When working with an outside agency, I am always struck by how forgiving the schedules are. Seeing concepts a month or two after the initial meeting is not uncommon. For our in-house team, however, expectations are more akin to the dry cleaners.
I work in the financial services industry. I must say, as a marketing pro with a serious creative bent, financial services is not as sexy as some other industries to work in.
I’ve written in the past about selecting workflow systems and about specific aspects of automation, but what if you’re just starting to get your creative processes under control? Well, it’s an old axiom that if you automate your processes before fixing them, all you have is an automated bad process. (Or at least an un-optimized process.) So, where to start? In my experience, there are three main areas within your processes to address first. Once you address these areas, the rest will fall in place pretty easily.
The Oscars, the Golden Globes, the Stanley Cup: all of these awards signify top achievement in specific fields, but often we forget the ancillary benefits of winning something of this caliber. For example, in early 2001 the Baltimore Ravens’ Superbowl win united a previously sports-depressed city where the older generations were still bitter about their beloved Colts franchise leaving in the middle of the night. In Mumbai, India the residents, regardless of financial status, were brought together in 2008 when thousands gathered around televisions to watch the film Slumdog Millionaire win the Oscar for Best Picture.
As 2010 comes to a close and we reflect upon what took place not only in this year, but also throughout the decade, I must say, I never thought I’d actually come to hear or read, in this case, the following:
“According to a recent survey of 1,500 chief executives conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, CEOs identify “creativity” as the most important leadership competency for the successful enterprise of the future,” from Nicole Skibola’s blog “The Social Responsibility to Generate Employee Happiness.”
InSource members are eligible to receive $100 discount on the registration fee for Cella’s two-day creative operations training seminar in Washington, D.C. on April 13–14.
The new year offers a fresh slate for companies to reset goals, realign priorities and reenergize its vision. As your company looks back on 2010 and reflects on the health of its brand, doyou anticipate a greater emphasis on marketing and design for 2011?
Keeping in mind that the Account Manager’s job is to be dedicated to their clients’ needs and that requires understanding the client’s business and related goals, being a good steward of the client’s time and budget, focusing on the big picture, and making the creative process as painless as possible, it’s important that account managers manage their accounts as relationships and not transactions.
In a survey of in-house designers by The Creative Group, more than one-third of respondents said their company’s top creative leaders are “very respected” by other managers in the organization; and more than half said their leaders are “somewhat respected.” These findings speak to the increasing importance of creative leadership and the recognition that visual identity and design are crucial components of a company’s success.
Leading an in-house agency often requires dealing with difficult clients. Unlike an outside agency, you cannot “fire” or walk away from your clients. You must learn to work with them and act as a buffer for your team members to maintain their morale and keep their focus on the work and delivering quality cost-effective products.
As the creative leader, your job is to make your client look like a superstar while delivering results that contribute to your company’s bottom lin