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Understanding the Needs of a Creative Team


No one can deny that today’s business environment is highly competitive. Therefore, creating your niche in these circumstances can be easier said than done. One way to make sure your business stands out is through creative marketing campaigns be they digital or print. 

The word we want you to focus on here is creative. Surprising your target audience with inspired slogans, logos or ads will have the desired effect of making your company stand out. Here is where a creative team will prove its worth. No matter the channel you wish to communicate through, having a well-functioning creative team at your disposal will definitely go a long way to ensuring your marketing campaign will prove to be successful.

So, what can you do to ensure you understand the needs of your creative team? This is what we are here to find out. 

What Is a Creative Team?

Generally speaking, you could view the creative department just as a source for the design and visuals for your company’s marketing materials. However, the responsibilities of a creative team go far beyond that. So, what is a creative team then? Simply put, they are the team tasked with making sure that the design and execution of your business’s marketing campaigns convince your target audience to buy your products or services. 

Besides its main purpose outlined above, the creative department is also responsible for: 

  • Creating a brand image that is consistent with the look, voice, and messaging of a company.
  • Showing a deep understanding of an organization’s business goals, target audience, values, or vision, and reflect these in any communication between the company and the outside world.

With the “what is a creative team” question answered, let’s have a brief look at the team structure and what roles are to be found within it.  

Team Structure and Roles for the Creative Department

The structure and roles within a creative department can vary depending on the nature of the company in question. For example, the creative team of an advertising agency will look different than its creative counterpart within a high-tech company. That being said, the most common roles you can find within a creative team are:

  • Creative director

    The leader of the team and the person responsible for shaping the overall direction of the team’s work.

  • Graphic designer

    Responsible for producing the visuals for the work produced by the department.

  • Web designer

    This specialist within the team is in charge of designing probably the most important piece of marketing collateral — your company’s website.

  • Copywriter

    These are the people that put into words your organizations’ vision in any marketing material that is sent out to your target audience. 

  •   Video producer

    With 85% of people saying that they would like even more video from brands, it is lucky that a creative team also includes a video producer responsible for creating the all-important promotional videos, customer success stories, or indeed some good old video tutorials. 

  • Photographer

    Although most companies use freelancers when it comes to custom photography, they are still part of the creative process and therefore classed as members of a creative team.

Now that we’ve got the team structure, roles, and the what questions out of the way, let’s turn our attention to how you can get the most out of your creative team by understanding their needs. 

A Creative Team Needs to Have Clear Guidelines and Constraints

There is a common misconception that creative people cannot prosper in a strict working environment and that you are better off giving them total freedom if you want their creativity to flourish. The reality though is different. Constraints and setting clear guidelines can actually drive and encourage creativity as long as these are predictable.

For example, when you are giving a new project to your creative team, it is beneficial to give them all the guidelines straight from the start. Knowing what they have to work with, will increase the chances for the end result to be in line with your expectations. 

Of course, in the real world deadlines or project requirements can change at a moment’s notice. If this should happen, make sure to communicate this to your team with as much clarity and notice as possible. 

Rethink Your Approach Towards Project Management 

As with any department that works with deadlines and deliverables, a creative team needs project management in order to do its job effectively. However, the traditional approaches can be detrimental in this case. 

For example, account executives and marketing leaders have a hard time seeing beyond deadlines and bottom lines. It is normal for them to do so seeing as their day-to-day job is dealing with anxious clients and large volumes of data. The issue we have here is that while there is no denying that they have a clear stake in creative projects, their different thought processes can easily lead to undue stress and pressure on your creative team.

That is why you need to adopt an evolved approach to project management when it comes to getting the most out of your creative department. You can do this by:

  • Implementing a frequent updates system to ensure the team is on schedule

  • Create specific time slots for the team to brainstorm new ideas without the pressure of delivering to a tight deadline

  • Making transparency and accountability key to project management will allow creatives to stay on top of their workload and ensure easy access to information for stakeholders 

The Power of Affirmation 

This holistic approach pretty much does what it says on the tin. Take the time to affirm your creative team. After all, creativity thrives on affirmation. Encouraging your creatives to put a little bit of a personal touch into their projects instead of just blindly following set templates can go a long way towards making them feel empowered in their role. A side effect of all this affirmation is a healthy dose of trust and loyalty.  

When it comes to providing feedback, turn these reviews into more of a discussion than just a simple critique of their work. The type of work being produced by creatives is very much a subjective field. Offering constructive criticism and giving credit where it’s due is probably the best way for a creative team member to be recognized for their efforts.

Adopting such a stance when it comes to giving feedback as well as taking the time to make your creatives feel empowered, will make your team clearly understand that you have their best interests in mind. 

Take the Time to Find the Right People for Your Creative Team

At the end of the day, following to the letter what we have covered so far will do you no good if you don’t take extra care in recruiting the right people for your team. It might sound straightforward, but taking the time to recruit for the right cultural fit will save you time and effort in the long run. 

Make sure to include the following pointers when it comes to your recruitment practices

  • Define with clarity what skill set you are looking for from the ideal candidate.

  • Take the time to make sure potential employees are the right fit in terms of the company culture and the general workplace vibe.

  • Have a clear understanding of the staff levels you require so that your creative team can deliver on projects regardless of the incoming work volume.

Ready to Get Creative With Your Creative Team?

As a business, being creative in your marketing approach is oftentimes difficult to say the least. Employing the right leadership techniques and following our pointers will help you bring together a well-functioning set of creatives. 

Creatives that will be ready to go and bring your vision for the business to life. Creatives that will design the marketing materials guaranteed to catch the attention of your target audience. Lastly, creatives that will make it their mission to make sure your company stands out from the crowd.

It sure sounds nice doesn’t it? If you want more specialized help with training your creative team to be the best it can be, why not contact us today and let us see what we can do for you?



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