InSource and inMotionNow have released their third Annual In-House Creative Management Report. The 2020 survey of more than 600 creative and marketing professionals across various industries revealed key themes such as the importance of creative work to meeting business objectives and that the role of creatives within the organization is expanding to include more responsibilities.
The survey revealed that 89% of respondents think creative work is important to meeting business objectives. Similarly, 87% said their organization is giving them the same or more credit for the business results their work delivers for the organization. This greater appreciation for creativity and design is being parlayed into more strategic business duties for creative workers. Two-thirds of respondents said they are being tasked with new responsibilities across company culture, marketing strategy, analytics, customer experience, and even mediation for other teams in the business.
"In the three years since we began publishing the In-House Creative Management Report, we have seen business leaders increasingly understand the value of the creative team not just for their design work, but also for their talent as creative problem solvers," said Andy Brenits, president of InSource.
Top challenges facing creatives
Respondents identified several challenges as the most significant facing creatives and designers: the speed at which creative teams are expected to work (77%); the volume of work (72%); being seen as a strategic contributor (63%); and the increased variety of digital channels that require creative projects (55%).
"There is an old adage that you can choose quality, speed or cost, but not all three. Sometimes two, but never all three," said Adam Morgan, who is an executive creative director for Adobe and one of six contributors to the report. "So, we say the most important thing is quality creative, but then we measure on speed and efficiency."
Benchmarks for creative efficiency
The review and approval process for creative work has traditionally been one of the biggest barriers to efficiency, but this year's survey revealed progress: 83% of respondents said creative projects are approved within five or fewer rounds of review, which is an improvement from 77% last year. Additionally, 78% of projects are approved within a week, up from 65% the year before. However, 47% of creatives still spend about one full day per week on administrative duties, which is flat from our 2019 survey data (48%).