Creative Operations 2023 Survey – Early Preview of Our Findings!

The creative operations 2023 survey is officially complete! We had more than 100 creative leaders from a variety of backgrounds join the #CreativeOps2023 conversation. The breakdown of respondents included brands (26%), agencies (45%), inhouse agencies (26%), and a handful of freelancers (3%). Additionally, there where small businesses and agencies, global organisations, and everything in between represented within a diverse spectrum of companies.

What do creatives need most to be thrive in 2023?

In the State of Creative Operations 2023 report we will detail the tools, ways of working, mindsets, and principles that makes creative teams tick. Since our first report in 2018, there’s been a 30% increase in the number of creatives employing a project management solution. Are Excel and spreadsheets finally nearing their natural end? The numbers would suggest there is still life in the old school method yet!

Talent is the lifeblood of any creative outlet. However, only a third of respondents have a system in place to manage people and their time! Is this connected to the large number of creative teams that admit they’re struggling to appropriately staff their team? In addition to technologies, we’ll also reveal what stimulates creativity the most. Is it your workspace, supporting tools, colleagues, or job satisfaction?

Are creatives worried about the economy?

It feels like marketers and creatives are always under pressure. It’s not too long ago that we had to overcome so many challenges related to the pandemic. Now, we’re looking at new economic challenges. Regular readers of business and marketing publications will notice that negative narratives tend to outnumber optimistic articles today. However, the most substantial opinion is from the people on the ground.

The direction of our creative network is encouraging. Only 9% of respondents expect their team to downsize in 2023. This is in addition to 55% of companies surveyed that revealed they grew their creative operation in 2022. In spite of the negative headlines, it looks like the outlook is much more positive than you’d be led to believe.

Do we need an office anymore?

Our creative operations survey in 2021 found almost 60% of people were working fully remote. Interestingly, this has dropped to 23% in our latest research. Many companies downsized offices or reviewed leasing agreements when remote work became the norm. However, it looks like more and more creatives are now returning to the office, at least on a part time basis.

In the full report, we will share a comprehensive breakdown of work environments and desired outcomes for creatives. Subsequently, you will find out if your company’s ways of working are normal or unique.

Have creatives fully adopted AI in daily work?

AI is not a new phenomenon for creatives, but the last year has seen remarkable developments in the space. Not long after AI assisted imagery landed, ChatGPT casually popped it’s head up and changed our lives forever. In the State of Creative Operations, we reveal how many creative teams are leaning on AI generative imagery, using ChatGPT to write content, utilising DCO, and taking advantage of AI powered talent management. The results indicate that adoption of new AI technologies is proving more difficult than hoped for creative teams.

How to sign up for The State of Creative Operations in 2023

Already signed up to the Screendragon newsletter? Then you don’t need to anything. We’ll let you know when the report is live and ready for consumption. Those that helped with survey submissions will receive an early invite to download the report so keep an eye on your inbox in late April!

Screendragon join the ANA to strengthen client-agency relationships in 2023

We are delighted to reveal that Screendragon will sponsor the 2023 Advertising Financial Management Conference! This is Screendragon’s fourth year partnering with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

If you’re joining the hybrid event, then make sure to visit Screendragon’s virtual booth or check out our marketing planning and agency management solution. You can follow the event conversation online using the #ANAAFM hashtag. Alternatively, you can still join the event by getting your ANA ticket here!

Driving value in a challenging climate

The ANA event agenda will focus on four key areas for maximising advertising agency value in 2023 – cost saving, change management, client agency relationships, sustainability, and quality of output.

Consequently, leading brands will learn about the latest methods to boost agency performance and value delivery. In a challenging economic climate, brands are under pressure to prove ROI for their investments. As a result, brands are reviewing agency relationships and making sure the foundations are in place for a maximum performance from all parties.

How does Screendragon help agencies control costs?

Screendragon’s centralised hub enables brands to manage, track and report on agency scopes, fees, and contracts. This enables global organisations to optimise their agency delivery model to generate cost savings, productivity gains, and operational efficiencies. Screendragon clients have lauded the ability to collaborate better on scopes, deliverables & staffing plans.

See our agency financial management solution in action!

If you’d like to see how Screendragon transforms advertising financial management then schedule a quick demo of our solution here. Alternatively, you can send a question to our sales team by emailing

Laying the foundation for best-of-breed agency management at Platform Media

Screendragon would like to welcome Platform Media to our growing list of innovative independent agencies. The Belfast based multi-service agency is “A creative family of specialist media & technology companies that build brands, audiences & prestige digital programming”.

Platform Media will use Screendragon’s agency management software to optimise the briefing process, employ Screendragon’s award winning resource management capabilities, and make the approval process simple and secure.

What does Creative Operations look like in 2023?

Project management and resource management tools were the most popular solutions when we last surveyed the creative operations industry. The year was 2021 and the pandemic was still top-of-mind. In the same survey, we learned that half our respondents had implemented new software that year to help manage creative work. Maybe that was related to the 66% of creatives that revealed workloads were on the rise?

After a brief hiatus for 2022, the State of Creative Operations survey is back. This year’s report will pull pack the curtain on the creative workspace and find out what makes teams tick in 2023. On that note, it’s time to see what the post COVID creative operations industry looks like.

What is the industry outlook?

We want to know what the creative landscape looks in 2023. Did your team hire new staff in 2022? Or did your team downsize? Additionally, we will plot the course for the year ahead looking at hiring plans, freelancer usage, and offshoring regularity. Rumours of recession and downsizing have afflicted the creative operations discourse for the last 12 months. However, we are seeing positive signs from the market too. So, is it time for creatives to tighten the belt or loosen the screw?

How are creatives working in 2023?

How much time do creatives still spend on non-creative work? We’ll be answering this question to see whether respondents have found ways to prioritise their creative efforts since our last survey. For example in 2021, 25% of creatives spent more than 2 days per week on non-creative work. That’s more than 40% of the working week dedicated to tasks that do not help creative output.

What’s more, we’ll also be examining creative stimulants, most common challenges, contemporary workspaces, and more. Find out what how creative work is produced in 2023, what helps it flourish, and what can inhibit it.

What are the most common communication practices?

The State of Creative Operations in 2023 will examine how creative teams are communicating, sharing ideas, submitting briefs, and collaborating with partners. Are creatives still using the same communication channels as before? What’s the most common form of receiving a brief?

Furthermore, we will find out if collaboration is easier or more difficult in 2023. We found that many creative teams struggled in 2021 to communicate effectively while working remotely. Has the creative world fully adapted to remote collaboration?

What technologies are creatives reliant on?

The creative tech stack is continually evolving as the industry embraces automation and systemic processes. On that note, we will find out what technologies are essential for creative teams in 2023. Is work management software now ubiquitous? Do any creatives still depend on old school Excel and Email methods? Lastly, we are very interested to see whether AI has become a part of the creative toolkit in 2023.