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Doing more with less: A conundrum for creatives

Why creative collaboration needs fewer layers

A survey from OpenText™ Hightail™ and Digiday confirmed what creatives in marketing, agencies, and publishing have known for some time: The pressure is on to deliver more content through more review processes – all while having fewer resources to do so.

Doing more

There’s no doubt that creatives are constantly asked to produce more and more content, as ‘Layers on Layers’: A Creative Collaboration Report, confirmed. New tactics and mediums seem to be emerging every day, and it’s difficult to pick and choose which ones are right for your organization once your competitors have thrown their hats into the ring. The struggle?  To keep up with multiple tactics in multiple mediums, multiplied by your number of competitors. It’s no wonder that 88% of respondents to the survey said that demands for creative assets have increased at least somewhat within the past year.

There are also too many hands on deck today, with 74% saying they work with as many as five or more departments on developing creative assets – and that’s not even including the 32% who also work with external agencies. In fact, that’s where the report got its name, with one respondent saying, “There are stakeholders on the client side and then the stakeholders’ bosses have to weigh in. And sometimes the CMO and CEO are [involved] and you just think, wow. It’s layers on layers.”

More of an acceptance of what I call “excessive revisioning” seems to be coming into play too.  Agencies attempt to minimize this with “two revision maximums,” but I’ve never actually seen it happen in person. And the fact that 84% of the respondents said there are just too many rounds of creative review seems to verify that this two-revision maximum doesn’t really exist.

… with less

Another worrisome statistic that emerged is that only 6% of the respondents said they comfortably have the resources they need to meet the demands of creative asset production. This is obviously an overwhelming issue when we’re faced with more projects to meet increasing demands, and more people involved with these projects.

There also doesn’t ever seem to be enough time or money allotted to getting so many projects done. A whopping 93% said they sometimes run over the original allotted time for creative review and production, and, not surprisingly, 79% said that having too many individuals involved in the creative review process was a contributing factor.

The majority of respondents (84% ) also said they run over budget at least sometimes in the production of creative assets, with 79% saying “too many projects occurring simultaneously” was a contributing factor to those budget woes.

Want to find out more about the survey? Read Layers on Layers’: A Creative Collaboration Report. If you want tips on how to do more with less, have a look at my recent Adweek webinar, Move from Project to Project and Industry to Industry Without Pulling Your Hair Out: How to Do More With Less.”

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Layla Revis

As VP, Brand & Digital Services, Layla leads brand creative, web, and marketing technology services at OpenText. For almost 20 years, she has helped Fortune 500 consumer and technology companies craft creative campaigns and digital strategies ranging from Donna Karan and Lincoln (Ford) Motor Company to DeBeers Diamond Jewelers and Visa.

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