More than 425 creative leaders responded to this year's in-house creative services industry report. Each year the report grows, providing additional data and information creative leaders like you are looking for; below are highlights from this year's report which is available now at

In-House Creative Service Group Organizations

For a third year, there has been a steady increase of in-house creative services groups reporting into a strategic value-add department. 83% of in-house creative services groups report into a department such as Marketing, Communications, Advertising, Brand or some combination of those divisions. The in-house groups' top value propositions are brand knowledge, historical knowledge of products and shared value/goals for the company. Creative quality and cost savings continue being the greatest value to customers.

Service Offerings

Graphic Design and Production Design remain two of the top three services provided by in-house groups and Brand Management now falls third, dropping Print Production to fourth. Print spending has continued to trend downward with 87% of creative teams indicating that print spend has either remained flat or has decreased in the past year. Not surprisingly, creative teams are reporting increased service offerings in non-traditional creative services such as mobile and social media.

The above trends are very promising for everyone in our specialized in-house creative services groups. While traditional print design work is still the top service offered by in-house teams, non-traditional media services are growing and you can expect to see overall volume of work increase significantly, resulting in the need for additional resources to meet demand.

Team Sizes and Staff Augmentation

Only 15% of creative teams lost headcount in 2012; half maintained headcount and more than a third were able to increase their headcount. In addition, more than 90% of creative leaders were able to bring in temporary staff to support their full-time teams, and 65% of in-house teams partner with principal partnership agencies during periods of peak demand.

These are effective models and partnerships to have allowing resource flexibility, creative infusion, and continual delivery of quality work while maintaining quality control.

Financial Model

More than 65% of in-house creative services groups are not chargeback organizations. For these creative leaders the top two most significant benefits of not charging back are the minimal reporting requirements and plentiful business due to lack of direct costs. And their most significant challenge is the ability to impact client behaviors due to lack of repercussion for misuse/abuse of creative services.

On the other hand for the 32% of in-house creative services groups that do charge back, their most significant benefits for doing so are:

  • Encourages efficient use of time and resources by the clients
  • Clear value recognition as compared to using similar services on the outside
  • Allows for resource flexibility

And the most significant drawbacks being:
  • Positions team as a vendor instead of a partner and colleague
  • Too much time and money spent on administrative requirements of the charge back system

Systems and Tools

The majority of in-house creative services groups are increasing their awareness and implementation of systems and tools to optimize their business operations.

  • 76% track project data (55% use a software system, 21% manual method)
  • 55% track time ( 39% use a software system, 16% manual method)
  • 51% use soft proofing software
  • 44% use a digital asset management tool

For the full report, please visit
It's Ready: The 2013 In-House Creative Services Industry ReportAs Cella's Creative Services Practice Lead, Cindy Ponce consults with Fortune 1000 clients whose in-house teams span from small and mid-sized groups to large and global service providers. Cindy's management competencies lie in building and managing internal agency model organizations globally and effectively managing cross-functional teams worldwide. She's known for her passion and tenacity in delivering optimal solutions with exceptional service and quality work using proven methodologies. Prior to joining Cella, Cindy built and led an international team of 65+, servicing more than 40 countries. During her tenure, she spearheaded increased service offerings to include content development and interactive capabilities.