While in the past the majority of companies entrusted the creative end of content production to external agencies, this business tradition is slowly becoming less and less common. There’s been a recent move towards internalizing these projects by placing them into the hands of an in-house creative team.
Technology has allowed teams to embrace innovation and push past the limitations of collaborating in a traditional working environment. However, just because technology makes collaboration a more streamlined and easy process, it doesn’t guarantee employees will be excited to produce their best work every day.
Slope's organizational structure is so flexible to match whatever way your business organizes its creative work. That being said, any software tool can be daunting when it’s new and empty. So we talked to some of our most successful customers (making sure to represent a variety of different industry verticals) to find out how they structure their organization. From our findings, we saw 7 different ways companies were organizing their work in Slope.
Businesses are increasingly turning to internal creative teams for their content needs. As this happens, these internal creatives are finding themselves making less one-off projects like they would at an agency and more consistent work meant to boost broader goals.
Technology is making it easier for more people to work remotely; last time we touched on this subject, we talked about strategies for managing a remote creative team. In this sequel, we wanted to offer tactics for those actually doing the remote work.
Last time we talked about the 5 skills every creative manager needs, we covered Communication, Empathy, Diplomacy, Reading the Team, and Organization. If you’re going to manage a team of creative people, these are 5 skills that you certainly should have. However, they are not the only skills that you’ll want. Creative managers need a wide range of skills and attributes to get the most out of their team, and ensure their employees are happy. If you already have the first 5 down, here are 5 more that you can add to your toolbox.
Creatives who work together need to be close, but not like friends and family close. I’m talking creative team close. Creatives use skills that they’re deeply passionate about, typically so much so they couldn’t imagine working in a non creative position. When the stakes are that high, it's that much more important to think of the team you work with as a creative community, and not just people in your department.
Starting any new job is a nerve-racking experience. You’re in a new place, meeting new people, learning new tasks and how to use new systems. This process is tough no matter what kind of job you’re starting, but it can be especially difficult for creative hires.
Creative teams are expected to work together, openly sharing ideas and criticisms. This is hard to do when you’re in a room full of people you just met and you aren’t sure how the office operates yet. For some hires, you may be able to get by with a quick tour, and then set them to work at their desk. This isn’t the case when on-boarding creative hires, however, and you need to adjust your approach accordingly.
As a creative manager, you carry a responsibility to continually motivate your team. An employee’s level of engagement is directly tied to their motivation to be productive and generate their best work. Your job is to empower each person to take responsibility for doing a great job and offer challenging opportunities that help them grow.
Treating employees well, advocating for their work-life balance and giving them space to think creatively contributes to a deeper sense of enthusiasm for coming to work each day. When you encourage these seven activities in your workplace, you will notice that your creative team is continually motivated to achieve amazing things!
In the rapidly evolving landscape of virtual work environments, it is becoming common for creative teams to live across town or even thousands of miles apart. Nearly 70 percent of managers at Fortune 100 companies report leading hybrid teams that work in-house, off-site, in the field or at satellite offices.
Despite rarely (if ever) interacting face-to-face, it is possible for disparate teams to thrive when they have the right collaboration tools and project management skills in place. Follow these five tips to effectively lead high-performance creative teams, help them understand how to work together remotely and know what to expect from each other.
At Slope, you hear “every company is a media company” a lot. I mean, a lot. Even though at this point it’s beyond cliché, and elicits groans and eyerolls all over the office, it’s a mantra we believe in and one that is reflected in our product. That’s why Slope’s organizational structure is so flexible: to match whatever way your business organizes its creative work.
That being said, any software tool can be daunting when it’s new and empty, especially if it the tool you’re using wasn’t originally intended for creative work. So we talked to some of our most successful customers to find out how they structure their creative work. From our findings, we saw 7 different ways companies were organizing their work.
Personalization is the future of how businesses communicate. Don’t get me wrong, it’s here in the present—industries are getting more personalized every day, but this trend is only going to get bigger.
Creative teams are often measured two ways: whether or not they hit deadlines and if goals are reached. That includes internal project goals in addition to campaign and performance goals. Both equate to project completion – but is project completion the only metric that matters?
It’s not uncommon for organizations to spend a lot of time choosing the right scalable software for the team to tackle upcoming projects.
Unfortunately, it’s only until after a team has gotten into the weeds that they find the tool they’re using doesn’t cover all their needs like collaboration, knowledge sharing, communication, etc. This is particularly common among marketing and creative teams.
Projects are complex structures, and a generic project management app isn’t enough on its own. In a recent post Zapier polled 13 brands and found they used an average of 5 apps in a “project management stack." In most cases, the apps were used to cover project management and proofing/collaboration.
When you’re in the thick of a project, adding more tools isn’t ideal. There’s a smarter way to consolidate these activities and tools.
A good creative manager is more than just a project manager. They’re a leader. Managing any team is hard enough, but the moment you become a creative manager you’re in charge of people tasked with being highly creative on a consistent basis in order to deemed successful.
