What is Creative Operations?

A combination of "Creative" and "Operations", CreativeOps brings together the various parts of design and marketing operations to help brands go live faster with their campaigns, translating to more business impact in much less time.

In the same way that DevOps radically changed how software and IT worked together for faster delivery and iteration, we see a similar shift in the way CreativeOps is bringing together business and design teams for greater efficiency and business impact. The goal of CreativeOps is to streamline a brand’s existing processes, technology and teams to ensure faster campaign launches.

What are the teams involved in creative operations?

Creative operations includes everything from the initial concept generation to the final execution of ad campaigns or any designs or visuals created for various purposes. It is a collaborative effort that involves coordination among different teams, such as design, marketing, content, and branding.

Role of creative operations in streamlining people, processes, tools

A brand’s communication infrastructure is often entangled in a loop of broken processes that stretch timelines and curb creativity; siloed teams that lack efficiency and collaborative deftness; and legacy tools that cannot scale production. And the challenge for today’s enterprise is to streamline these different parts into one robust communication engine.

The creative operations journey of today’s enterprise

  • Firstly, campaign managers or project managers would have to raise a request for the campaign requirement via email platforms like Gmail, Microsoft or project management tools like Asana, Trello, Hive, and Jira, to name a few. Unfortunately, most of these requests are hard to manage between creative teams and often go cold. 

  • Then comes the task of designers painstakingly gathering assets required for the campaign, scattered across various digital asset management tools like Dropbox or Google Drive and offline storage platforms. Maybe someone stored it on a hard disk that’s gone missing? Maybe it was mislabelled? This task often takes 20% of the total creative cycle time (from planning to go live). 
  • Once assets are found, designers would then work on key visuals for the campaign on design tools like Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, which often loops back into gathering and preparing assets due to lack of intelligent design systems. 
  • And then comes the mammoth task of adapting these key visuals for different platforms, multiple products, sizes and variants. Most brands coordinate with around 3 different agencies to execute this at scale and spend upwards of  $250K - $300K on agency costs annually. Since these adapts are done manually by agencies, brandwidth issues might not allow for more personalization and language-level customization, leaving huge markets untapped. 
  • All the creatives are then prepared for review and brand compliance checks, sometimes taking hours to just stack them on to PPT files for approval. And then the review itself takes around five teams to check all creatives against brand guidelines and campaign briefs, often taking around 3 days. This would often loop back into further iterations and new messaging variants, and then circle back to longer review cycles.
  •  Finally, once creatives are ready and approved, files are then prepared to be published on distribution channels like Meta, Google Ads and the like. At this point, campaign managers might find themselves scrambling once again to fix platform rejections. Moreover creatives might decay and waste even up to 20% of campaign budgets, for which creative refresh would be required.