How Creative Agencies Can Maintain Effective Organization

Even creatives need structure! Let's talk about some best practices for staying organized and fostering productive, creative work.
how to run a creative team
By Phoebe Perelman Jun 17, 2020
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 “Ideation and innovation are not synonyms. The former deals with the generation of ideas; the latter, with their implementation.” 

-Theodore Levitt, marketing professor at Harvard Business School

Creativity and organization do not always go hand-in-hand. Creatives are fueled by freedom and inspired by imperfection, which can make it difficult to maintain a sense of order and efficiency in the office. However, creativity stagnates without proper organization and implementation. If you’re wondering how to run a creative team, look no further. Here are four ways to run a creative team and stay organized without stifling your team’s artistic genius. 

Stick With a Software

There are a multitude of software programs to help you stay organized, and it can be tempting to try them all. Having access to every software under the sun might seem beneficial, but software overload can actually decrease productivity. 

Pegasystems Inc. found that the average employee switches between 35 job-critical applications more than 1,100 times every day. The report also concluded that the more applications an employee uses, the higher their error-rate. 

It’s critical to identify and prioritize your team’s needs and utilize multi-featured tools that help with every step of the creative process. Ask your staff to document their day-to-day operations and compare from there. Creative marketing agencies must also ensure that their creative software of choice aligns with their business intelligence tools. 

It won’t surprise you that our favorite tool around these parts is CROOW. That’s because CROOW addresses the issue highlighted in the Pegasystems Inc. report — it provides all the functionality you need in one common software. You can store and organize your brand assets in a shared, easily accessible area. You can mock up a wireframe for things like websites, emails, posters, and blogs. You can communicate with clients, who can provide feedback directly on the asset you’re reviewing. There’s also an approval system baked in. There are project management functions as well, like to-do lists and time tracking. We built CROOW because we wanted to reduce the amount of applications we had to use, and we came up with a game-changing collaborative software in the process.

Standardize

Marketing revolves around personalization, but we can’t forget about the benefits of standardization. Work smarter, not harder, as they say. Here are a few ways that you can implement standardization processes.

  • Consistent templates and branded assets are irreplaceable components of any streamlined creative effort. Instead of starting from scratch each time a client asks for a creative brief or presentation, your team will be able to seamlessly update a pre-existing model. 
  • When internal questions and complications arise, you’ll want standardized instructions and guides on hand to save time and effort.
  • You can standardize project access points by utilizing a communal, compartmentalized library for fonts, logos, colors and graphics. This library may even be accessible across all devices.  
  • Retrieving your assets is half the battle (in one survey, 49% of employees reported this difficulty). Teams should standardize saving processes like file and folder names. 
  • For maximum organization, store your creative assets on a single cloud-based software (and keep reading to learn why).

Collaborate Using the Cloud

Long gone are the days when team members used email to send drafts back and forth. Now, managers, team members, and clients can edit and give feedback in real time or asynchronously using cloud-based services like Google Suite. Cloud-based platforms are disaster-averse, allowing teams to easily track and protect the lifespan of projects. These platforms can also shorten the proofing and approval process, providing a no-nonsense approach to creative collaboration. We recommend using a cloud-based collaborative software that offers workflow management tools too, so that all of your bases are covered. There’s no question that using a comprehensive cloud-based platform across departments is one of the top ways to stay organized.  

Provide Structure 

Although creatives can handle the gray area, it’s important to provide clear goals and directives in order to keep your creative design agency on track. The adage “communication is key” will always ring true. Let your creative team members be a part of the big picture instead of assigning them tasks in a silo. Set the tone for each new project with an internal creative kick-off meeting that covers project objectives, timeline, and resources so that your creatives are informed and engaged. The more that your creative team knows about clients’ needs, the better they can serve them.

If you’re ready to get started with a great platform today, try CROOW — a project management application built with creative collaboration in mind.