inMotionNow and InSource have published their fourth annual Creative Management Report, which polled 400 creatives and marketers to identify industry changes stemming from the last year, along with key creative trends to watch over the next 12 months.
According to the report, creative and design teams are emerging from the challenges of the pandemic with fewer resources and greater demands for creative work. However, creative teams showed remarkable adaptability, learned new technical skills, and increasingly partnered with outside creative agencies and freelancers. In the process, they've gained a higher standing in business, which relied on their expertise to support the remote work transformation. And they are re-thinking the in-house vs. agency trend.
"The survey data suggests creative teams have experienced a profound change in the work environment this past year," commented inMotionNow Director of Marketing Molly Clark. "Some of these changes will grow into lasting trends: Working more with outside resources, like agencies and freelancers, refining key aspects of the creative process, and becoming more data and metrics focused in order to speak the language of the business."
Key Findings from the Report
Top challenges: speed, lack of resources, and volume
Respondents said the top three challenges they faced are the "speed at which they are expected to work" (73%), "having enough resources" (61%), and the "volume of demand" for creative content (59%).
Layoffs and budget cuts
A majority (58%) of creative teams say they were met with larger workloads last year - which speaks to the resource constraints they grappled with. These included experiencing "layoffs or furloughs" (31%) and "budget cuts" (31%) which eliminated some of the tech tools that facilitate creative work.
In spite of layoffs and budget cuts, creatives brought problem-solving talents and adaptability to bear. According to the survey, more than half (57%) of creatives say they "became more productive." Further, two-thirds of respondents learned new skills such as digital interactivity, video, livestreaming, and podcasting - which proved pivotal to business continuity.
Re-thinking In-House vs. Agency
While in-house creative teams still manage much of the work, the vast majority (86%) reported that they currently partner with agencies and freelancers. Further, in 2021 about one-third of teams are planning to increase the work they send to outside resources.