The Five Hottest Trends In Creative Operations


Creative Operations is an area that is transforming at “Warp Speed”. The need for advertisers (and hence their agencies) to provide more content, faster, to more channels, in more formats, at a lower price has accelerated at a crazy pace. The “new normal” of Covid-19 and the new ways of working it has brought about, as well as new technologies emerging every day has created a whirlwind of activity that is hard to keep track of and effectively manage. We have drawn upon our experiences of working with some of the world’s leading advertisers to help make sense of this fast-evolving world.

We’ve listed our Five Hottest Trends in Creative Operations, below, and also partnered with Henry Stewart Events on their Festival of Creative Operations. We will be in attendance at the event if you’d like to catch up, its free, and will bring together the best minds in the industry to discuss these hottest of trends, and other topics. You can register for tickets here

The Five Hottest Trends in Creative Operations

  1. Joining Media and Creative Data. The biggest of the trends (for the most advanced advertisers) is the re-joining of media and creative processes, and using the data to inspire more effective work. Very often media agencies hold troves of data on what creative has worked, but the processes of sharing this in a useful way and using it to inspire better work has proven difficult. Reworking the processes and finding ways to share data, is the hottest of hot trends.
  2. New Technologies. In line with our first trend (merging media and creative processes) the growth in DCO (Dynamic Creative Optimization) and new platforms for content origination and publishing like Canva are changing the game. Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) is a display ad technology that creates personalized ads based on data about the viewer at the moment of ad serving. There is lots of discussion on who owns the technologies, who uses them, and how they get used but having a clear and coherent strategy can avoid the “noise and swirl” and allow for effective testing and implementation.
  3. Killing Admin & Approval Time. Most creative operations teams are under huge pressure to deliver more work, faster. One of the biggest barriers to meeting the demands they face is the administration time and time spent of gaining approvals (most work is still, on average going through 2-3 rounds of approval which can result in weeks of lost time). Creatives are still spending on average 2 days per week on non-creative work, a statistic that has been maintained from 2019 (The State of Creative Operations in 2020 Report). A big trend is identifying this “slack time” and working on the processes and tech to drive efficiency.
  4. Making Remote Working Sustainable. Covid-19 drove huge changing to creative operations. Some were welcome, some less so. Almost all major advertisers and agencies are looking to take the best learnings and create new ways of remote/hybrid working that allow for off-shoring, working with more freelance talent in a sustainable fashion. Whilst some teams have “coped” with Covid-19, thriving without it is a different matter and some companies have no clear plan for what happens next. Looking to the future 37% of creative leaders said that they expect their creative team to have the option to work remotely full-time after the pandemic (The State of Creative Operations in 2020 Report) displaying the need to embrace remote working into companies sustainability plans.
  5. Diversity & Sustainability. Many advertisers are looking at the Authentic Representation of Diverse communities in their workforce, and in the materials they produce. This includes tracking the staffing, spend with minority owned suppliers, and representation of Directors, Production Companies, Photographers, Musicians & other Talent. But, the most advanced are now really challenging the conventions when it comes to Sustainability. They are checking the Emissions of the Creative Operations, looking for net-positive impacts on the environment and ensuring a Sustainable Society, Environment and Economy. You can read more on this topic here.

If you are a Creative Operations Leader and you don’t have a clear strategy to deal with each of these Five Hottest Trends, or have feedback for us on our thoughts, then by all means contact us here, or attend The Henry Stewart Festival of Creative Operations and come and see us there.

The Festival of Creative Operations will focus on solutions, the latest thinking, and the most promising developments in the industry, in order to help business improve their creative operations. A few examples of the topics that will be spoke about are: Keeping up with the demand for real-time content production, Identifying and avoiding pitfalls in the creative process, and Creating meaningful reports and dashboards. Once registered for the event you will have access to 7 full hours of content, 12 session, a live Q&A with experts, access to the online event platform with presenter profiles and networking opportunities, and recordings of all session to view on demand. If you want to have access to all of the fantastic aspects of the event listed above, we encourage you to buy your tickets here.