5 Biggest Challenges in Creative Operations For Marketing Teams Blog Feature
Martyn Cook

By: Martyn Cook on May 30th, 2019

5 Biggest Challenges in Creative Operations For Marketing Teams

creative operations

More than ever, companies are challenged to produce high-quality creative assets in order to set themselves apart from their competitors and run better marketing campaigns. The pressures of the modern business landscape are placing more demand on marketing teams, as well as increasing the need for streamlined creative operations processes.

Of course, it isn’t always smooth sailing when you try to scale your creative processes and make them more efficient. Indeed, a shocking 75 percent of marketers say that they don’t currently have an effective creative process.

Marketing teams often struggle with a few key issues in the effort to meet the growing demand for creative assets. In this article, we’ll discuss 5 of these common pain points, as well as how you can resolve them with the right technology solution.

The 5 Biggest Challenges for Marketing Teams with Creative Operations

1. Lack of workflows and processes

As more individuals get involved with an organization’s creative processes, they tend to become more and more complex. This can become a serious problem if you haven’t clearly defined and documented the workflows involved in producing your creative assets.

By implementing clear workflows and processes for creative operations, your team members will find it easier to organize their files and streamline their communications. You can save time and effort at multiple stages of the creative process:

  • Beforehand, while thinking about how to accomplish a given task
  • During, thanks to prepared materials and templates
  • Afterwards, by shortening the timelines for review and approval

2. Bottlenecks and wasted time

On a related note, more complex processes with less documentation are also more likely to result in bottlenecks and wasted time.

For example, the assets you’ve just produced may be sitting on a desk somewhere, waiting to be approved for days or weeks—wasting valuable time that could be spent on the asset creation process.

To solve this issue, you need a solution that will grant you more visibility into the creative operations pipeline. By understanding which stage each asset is currently at, you can help speed things along if the process has stalled. In addition, you can calculate the average time that you spend at each stage, and work to shorten the stages that are unnecessarily long.

3. Lack of collaboration

Reviews and feedback are an often overlooked part of creative operations processes. In many cases, there is a lack of structure to pass feedback back and forth and to ensure that this feedback is taken into account.

For example, different teams within an organization may use different project management tools (such as Trello vs. Jira). This causes “communication silos,” making it harder for everyone to get on the same page.

Whenever possible, all employees should use a universally agreed upon method for team and interteam communication and collaboration.

4. Lack of data

Data-driven organizations enjoy a major competitive advantage. Without the right data in hand, you’re forced to operate using only your feelings and intuitions. For example, you would be unable to justify decisions such as:

  • Which technology purchases you should make
  • Which creative assets are better for a given marketing campaign
  • Which departments require additional staff or resources

Making the wrong choices here can spell disaster for your business. If you don’t hire enough staff members for a given department, for example, the current employees may burn out due to overwork, resulting in large amounts of churn. Conversely, having clear, accurate, data-driven insights will help you make better, more informed decisions about how to improve your processes.

Once you have this data in hand, it’s extremely important to maintain and safeguard it. Using master data management (MDM) practices will ensure that you always have a single point of reference for accurate, consistent, up-to-date information. In addition, you should implement a solid backup strategy, so that you can continue business operations in the event of disaster or data loss.

5. Inaccurate forecasts

The lack of adequate data isn’t just harmful when making immediate decisions; it also causes poorer, less accurate business forecasts.

Without knowing how long your creative process takes, for example, it can be hard to provide accurate time and budget estimates for your next project. You’ll also find it more difficult to anticipate roadblocks along the way. As a result, you may take on work that’s unsuitable for your creative team (without being aware of that fact).

Unfortunately, while 90 percent of companies agree that forecasting is important to their business, only 13 percent believe that they’re truly effective at it. The remedy here is the same as the previous problem: using the right software for data-driven reports, analytics, and forecasting. Consulting with a third-party technology expert can be highly valuable if you need help with where to begin.


In general, the solution to the 5 problems above can be summed up as follows: all employees should know what their roles and responsibilities are, and how they will contribute to the organization’s success. In turn, it’s your responsibility to provide them the data, assets, and collaboration tools that they need to excel at their jobs.

Want to learn more about how to make your creative processes more efficient and productive? Check out our complete guide “Welcome to the Age of Creative Operations.”

Understanding Your Creative Operations


About Martyn Cook

Martyn Cook, Client Solutions Director, IO Integration is an influential strategist with the demonstrated ability to communicate, present, and influence credibly and effectively at all levels of a customer’s organization from C-Level to end user. Providing a consultative and analytical sales approach I am able to advise on industry trends, opportunities and challenges impacting customers whilst offering a solution.

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