I'm really proud and excited to share that the 2014 In-House Creative Services Industry Report is now available! For the past three months we have been vetting and analyzing the results, re-configuring the report flow and designing the report. It's a labor of love each year--literally, we love this report, and it's a lot of work. But it's always worth it!

First and foremost, thank you to the more than 460 creative leaders who responded to the survey, which included more than 30 new questions bringing the total to 96 questions! Each year the report continues to grow, providing additional data and information that creative leaders like yourself have asked for.

If you weren't able to join the webinar preview of the report, you can view the recording here.

In addition, I've provided some of the key highlights below.

New and enhancements topics in this year's report include:

  • Direct report ratios
  • Scope of work
  • Training budgets
  • Partnerships (agency and offshore partners, and services provided)
  • Global operations (strategy, locations, process)
  • Technology (hardware, software and systems; upgrade schedules)
  • Creative leader job market (creative leader job satisfaction and job market perspective)

This year's Key Takeaway

The size of in-house teams is growing! Not a complete surprise, given the recent buzz of in-house creative services groups on the rise[1] and exceeding external agencies in business and product knowledge, as well as innovation categories[2]. In the 2013 report, only 31% of all in-house teams were comprised of 11 or more team members. We saw this increase to 42% in this year's report. Most often this growth came in the form of contract labor creating increased resource flexibility and creative infusion.

Additional Key Insights

Department Organization: Leaders of in-house groups regularly face ongoing competing priorities leaving them without adequate time to develop their leadership teams--the majority of whom have 1-5 direct reports, though more than 30% of creative leaders have 6 or more direct reports--a very high number when you are also charged with running a department. Thankfully more junior managers have less direct reports on average--most often (80% of the time) front-line managers manage 5 or less team members.

Partnerships: 75% of in-house creative teams partner with external agencies and a third with offshore/offsite creative and production services providers. The five most common services agencies provide include: Campaign Strategy & Design, Creative Strategy, Design Production, Video and Interactive/APP Development. These creative teams are leveraging offshore/offsite creative and production services providers for both digital and traditional services across the spectrum of production through conceptual work.

Global Operations: Only 9% of in-house creative services groups have team members in more than one country, primarily in place to support local business partners versus take advantage of low-cost labor markets. 89% of creative services teams represented in this report have a team based in the United States. The next most prevalent locations were the United Kingdom, China and India.

Technology: While methods of work-from-home vary greatly, only 9% of creative teams have no ability to work remotely. The other 91% have found ways to successfully work remotely creating flexibility, varying work shifts and enhanced employee levels of productivity and job satisfaction.

Overall system and tool implementation is steadily increasing as well:

  • 56% track project data (an additional 20% track time via a manual method)
  • 43% track time (an additional 16% track time via a manual method)
  • 57% use soft proofing tools
  • 51% use a digital asset management tool

For the full report, please visit www.creativeindustryreport.com.

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferrooney/2013/10/21/the-rise-of-the-in-house-agency-cmos-industry-respond-to-ana-report/

[2] Cella, 2014 PartnerPulse Aggregate Report.