The tenth annual In-House Creative Industry Report

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2020 In-House Creative Industry Report Finds Creative Teams Maximizing All Human and Technology Resources

Tenth annual Cella report benchmarks in-house creative community

May 12, 2020

ROCKVILLE, Md. – May 5, 2020 – Creative teams are doing more with less by increasing efficiency in the use of technology, systems and staff, according to a new report from Cella, a nationwide staffing, consulting and managed solutions firm. The tenth annual In-House Creative Industry Report finds that higher-value services like video and social media are driving higher-tiered projects, but more than half (56%) of creative teams still find staffing these and other roles to be a top challenge.

“Creative leaders rely on Cella’s Industry Report to seek validation and direction on managing a more effective in-house agency,” said Jackie Schaffer, vice president and general manager, Cella consulting and managed services. “For ten consecutive years, we have regularly studied the marketing, creative and digital workforce, and while it’s still too early to assess the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, we have seen creative professionals be nimble through other crises.  Service excellence and employee centricity are principles that guide us every day at Cella, and we are optimistic that as a team, we will find additional cost-effective and efficient ways to provide business continuity to clients.”

Creative Teams Increasing Value

The Cella report found that in-house creative teams are increasing their value by embracing freelancers, hybrid roles and offering high-value services. Ninety percent of creative leaders are able to use freelancers, and 58 percent intended to maintain their spend on contingent workers while 29 percent intended to increase spend. In addition, teams and individuals are becoming increasingly flexible in their roles, with many embracing hybrid roles such as account/project manager and “preditor.”

In-house creative teams are also rising to the video challenge. Seventy three percent of teams currently provide video production services, with 79% supporting motion graphics, 69% supporting live action and 75% offering social media video. By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic, and 62 percent of creatives surveyed said they expect to increase their video service offerings in the future.

Technology Best Practices

The Cella report found that increased efficiency in the use of technology and systems like project management tools, Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems and reporting tools, is helping teams provide more creative value for their organizations. Eighty percent of teams use project management systems, and there was a ten percent rise in the use of DAM systems over the past year. However, almost half (46%) of teams are still using email to share files.

Over two-thirds (69%) of teams capture and report on metrics, but 25% of mega teams (those with more than 100 people), are not tracking time, impeding the ability to accurately determine the level of effort.

Growth and Uncertainty Challenges

While it remains to be seen how much the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis will affect the job market, at the time of the survey, 71% of creatives said they were satisfied in their current roles, and the Cella report found that more than half (56%) of teams find resourcing to be a top challenge and keeping talent trained remains a challenge. Seventy percent of creatives said they lack enough (or any) time for team coaching and development, yet only 10% of leaders expect to increase training budgets. In addition, 65% of teams say managing client behaviors is their main creative challenge and developing soft skills is in the top three things teams would prioritize with additional budget.

About the report

Cella surveyed nearly 400 leaders from creative teams and in-house agencies in January 2020. These leaders represent Fortune 500 companies, as well as middle-market and not-for- profit organizations spanning multiple industries including, but not limited to, banking/financial services, consumer products, education, health care, manufacturing, technology and software. The report is available for download here, along with a recording of a live webinar, presented by the authors.

About Cella

Cella is an award-winning leader in consulting, staffing and managed solutions for creative, marketing, digital and proposal development teams. We help people build meaningful careers and partner with companies to help them win. Our secret sauce? The Cella Trifecta: we have the right people, we understand our clients and we deliver results. Success requires a partner who offers all three. Together, we put passion to work. Cella is the only creative staffing firm to win the Best of Staffing® Client and Talent Awards 10 years running and is a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise. For more information, please visit or contact [email protected].