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In-house Creative Industry: here’s what you need to know in 2017, and beyond

19th October 2017

Every year, the BOSS GROUP and CELLA publish a brilliant report that looks at the In-house Creative Industry.
It’s always a fascinating read, and one that helps provide us with direction and validation on the approaches we are taking with the in-house teams we are responsible for.
Furthermore, it sheds light on how in-house creative teams are perceived in the industry, how they are developing, and how they are predicted to progress.
This years report (2017) like always, is packed full of useful findings, insights, and recommendations. But at 60 pages in length, there’s quite a lot to get through. So we thought we’d summarise the key points into a handy little blog post.
That way, you can have a quick snack on what we have found to be the 20 most interesting bits of the report. And then if you’re still hungry for more – you can dive in and eat the full report,

Our 20 picks from the 2017 In-house Creative Industry Report

1. Client behaviours, career paths, gaining respect, value recognition and staff funding are still top challenges for in-house creative teams.
2. Teams are getting bigger in size. With the amount of medium sized times growing, and the amount of small sized teams decreasing.
3. Two thirds of in-house teams partner with external agencies. And this relationship is one that has improved – with in-house teams recognising they simply can’t do everything (see next two points).
4. Creative execution of all media types doesn’t have to be within your in-house teams core competencies. Be selective in your core competencies, and adjust as needed. This also means…
5. In-house teams are making greater use of freelancers.
6. Cost savings is still the most prolific metric in the in-house industry for proving value.
7. Tracking time continues to be an industry best practice and a fundamental necessity to produce your department’s KPIs.
8. Producing graphic content for social media is the biggest role in-house teams play in supporting social media services.
9. Video production services are on the rise within internal teams.
10. More in-house teams are increasing their project management capabilities.
11. When the in-house creative team is positioned within a value-adding department – marketing, communications, advertising, brand etc – then the in-house team is perceived by the organisation as being strategic and value adding.
12. Instituting a chargeback funding model is still the common way for changing the perceptions of an in-house creative team. Simply, it stops the in-house resource being seen as ‘free’.
13. Three quarters of chargeback teams recover through an hourly model.
14. There is still limited availability of funds allocated for training in-house teams.
15. More time is still being spent on print projects compared to digital ones.
16. Design production is still the primary scope of work of an in-house team, over (creative) conceptual work.
17. Video production, comms strategy, and social media support are the service offerings set to greatly increase for in-house teams.
18. The trend of increased cost savings, is leading to capabilities and roles shifting to lower cost labour markets – notably internationally. The offshoring of production, is increasing.
19. Huge growth in the number of process systems and workflows being used. These tools are providing transparency, clarity of roles and responsibilities, automated support and efficiencies – resulting in increased productivity and performance. Which again, is helping to improve perceptions of in-house creative teams.
20. Many in-house creative offerings stand on the value proposition of being lower cost. While that value will open doors, it won’t keep them open. It’s extremely important that creative leaders identify and preach the team’s value outside of cost.
Institutional knowledge and shared company values and goals, are other highly recognised values of an in-house team. Aside from cost, brand knowledge has become the biggest part of an in-house teams value proposition.


And there you have it. They are what we found to be the top 20 bits from this years in-house report.
What is clear from the report is how in-house creative teams really are going from strength to strength – with the pace of this change quickening all the time.
Organisations are investing more and more into their internal creative resources – whether it is large wholesale changes and implementations. Or a more conservative, consistent approach to change. Either way, a rosy future for in-house creative teams is very much on the cards.
As said, we manage the in-house creative resource of one of the world’s largest organisations – and do so now on a global scale. Therefore we’re ideally placed to help your organisation with its in-house creative capabilities.
Just drop us a note to find out more.
Until next time…


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