For those in the creative fields, anticipating and adapting to change — from the tools they’re using at work to the people they’re interacting with to the audiences they’re targeting — has become part and parcel of the job. A new research guide, The Creative Team of the Future, explores key trends shaping the marketing and design fields, and how industry professionals can prepare for and capitalize on upcoming changes.
The guide is part of a new research project, which also includes video interviews with leading creative thinkers, that was co-developed by The Creative Group and the American Advertising Federation (AAF). For the project, The Creative Group and the AAF surveyed more than 500 AAF Ad Club and corporate members, interviewed industry thought leaders and conducted exclusive research to assess how marketing and design teams may operate in the next three to five years.
– Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of AAF Ad Club and corporate members said creative professionals will have more influence on their companies’ business decisions in the future. Fittingly, one-third of survey respondents cited problem-solving skills as the most useful trait for creative professionals to develop.
– More than six in 10 respondents (62 per cent) said they expect creative professionals to work more hours over the next several years. In addition, an overwhelming 85 per cent said they anticipate being more connected to the office outside of business hours by 2016.
– As collaboration tools become more accessible and affordable for creative teams, employers may offer their staff the ability to telecommute more frequently during the work week. In fact, 84 per cent of respondents said a greater number of creative professionals will work remotely in the next three to five years.
– In today’s global marketplace, collaboration often means working with people in different countries and marketing to a multicultural audience. But the colleagues sitting next to you will likely become more varied, too: Eighty-two per cent of respondents said they expect creative teams to become more culturally diverse.
– Two-thirds of survey respondents said spending on mobile-related projects will increase significantly in the next three to five years; another 28 per cent said it would increase somewhat. Further, 34 per cent of AAF Ad Club and corporate members said mobile will be the most influential advertising medium over the same period.
Design and marketing professionals are holding more sway in their organizations as companies recognize they can do more than develop eye-pleasing designs and catchy ad campaigns. The ability to think outside the box and pitch ideas effectively will become essential for creative professionals in the near future.
“Organizations are increasingly turning to their marketing and creative teams for help generating ideas and solutions that solve business problems, improve customer service and, ultimately, grow the bottom line,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group.
While smartphones, laptops, tablets and other communications tools provide employees greater flexibility, they also have made it more difficult for creative professionals to unplug from the office. “Mobile devices certainly free us up to work where we want, when we want, but they also blur the boundaries between our personal and professional lives,” said Farrugia. “Finding ‘me’ time on your calendar to relax or enjoy a hobby will become as important as juggling on-the-job deadlines and meetings.”
Creative professionals are interacting with more people than ever before, working with colleagues in different departments — and even different organizations — to concept, develop and execute multifaceted campaigns. Managing relationships with freelancers or business partners located in different cities, states or countries also will become more common. Consequently, the ability to communicate effectively with people across and outside an organization, who may or may not be familiar with design or marketing terminology, will be crucial.
“Being flexible is key to surviving and thriving in the creative industry of the future,” said Farrugia. “Professionals with an open mindset — who are willing to embrace new tools, consumer trends and work processes — will be in the best position to move their careers and businesses forward.”
To download a complimentary copy of The Creative Team of the Future, watch video interviews or find more information about the research project, please visit the study’s information page.