2022 can be the year for untapping opportunity

Creative work is no longer the remit of design, it spans every department, and is instrumental in enabling a successful customer journey. Creatives may no longer have to fight for their seat at the table, but Adobe’s The Future of Creative Experiences research reveals they do have to fight for the time to do what they do best — creating experiences that earn trust, lifetime loyalty with customers, as well as great business outcomes.

New research* revealing an untapped opportunity for businesses looking to achieve competitive differentiation, by empowering their creative teams with the time and flexibility to succeed. The Future of Creative Experiences research shows that creatives only spend 29% of their working day on creative tasks, and are preoccupied with administrative work processes such as project management, managing review/request cycles, meetings, and admin work.

The research also revealed that while the majority (95%) of respondents believe their organisation provides great experiences that meet customer expectations, many feel their business is falling short on competitive differentiation – only 22% of creatives feel their digital marketing and branding sets them apart from the competition.

Jada Balster, head of International marketing at Adobe Workfront, said: “There is a clear and significant, untapped opportunity to gain a competitive edge by enabling creative teams to reach their full potential. The onus is on creative and marketing leaders to invest in technologies – like work management applications – that transform work practices, reduce unnecessary noise and distractions, connect them with the information and context to do their best work, and allow them to stay connected, while continuing to use the tools that they love.”

Creativity can happen anywhere
Understandably, the vast majority (85%) of creatives have experienced a change to their working environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many businesses are committed to empowering creative teams with the right work conditions to succeed. The research shows that creatives possess a range of options to best suit their individual needs: currently, less than a third (30%) of creatives work in the office full-time, 31% work from home – while the biggest portion of creatives (39%) operate in a hybrid setting (mix of remote and in-office).

Looking further ahead, a third (33%) of creatives expect to return to the office full-time in the near future, while 46% predict they will operate in a hybrid working environment. However, only 15% say they will be permitted to choose how they work – whether in-office, hybrid, or at home.

Creatives value collaboration, crave context
When asked about their most important factors to consider as working conditions shift, respondents ranked creative collaboration (44%), managing workflows (38%), and collaboration between teams across numerous locations (37%) as their top priorities.

However, creative teams do face some key challenges when it comes to delivering work effectively and efficiently, chiefly around feedback and context on the impact and effectiveness of their work. The primary hurdles are:

  • Not enough time to meet deadlines (32%)
  • Lack of feedback on results from previous creative work (30%)
  • Budget constraints (28%)
  • Lack of feedback on pre-launch/publication work (28%).

Creativity important across the whole business, but better collaboration required
With creativity spanning all four corners of the business, creative teams spend much of their time interacting with other different teams and departments – as the data shows, most often marketing (67%), advertising (30%), product management (26%), and business operations (25%).

However, despite the fact that marketing dominates so much of creative teams’ time, only half of creatives (47%) say they are ‘very well aligned’, with 51% saying they are ‘somewhat well aligned’, showing there is still room for improvement between creative and marketing teams.


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