Content marketingCreativity

Why collaborating on creative content needs the right building blocks

Just like any important structure, creative collaboration relies on having the right building blocks in place—or everything will come tumbling to the ground.

There are two key building blocks that are important to ensure a sturdy creative collaboration foundation: people and the right allocation of tools and other resources. Yet according to a recent survey conducted by Digiday and OpenText Hightail, while it may sound simple enough—getting that structure in place can be challenging to do.

People aren’t always set up for success

Your organization has already done all the legwork to get the right people on your overall team. But do you have the right people involved in reviews and approvals of your creative content—and is it at the right time? Also, do you have the right number of people—or are there too many hands on deck?

According to the survey of about 200 marketers, agencies and publishers, sometimes people are involved in the creative review process without possessing the right expertise. “Varying degrees of familiarity with how to look at an unfinished piece can be problematic,’ according to Carissa Ranelycke, head of integrated production for the digital agency 360i. She added that the reviewer must understand production and what they should be looking for in the review process. And they should be involved throughout the process, rather than inserted at the end. “The untimely feedback at a certain point in the production process can set you back days or even weeks,” she said.

Another issue is having too many people involved in the process, with 79 percent of respondents saying they miss deadlines because of that. And it’s not surprising, with 74 percent of the respondents saying they work with five or more departments while developing creative assets—which can lead to a “morass of sharing, feedback, editing and approvals from countless internal parties,” according to the report. And that’s even counting the 32 percent that also work with external agencies.

Tools and other resources aren’t allocated correctly

A whopping 82 percent of respondents said they have somewhat fewer resources than necessary to meet the demands of creative asset production.

This could partially be due to the fact that 88 percent said that demands for creative assets have increased at least somewhat within the past year. (79 percent cited “too many projects occurring simultaneously” as a factor causing them to blow past their budgets.)

Or maybe it’s because so many resources are tied up with handling so many rounds of creative review and, in fact, 84 percent said this was an issue.

Meanwhile, 80 percent said they were at least somewhat dissatisfied with their companies’ current processes for creative asset production and review, and this could be due in part to the fact that 78 percent of respondents cited “confusing or inefficient use of collaboration tools” as a moderate problem. And 83 percent said their organization’s use of such tools makes collaboration and communication more complicated. (In fact, 71 percent said “much more complicated.”)

“As the survey and our interviews make clear, creative asset production is being complicated by confusing and inefficient digital tools,” according to the report. “The fact that organizations are using so many tools at once—many of them with somewhat overlapping yet somewhat separate functionalities—is almost certainly contributing to this phenomenon, creating more redundancies and inefficiencies.”

For more information on the report’s findings, please read ‘Layers on Layers’: A Creative Collaboration Report or take a look at our infographic tied to the report. To learn how Hightail can help improve your creative collaboration processes, sign up for a free trial.Blog contributor banner 1

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