That adds some next-level complexity (read: stress), because creativity is not a tangible thing. It can’t be turned on and off. It can’t be tapped in the same way a developer can churn out code for a specific task.
Managing a creative team requires skills beyond what is necessary in managing and leading any given team. Need a crash course in creative management or faced with managing a creative team? Here’s 5 skills that you should start honing.
After spending weeks (if not months) of due diligence, you finally spring for a new software tool you believe will have the desired impact on your business. The operational efficiency on the horizon is a huge relief. But when you share the news with your team, you’re met with a bag of mixed emotions that translate to murmurs and sideways glances. It’s obvious some team members aren’t on board with the decision.
Regardless of the size of the task, organizations set milestones and deadlines on projects for a reason. It’s as much to create an expected end-of-project as it is to have a roadmap that keeps the entire team working in the right direction.
You can minimize risk of delivery failure through scheduling and monitoring activities but odds are you’ll need to identify ways to speed up the delivery of your project and accelerate the timeline at some point. Here are seven choices that don’t require any sacrifice in quality or cutting corners.
Creativity inherently involves risk because it uses the imagination to generate something from nothing. The common denominator in successful creative people is their ability to drive output despite the results. Disappointments become portals of discovery for new opportunities or approaches. From this point of view, failure is a necessary element in fostering innovation.
Every page and piece of content you create should be designed with a purpose. That purpose will vary, from encouraging a visitor to take action immediately to imprinting a message that will encourage them to take action later on.
Some content, like your homepage, are designed to provide a snapshot of what you offer to funnel visitors to the right information. Other pages serve only to grow the relationship with your audience and establish trust.
Landing pages have one vital purpose – to convert visitors into customers.
No matter how the completed landing page is presented it’s still made up of core elements meant to interact with the emotions and psychology of your audience, effectively driving them to click. While there’s no single correct way to design a landing page to maximize conversions, there are key elements you can include to improve the success of your campaigns.
Since the primary role of a creative team is to generate insights and programs that drive business growth, being fully present and motivated is critical to the success of every project. It also has a significant impact on company profitability. Rapt Media estimates that companies lose $500 billion annually due to disengaged employees. You can see why keeping your team members engaged is a must have project management skill.
Employee incentive programs that recognize effort and success have a proven history of inspiring employees to work harder and participate at a deeper level. After all, an engaged mind is an inspired mind. As a project manager, you must be proactive in offering opportunities that push your team members to excel and rewarding them when they succeed.
You do not need an elaborate plan or a big budget to recognize employees' contributions. Instead, focus on praising actions, approaches and willingness to take on new challenges. Additionally, by building these three programs into your team’s culture, you will have the necessary tools to produce an environment that promotes continual growth in creativity.
Managing feedback is a crucial project management skill. While feedback is vital to virtually every aspect of a business from a marketing campaign to operational adjustments, creative feedback is particularly difficult to nail down. This mostly stems from the fact that while stakeholders have the power to approve or reject a creative endeavor, they rarely are creative professionals.
The average marketing team spends countless hours strategizing, planning, and executing the production of content for the purposes of inbound marketing. The goal, above all else, is to use top-of-funnel content to attract prospects into the funnel.
That’s where, once in the funnel, the focus shifts as 70% of brands concentrate on converting leads to customers. But sales teams continue to struggle through that final conversion process for a variety of reasons.
If your sales team isn’t ready to roll over and give up, then consider how they could start using content strategically at key points in the buyer’s journey. Here are some proven-effective types of content that will help your sales team build relationships and dramatically lift conversions.
When you stop to think about it, deadlines are one of the most familiar practices in a business setting; we’ve all been dealing with them in one way or another since our first encounter with homework. By setting up a precise schedule of events and breaking up the entire project into a series of deadlines, teams can actively plan and meet their goals rather than stumble towards one large date. But just as there’s ambiguity with one deadline, so is there with many of them.
Project deadlines are incredibly helpful, but also demanding and intimidating. They don’t have to be. A large portion of project management stems from the deadline; without them it’s basically impossible to keep track of a project’s progress. Setting proper deadlines is a project management skill that’s not a simple walk in the park - that’s why it’s so important to take a step back to make sure you’re using them effectively.
With many marketing departments producing a large volume of assets, creative teams are always chasing the next deadline. The high of wrapping up another successful project can quickly give way to waves of panic at the thought of having to come up with another genius marketing plan. Between brainstorming, collaborating, negotiating and arranging logistics, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the scale of a project, especially if you are juggling multiple ones simultaneously.
By learning how to distinguish between low and high creative intensity work, your team will be able to prioritize their allocation of time so that they are no longer drowning in the clutches of panic-induced creativity.
A creative team on the brink of burnout is easy to spot: lack of enthusiasm, derivative ideas and consistently poor results. Just as there is no single cause of creative fatigue, a magic cure does not exist for refilling your creative well. However, team managers can use these seven proactive strategies to bust through mental blocks and rejuvenate drained energy.