Today’s creatives are creating more content than ever. In fact, between the dawn of civilization and 2003, we only created five exabytes. Now, we're creating that amount every two days. To put it in perspective, 1 exabyte = 1 billion gigabytes. That’s a ton of content!
Not only are we creating more content than we ever have - we’re also expected to create this content faster! InSource surveyed 400+ marketing & creative professionals and found that 38% of creatives serve 50+ stakeholders within their organization. With content requests coming from marketing, sales, customer success and more, the pressure is on to get everything out as fast as possible.
With creative teams moving at the speed of light, it’s becoming easier to separate the amateurs from the big leagues. Creative teams that are consistently boosting productivity and optimizing output are outranking the competition by a mile. But, how do they do it?
Here are three things that top-performing creative teams are doing to maximize their gains without getting burnt out along the way.
1. They Provide Creative Constraints
It’s a common misconception that creatives work best when they’re given space to “just create” In fact, Todd Henry’s book, “Herding Tigers: Be the Leader That Creative People Need”, states the opposite – sharing that setting constraints can actually drive and encourage creativity…as long as they’re clear and predictable.
Too much creative freedom, especially on teams facing high-pressure for output, can often be a source of frustration, rather than one of inspiration. When creatives are left 100% to their own devices, it can lead to:
- Wasted time spent on creative ideas that don’t hit the mark, which then leads to
- Consistent bottlenecks and delayed projects, which results in
- A frustrated team of creatives.
By providing a distinct set of guidelines upfront, you remove any sense of “interpretation” and set your creative team – and projects - up for success.
2. They Centralize in the Cloud
“Can you send me that image?”
“Is this the most up-to-date version?”
“You used the wrong logo on this.”
How many of these do you hear regularly? For most creative teams, it’s a near-daily occurrence. One that a) breaks their creative flow and b) takes up a significant portion of their day.
The top creative teams are getting smarter with their distribution tactics, using a cloud-based library as a tool to help get their assets to the right people, and get their time back. When all of your photos, logos, videos, graphics, etc. are stored in a single location – one that can be accessed from anywhere – the benefits are two-fold:
- The entire creative team is aligned, pulling source files from the same “pool” of assets
- There are significantly less requests for files, giving your creatives the extra minutes they need to optimize productivity
There are a finite number of hours in the day, and with marketing and creative moving at the speed they are, time can’t be wasted updating small errors or attempting to send files over email.
3. They Measure Performance
Measurement – especially quantitative measurement – is hard to come by in the creative department. InMotionNow’s 2019 In-House Creative Management Report even found that 45% of creative teams either find they're reporting inadequate or it’s non-existent.
Measurement, however, is critical to the long-term success of creative teams. Not only does it help you spot bottlenecks, improve processes and track individual performance, it also gives you the critical battlecards you need when it comes time to:
- Fight for funding,
- Justify a piece of software you need, and
- Prove the ROI of your efforts,
What’s critical here is to find quantitative data that can be tracked and analyzed over time. For example, you can track volume, including the number of requests, projects and completed projects each month, or you can look at performance, including the average project turnaround time, number of versions and approvals and rate of work. Use whatever is most relevant to your own KPIs and industry.
It’s Time to Work Smart
Being a rockstar creative team doesn’t require an entire overhaul – by simply implementing three tactics that are already proven by other leading organizations, you can see massive productivity gains.
Get Centralized in the Cloud with CreativeSPACES™
Getting centralized in the cloud is one critical trend highlighted to help your team become top performers. CreativeSPACES is a tool, built specifically for creative teams, that combines the benefits of working from a local server or remote computer with those of the Cloud. With CreativeSPACES, your team can secure and manage their creative files while accelerating the creative process. Learn more.
MediaValet is one of the world’s leading cloud-based digital asset management (DAM) solutions, helping top global brands manage and distribute their assets. A centralized DAM approach enables marketing and creative teams to move fast, with confidence and control.