the rest of the marketing team)
- Invest in training and development
- Promote an equal partnership between marketing and creative
- Improve business context and goals around creative assignments
Catch up on all the great insights at HOW Design Live 2019 with the “HOW About That!” video series.
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.