Creatives Envision Tech Having A Strong Impact on Their Output, Still Face Collaboration Issues

August 13, 2018

Creative professionals and their managers don’t feel that the rise of influencer marketing or the use of social media in advertising will have too much of an impact on their creative output in the next couple of years, according to a study from Wrike [download page]. But emerging tech? Many see the potential impact arising from advances in artificial intelligence (AI).

In fact, fully 85% of the 1,052 creative individual contributors and managers of creative professionals surveyed believe that AI will have a significant impact on their creative output in the next 2 years. In so doing, they join scores of marketers in various departments who likewise believe that AI will be their next big trend.

Beyond AI, a smaller majority (57%) also feel that advances in advertising formats, such as mobile, VR/AR, and video, will have a significant impact on their output. This belief tends to be stronger among managers (both in-house and agency) than among contributors. With healthy growth in virtual reality unit sales expected this year, it may well be that advertisers begin to experiment more heavily with this medium.

Notably, while managers were more likely than contributors to see an impact from new advertising formats, the reverse was true with respect to new tools. Contributors (both in-house and agency) were considerably more likely than managers to feel that changing technology tools for creatives would have an impact on their output.

There does seem to be room for growth in the use of automation, at least. Just 17% of respondents overall report automating collaboration tasks, and fewer than one-third automate scheduling and assigning of work.

Automation is much more prevalent instead in client communications (79%) and team communications (70%).

Communication Can Be A Challenge

While creatives seem to be automating many communications, there are plenty of problems that arise when working with other departments. (Perhaps automating collaboration would help?)

There’s one challenge that stands out above the rest: not enough detail in creative briefs! (One imagines creatives reading this nodding their heads.) Out of 12 collaboration challenges identified, fully 28% of respondents identified this as their biggest challenge.

The next-largest collaboration challenges were cited by about half as many respondents. Some 15% each pointed to:

  • Not having appropriate tools in place to review graphics and designs in an effective way; and
  • Other departments seeing creatives as a service provider, not a business partner.

The study did find some rather significant differences in challenges faced by in-house and agency teams. Agencies, for example, were far more likely than in-house teams to say that not enough detail in creative briefs is their biggest challenge (34.5% and 22%, respectively). They also were far more apt to cite frequently changing requirements as a top challenge (18.5% and 7.5%, respectively).

Not surprisingly, in-house creatives, for their part, have a much bigger issue with being seen as a service provider rather than a business partner. Some 28% reported this to be their biggest problem, versus just 2.5% of agency respondents.

Meanwhile, both in-house and agency contributors pointed to unrealistic expectations from clients and stakeholders as their biggest work challenge. In-house managers, for their part, struggle most to manage collaborative work with other departments, while agency managers are challenged most to effectively use the resources generated by creative professionals.

Do Creatives Understand Content Licensing?

Separately, a new study from Storyblocks finds that creatives could be exposing themselves to copyright infringements. Some 41% of the creative digital media professionals surveyed admitted that they don’t read their stock media provider’s content licensing agreement.

A majority (56%), meanwhile, say they only understand stock media licensing enough to stay out of trouble. What kind of trouble, though? Just 1 in 5 believe they could be held personally liable if a copyright claim is made against a project they produced.

So it seems like there’s one more challenge to add to the list…

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