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 demo@screendragon.com.

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.

We’re exhibiting at Creative Operations London 2023!

Creative Operations London - Screendragon to Sponsor

Screendragon is delighted to announce its sponsorship of Henry Stewart’s Creative Operations 2023 event. The biggest brands and global agencies will gather in London on 10th March for Europe’s largest creative operations conference. On this occasion, agency client relationships, return on investment, production models, and brand management are all on the agenda for Creative Operations in 2023.

Focus on Operational Excellence

If you’re joining the event, then pop by Booth 13 to meet the Screendragon team! Hear about how Screendragon revolutionises creative operations at global agency networks and Fortune 500 brands. “It’s more important than ever to deliver operational excellence in the ecosystem in which we are operating.” In short, that was how the World Federation of Advertisers summed up the state of creative operations in 2022. This theme will be at the core of the Creative Operations 2023 agenda. Indeed, operational excellence has been at the core of Screendragon’s mission for 15 years. So, what exactly is Screendragon?

Rocket Fuel for Creative Operations

Screendragon is a project, resource and workflow management solution. We built our software with creatives in mind and designed it for high performing teams. Our simple UI makes it easy for non technical users to adopt and learn the system. Screendragon helps creative teams find new ways to increase collaboration, boost productivity and maintain compliance. Furthermore, Screendragon removes silos and reduces duplication of efforts and costs. This means that creative teams can spend more of their time and budget doing what they do best – being creative!

See More of Screendragon

Want to learn more about Screendragon? Book a 30-minute product introduction with our expert team today. Alternatively, you can arrange to meet us at Creative Operations London by emailing sales@screendragon.com!

Credera and Screendragon announce Marketing Transformation Alliance

Credera, a global, boutique consulting firm, and Screendragon, a project management and workflow automation platform specializing in the needs of brands and agencies, are excited to announce a new strategic alliance to help transform marketing operations and prepare organizations for 2023 and beyond.

This new partnership between Credera and Screendragon will help Credera’s clients achieve better marketing outcomes through increased efficiency and enhanced customer experiences.

As businesses move to digital-first marketing strategies, marketers are demanding tools that will enable them to design and manage omnichannel customer experiences with fluid alignment among all their marketing partners. Screendragon’s award-winning technology transforms marketing operations through a combination of features; marketing planning and project management, resource management, content workflow automation, and compliance intelligence. These capabilities, combined with Credera’s deep experience in program management, change leadership, and modern marketing transformation will empower clients to create impactful connected customer experiences with personalized content produced at speed.

Credera’s partnership with Screendragon will further aid how we serve our clients in making an extraordinary impact for their customers” said Josh Nicholson, managing director and head of MarTech and marketing transformation at Credera UK. “Credera is uniquely positioned to maximize Screendragon’s impact through its relationships with chief marketing officers and chief information officers and Credera’s renowned expertise in marketing technology implementation.

In a post-COVID world, more companies are facing margin pressure and a need to unlock productivity from a hybrid workforce as they drive digital transformation.  Within this environment, Screendragon is increasingly the go-to-partner for unleashing talent, optimizing marketing processes, and getting a higher return on investment from marketing efforts” said Fergus Ashe, Chief Commercial Officer at Screendragon. “With Credera’s vast experience in MarTech implementation and their proven change management capability, we’re excited about the impact that Screendragon and Credera’s partnership will have on Screendragon and Credera clients.

Learn more about Credera and Screendragon’s partnership here or reach out to Credera at findoutmore@credera.com.


About Credera

Credera is a consulting firm focused on strategy, transformation, data, and technology. As a part of Omnicom Precision Marketing Group, our more than 4,000 consultants across the globe partner with clients ranging from long-time market leaders to emerging companies from strategy to execution to create tangible business results. Credera’s deep business acumen and technical expertise, combined with a deep dedication to building trusted relationships, unlocks extraordinary business performance for our clients. Our mission is to make an extraordinary impact for our clients, people, and communities.


About Screendragon

Screendragon is a workflow automation platform that seamlessly manages projects, people, data and content from origination to delivery. With more than 20 years’ experience in the marketing space, Screendragon is a pioneer in helping brands and agencies find better ways to work together internally and externally. Screendragon’s unique no-code workflow engine enables teams to simplify their processes, improve compliance and better plan their people and projects. Screendragon technology is proven to help customers achieve transformational improvements in growth, productivity, and profitability, from small independent agencies to global organizations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  Screendragon’s award winning technology was recently ranked the #1 solution in the Resource Management and Professional Services Automation categories for Enterprises by G2.

Driving marketing automation across Africa for ABSA Bank

Screendragon are delighted to reveal our latest exceptional global financial services client. With a history dating back to the early 1900s,  ABSA Bank is one of the oldest and largest financial services providers in Africa. Headquartered in Johannesburg, the South-African based financial services group has offices in eight African countries providing financial services to more than a dozen African markets.

The ABSA marketing team will use Screendragon’s marketing workflow automation to streamline operations and connect marketing processes across their business units. ABSA’s motto is “forging a new way of getting things done, driven by bravery and passion, with the readiness to realise the possibilities on our continent and beyond.”

Unstuck: Top Five Tips for 2023

It’s been a memorable first year for the Unstuck podcast! More than 4,000 people tuned in across 21 countries. Broadcasting to our 4,000 strong community were 38 marvellous guests. They generously shared their experiences and offered invaluable advice. We had entrepreneurs, CMOs, agency leaders, sports stars, food buffs and more. To help compile the top takeaways from our first group of guests, we’ve produced our top tips for 2023. We reviewed every episode, identified the most important messages, and found five core ideas that stood out.

1 – Start with insights

Being marketers, we often focus a lot of effort and headspace on delivering content as fast as we can. The market is demanding and the number of channels to reach them is constantly increasing. However, before we strategise about creative concepts, content types, and channels, we need to study the data. Dr Marcus Collins (our Hip Hop Doctor!) reminded us that every story starts with data and being aware of its significance. The doctor determines that “It begins with insights, what are insights? Insights are converting facts into meaning.”

In order to create expressive content and campaigns we need to be able to translate our insights into meaningful information. Simon Francis, CEO of Flock, felt that the best method of data analysis was to ‘hunt the edges’. This meant looking at the ‘edges’ of datasets, in the areas you don’t usually explore. By discovering and analysing new data you can open a world of opportunity for different journeys. Of course, it’s critically important that you know how to interpret the information once you find it. In the words of Emma Montgomery, CEO at Leo Burnett, “When I was doing deep analysis for media and research I would ask ‘What do the numbers tell me?’ rather than ‘What are the numbers?’” So, when you’re developing your marketing strategy and content plans for 2023, make sure you begin with exploring and understanding the data!

2 – Pivot and Reinvent

Regular listeners will be very aware of the importance of being able to pivot. Our third guest on Unstuck was Amanda Lannert, CEO of Jellyvision. Gamers will be familiar with Amanda’s company as they once developed video games on CD-ROMs. When the CD-ROM business died, Jellyvision had to completely reinvent itself as a B2B tech agency. In Amanda’s words “pivoting is life or death.” She reminded listeners how important culture is within the transformation process. Sarah Hofstetter, President at Profitero, described this process as ‘selective destruction.’ Companies often iterate in minor increments, but Amanda and Sarah believe this is too risk averse. Sometimes we need to pick out areas that are not performing and rewrite the rules. So don’t be afraid to rip it all up in 2023 and start again!

Emma Montgomery was also an advocate of reinvention. She insisted it’s more risky to stay on the same course than chart a new one. “Getting stuck isn’t always a bad thing. When you get stuck – ask why? We’re not growing – why?.”

It’s critically important for your company to be able to pivot and reinvent. However, it’s just as important that you can develop your own personal story too. In the words of Sarah Hofstetter “don’t be afraid to pivot or completely change course in your working life. You need different chapters.” The enlightened Rishad Tobaccowala had a similar idea “remember your career is long. Try to make sure you don’t get stuck for too long. Constantly reinvent yourself by doing new things.” On this note, why not make 2023 the year you revise your company, marketing, or personal playbook?

3 – Keep compassion at the core

When it comes to talent management, the first component is compassion. Before tuning up resource management, skills profiling, and job matching, you need to make your team feel important and appreciated. Beth Ann Kaminkow, Global Chief Executive Officer of VMLY&R Commerce, summed this idea up for listeners, “My secret ingredient for unlocking talent is ‘loverage.’ I’ve always led with love. That means every transformation comes from a place of love.”

Trish Thomas and Nichole Wilson became our first repeat guests on the podcast. They came back to tell us the story of Every Body Eat and why the name is so significant. Humanity and compassion are at the core of the company’s culture. Trish and Nichole have used their food enterprise as an engine to give opportunity and education to disadvantaged areas. Furthermore, their compassion extends to providing second chances to people that may not get them elsewhere. Trish proudly stated, “At Every Body Eat, your past does not dictate your future with us.” Every Body Eat provide a job, life hacks, and growth opportunities for their devoted team.

Once they became business owners, Trish and Nichole could “see the systems and processes that hold inequities in place, and dismantle them from our side.” Another guest that is breaking down barriers to lift people up is Samantha Kolkey. She is the Executive Director at Options for College Success. Samantha is a neuro diverse leader that is leading an entirely neuro diverse organisation. Compassion drives understanding about neuro diversities and unique talents. “The neurodiverse model focuses on there not being a right way of thinking. We must remember that everyone is wired differently. There’s vulnerability to the term neuro divergence. However, when you say it as a matter of fact, it’s accepted.”

4 – Purpose begins within

We often hear of the importance of purpose-driven marketing. Brands that practice purpose driven marketing are those that openly put core values at the forefront. But how can you create content and campaigns that are captivating if your own work is lacking purpose? The purpose driven philosophy begins within the walls of the office (or virtual space). We need to be able to find purpose at work and feel connected to our endeavors. Rishad Tobaccowala shared a thoughtful message with listeners. “Life is a journey through time in search of meaning. Therefore, you need to find meaning at work.”

This narrative continued when we were introduced to a C-suite exec from Atlanta. Craig Robinson reminded us that we need to make an impact through our work. Fulfillment comes from belonging and we are all compelled to leave our stamp. He passionately remarked, “If I’m not here tomorrow, did I make a difference? Did I leave a mark on a corporation? Does my employer care about me? What was my purpose?”

5 – Don’t accept the odds

The final lesson of Unstuck in 2022 is an important one. Do not accept that you’re not good enough, or the right fit, or not from the ideal background. Several of our inspiring guests defeated the odds to be where they are today. We learned about poverty, societal chains, dangerous environments, and life threatening illness. All of these adversities were overcome by Unstuck guests which reminds us that anything is possible.

We mentioned Craig Robinson in our previous section. Craig climbed to the top of the real estate ladder against the odds. Growing up in a disadvantaged Atlanta neighbourhood it was unlikely he would break out of societal shackles. He went on to graduate from Harvard and became a successful C-level executive. Another inspiring Harvard graduate was introduced in episode 37. Mawi Asgedom’s first education was a refugee camp in Sudan. Who would have thought that this war displaced asylum seeker would give a commencement speech at Harvard? Our Unstuck guests overcame life threatening circumstances too. Gina Jacobson was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer four years ago. She beat the odds and the doctor’s diagnoses to be here today. Gina leads Starcom Worldwide and continues to create special work while defying expectations.

Hey presto, we’ve concluded the Unstuck 2022 recap and shared our most important tips from guests. We hope you’ve learned as much as we have this year. Please come back and join us in 2023 for more inspiring stories and practical advice!

UnstuckWrapped 2022

A robust agency operations solution for Bulletproof!

Screendragon is thrilled to welcome Bulletproof to our client list of superstar independent agencies. Set up in 1998, the now 300 strong agency is “a creative force, run by creatives to put a dent in corporate business conventions and vanquish design mediocrity”.

The global design innovator has offices in London, New York, Singapore, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Shanghai.Bulletproof will utilise Screendragon’s agency management software to develop operational excellence as the company continues to grow and scale worldwide. If you’d like to see some of Bulletproof’s amazing work, then check out their portfolio here!

Want to learn more about Screendragon’s agency management solution? You can book a time that suits for a 30 minute product preview.

Screendragon named leader in b.telligent MRM overview

b.telligent MRM Leader Header - LP

Screendragon have been named a leader in the Marketing Resource Management (MRM) overview by b.telligent – a technology-independent consultancy specializing in analytics and data management.

The Munich based consultancy surveyed clients relating to MRM challenges and reviewed 22 vendors in the MRM space for their 2023 market review. To help select vendors, b.telligent evaluated performance by potential participants on Gartner, Forrester, and other market reports. The survey and review focused on six core product areas: Modularity, Planning, Digital Asset Management, Data Management, Workflow Management, and Reporting.

The main MRM challenges outlined by b.telligent clients related to:

  • No overview of campaign status or tasks
  • Manual, error-prone workflows
  • Separate data storage in silos
  • Time-consuming search and administration
  • Inflexible workflow processes
  • No overview of budget planning

We’re happy to affirm that Screendragon is the perfect solution to the MRM pain points experienced above! Meanwhile, here is a summary of b.telligent’s MRM overview:

Modularity

b.telligent’s modularity evaluation focused on whether the solution was developed in-house, readiness of out-of-the box modules, multi-client operation, and flexibility to adapt to individual requirements.

Screendragon’s configurability and comprehensive feature set scored highly in the marketing resource management modularity evaluation. This included acclaim for Project Management, Resource Management, Budget Management, and Digital Asset Library modules. b.telligent concluded; “The solution offers multi-client capability allowing agencies to manage several different clients. Also, Screendragon can be configured very flexibly. This is done through the creation of individual fields, workflows, and metadata information.”

Planning

The planning evaluation for MRM covered campaign management, budgeting, and resource planning. Screendragon has powerful planning capabilities including a real time resource calendar, drag ‘n’ drop scheduling, talent profiles, utilization tracking, and capacity planning.

b.telligent’s market overview highlighted Screendragon’s capabilities in the following: “Forms and templates can be created, and their fields individually configured. A marketing calendar is a standard feature. Furthermore, project, budget, and resource planning (e.g., capacity view) are all available”.

Digital Asset Management

When analysing DAM capabilities, b.telligent’s marketing resource management overview focused on import, tagging, search, historicization and export functions as well as asset-related rights control. Although Screendragon is not a native DAM vendor, it can provide multiple digital asset management features that are important for marketing teams.

Leveraging workflow automation, approved content can be automatically published to a Screendragon digital asset library. Additionally, the metadata associated with the asset can also be auto populated into the library. This is what b.telligent said about Screendragon’s DAM capabilities “In brief, Screendragon’s standard features include an integrated DAM (via a digital asset library) with a marketing playbook, metadata maintenance and import options via API.”

Data Management

The data management for evaluation for MRM vendors considered a solution’s capability in terms of data loading, connectors, export options, metadata, and security. Screendragon’s hosting environment and service levels are enterprise-class and perfect. Intelligent permission controls ensure that people only receive or view data that is meant to be seen by that individual or group.

Furthermore, you can also integrate with 1000’s of apps including Office365, Google Drive, SAP, PeopleSoft, MS Dynamics and more. “For example, data connections can be realized via API, csv, custom ingest and through standard integrations via the zapier integration platform. Also, ERP systems (e.g., SAP) and external DAM systems can be connected. Data exports via xls, pdf and sFTP are possible. On top of that, a form builder allows effective management of metadata.”

Workflow Management

The areas of workflow management that b.telligent’s evaluation focused on were functional scope, collaboration functions, hierarchies, templates, automation, and customization. Screendragon is a workflow software platform that combines powerful functionality with friendly UI. In short, it is one of the most configurable platforms on the market. As a result, this enables customization of UX, forms, workflows, dashboards, and reports.

b.telligent summarised Screendragon’s workflow as “Complex workflows can be flexibly configured with the help of a powerful workflow builder. A Gantt chart of all activities including interdependencies is available (project portfolio overview). Accordingly, the messaging functionality can be used at all process levels.”

Reporting & Analytics

The reporting and analytics section analysed the ability to monitor and alert through reports, dashboards, and notifications. On top of that, flexibility of reporting and analytics were also important during evaluation. Screendragon makes reporting and analytics a breeze as it automatically prepares key data for you.

You can create your own personalized portfolio views with key KPI project data and schedule reports to be emailed to key stakeholders at specific dates and times. B.telligent concluded “Reports can be freely configured with a report builder. Also, individual fields can be integrated into reports. Alerting functions are available.”

Would you like to learn more about Screendragon’s MRM software? If so, you can schedule a short demo with us here!

Greetings, Hallmark!

Screendragon are proud to add Hallmark to our list of world famous brands using Screendragon’s creative operations management solution. The much loved card company was founded in 1910 and is the largest manufacturer of greetings cards in the United States. Today, Hallmark generates more than 19,000 new and redesigned greeting cards and related products per year.

The Hallmark creative team will use Screendragon’s transformational software to streamline creative operations and supercharge marketing processes. Greetings, Hallmark – it’s great to have you onboard!