As organizations bring more creative work in-house they experience growing pains. By focusing on streamlining key points in the creative workflow organizations can achieve greater efficiencies and higher quality creative work.
The 2019 In-House Creative Management Report, now in its 2nd year, aims to uncover key developments in the in-house creative industry. The report, produced by InSource and inMotionNow, combines survey data from over 500 creative and marketing professionals with insights from industry leaders to identify trends and actionable takeaways for creative and marketing teams to improve their operations and achieve the efficiencies and quality content production that the in-house creative movement promises.
The Creative-Marketing Relationship
In-house creative teams have grown 22% in the last year, and 60% of marketing hiring managers plan to grow the size of their in-house creative teams in the coming year.
This rate of growth in any organization is bound to cause disruption and growing pains, and this is certainly true for in-house creative teams. The 2019 In-House Creative Management Report found that only 64% of creatives think their leadership is effective. At the same time, only 45% report high morale on the creative team.
When it comes to the relationship between the creative and marketing team, things have a slightly sunnier outlook: 47% of creative report that the relationship with marketing is better than it was last year, and 51% say that creative and marketing collaborate well together.
The directive for creative and marketing leadership is clear: bring the creative and marketing teams closer together. As report contributor Timm Chiusano, VP Production & Creative Services for Kernel, Created By Spectrum Reach puts it:
“When you reach this level of understanding, the entire organization can harmonize like a symphony. The quality and turnaround time of creative work is incredibly more effective. It sparks greater creativity: if you have a deeper understanding of the purpose, you are in a better position to find a creative solution to achieve it.”
Improving the Creative Process
Creatives report that their biggest challenges are:
- The speed at which they are expected to complete work,
- The volume of work they are asked to complete, and
- Being seen as a strategic partner to the business.
While these challenges may feel like big, unwieldy things to get your arms around, the reality is that each of them can be directly addressed by making improvements in the creative workflow process. A good starting point is the creative brief. 58% of respondents state that the creative briefing process is not efficient, and 72% report that chasing down the information they need to get started on a project is their biggest non-creative task.
Those non-creative, administrative tasks are another major problem for creative teams. 48% of creatives spend 1 full day a week or more on administrative tasks. That’s up 34% from last year, and 22% are spending an astonishing 10+ hours a week on non-creative tasks. Time spent on non-creative work distracts from core tasks and prevents creatives from keeping up with demands for speed and volume, and also keeps them from acting as strategic partners. As Cassidee Owens, Creative Services Manager for the Denver Broncos points out, creative leadership must lead the way on making these changes:
“As a creative leader, I’ve found learning to delegate is an important skill in time management. If you don’t delegate, you get overloaded and that spills over to the rest of the team. This makes open communication among the creative team crucial. It’s okay to ask for some help and spread the work around a little bit. After all, we have the metrics to prove it.”
The Importance of Data and Feedback
Finally, in order for creatives to move from being a service organization to being a strategic business partner, they need to get feedback from the marketing team on how creative asset performed so that they can produce the most effective creative.
19% of creatives say their organization does not measure the value of creative work, and 12% say they don’t know how the organization measures value. This means that 31% of in-house creative teams don’t know how to measure success and aren’t getting feedback from their marketing teams about whether their creative work was effective to meeting business objectives.
As Brent Chiu-Watson, Sr. Director of Product Management for Adobe Creative Cloud points out in the report, the creative team can help influence their stakeholders to get them the feedback they need:
“A frequent problem that also decreases overall output is slow and inaccurate feedback from business partners. Holding your marketing and business counterparts accountable to participate efficiently in the creative process is an important tactic to increase overall velocity. By showing specific data of how long it takes to get feedback for business counterparts and how many rounds were done per project, you can quickly make the case for change.”
Creative and marketing at better together, when they work together towards common goals as strategic partners. Download the full report to learn how you can bring your creative and marketing teams closer together.