For the past five years the In-House Creative Services Industry Report has been evolving side-by-side with the in-house community. We'd like to thank the 450+ creative leaders who took the time to contribute and respond to this year's survey. Each year we add topics and enhance questions to provide data and information creative leaders like you are seeking.

The report consists of more than 100 questions spanning over 10 categories, specifically designed to provide operational insights, highlight best practices and remain a source of validation and direction for in-house creative leaders. The comprehensiveness of our survey is unmatched, though we know that means it takes a significant amount of time to participate. Therefore going forward we'll begin to cycle some questions in and out in order to bring new questions into the survey.

New and enhanced topics in this year's report include questions on:

  • Video Production (services, resources, equipment and software)
  • Dedicated resources to support operations, project management systems and DAM systems

2015 Key Takeaway
The size of in-house teams' growth was last year's key takeaway. This year we see this stabilize and level off. Small size teams (<=10) remain the most common with 59% being this size, mid-size teams (11-30) comprise 33% of all in-house teams and large teams (>= 31), 9%.

This year's key takeaways include increased difficulty in utilizing flexible staffing and a dramatic drop in funding for freelance/temp resources (see report page 26).

Additional Key Insights
Values & Challenges of In-House Teams: Creative leaders responded that brand knowledge, high-end creative quality and speed cycle time are the top three client recognized value propositions. Not surprisingly in fourth place is cost savings--very telling (and exciting!) that clients are recognizing the quality of work and not just cost.

Department Funding: More than 70% of in-house creative services groups are not chargeback organizations. The smaller a creative services team, the more likely they are to not charge back. Point in case: 77% of departments with less than 30 team members don't charge back. For these creative leaders the top two most significant benefits of not charging back are the minimal reporting requirements and lack of financial pressures.

Service Offerings: Not surprisingly the top five service offerings creative leaders responded increasing in the future are video production, web design, interactive/multimedia design, infographics and social media support. However, digital design, social media support and video production services are 3 of the top 5 services provided by other departments (not within creative services).

Technology: Systems and tools provide an in-house agency the foundation to manage creative assets and workflows resulting in many benefits, including increased productivity, metrics, better decision-making and a centralized repository of creative assets. Overall system and tool implementation continues to steadily increase:

  • 61% of in-house creative teams track project data (an additional 20% track project data via a manual method)
  • 42% track time (an additional 15% track time via a manual method)
  • 61% use soft proofing tools
  • 52% use a digital asset management tool

Designating a dedicated resource to manage the departments' systems and technology is as important as having the tool; the majority of creative leaders indicated so based on the existence of these roles on their teams:

  • 71% of creative groups have a dedicated tool administrator or hybrid role managing their project management tool (15% dedicated role / 56% hybrid role with other functional responsibilities)
  • 61% have a dedicated DAM librarian or hybrid role managing their DAM system (23% dedicated role / 38% hybrid role with other functional responsibilities)

If you're exploring implementing supporting technology for your group, do not underestimate the need for a fully dedicated resource to manage the initiative from requirements gathering to evaluating the spectrum of tools to selection and implementation. Unfortunately we have seen our share of failed implementations not faulting the tools themselves but more commonly absence of subject matter expertise and very poor implementation and rollout. Cella can help you maneuver through the gamut of tools out there to determine the best fit for your organization.

To download full report, please visit: