Add Creative Director To The Endangered Species List

Three decades ago, every agency had a creative director role, often filled by someone best described as “eclectic.” What other personality type could possibly generate the big ideas that fulfilled clients’ needs? As a copywriter, I was paired with an art director. Together, we generated and executed concepts based on the creative director’s visions. How times have changed. Back then, advertising was the lion’s share of our work. Now, unless an agency focuses mainly on consumer packaged goods, traditional advertising creative makes up only a small portion of the mix -- or doesn’t occur at all. Clients care about measurements and the monitoring of their return on investment, leads and sales. Huge campaigns have fallen by the wayside. Beyond a doubt, creative is no longer king. It’s been dethroned in favor of strategy and content. In fact, by this time next year, content marketing will be a $300 billion industry, a figure I suspect has creative directors shaking in their boots. It seems the creative director position is headed for rapid extinction. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does require that all agencies accept today’s agency realities to align staff with expected outcomes. In other words, it necessitates change -- something that can be terrifying initially but ultimately freeing and profitable. Re-examining The Mix In Modern Agencies Visit any older-style agency that hasn’t changed its staffing ratios -- likely because of senior staff members who have been on board for 10 or more years -- and you’ll see one writer for every art director, an unacceptable proportion in an era that calls for two to three writers per art director. At the same time, you’ll find a traditional creative director orchestrating everything by coming [...]

How the Creative Director Role is Changing in the Digital Age

Our industry isn’t just changing, it’s evolving. What we offer clients, how we’re measuring success and the tools we use are all constantly changing. While the changes are helping us grow our agencies and future proof our businesses – it also means some painful changes to how we’re structured. The biggest change I am seeing within agencies is the shift in how we use the creative director role. I’m seeing more and more agencies realigning their agencies to meet the current demands of today and more often than not, that doesn’t include a traditional creative director.   Creative directors have played a significant role in agencies since their inception but now, out of necessity, they are morphing into all sorts of new roles. Join me as I detail out the changes that agencies are making to revamp their creative director roles such as: Why the days where creative led agencies have passed and why creative has been replaced by strategy, content, and lead gen The shortage of writers compared to the abundance of art directors and why that’s a pretty big issue for agencies Why the creative director role isn’t in that high of demand anymore, and what traditional creative directors look like in the agencies that have them Administrative, account service, and creative services: the three departments that make up most agencies today The triad of leadership - a writer, art director, and digital producer form to lead the creative services department in lieu of a creative director Why you don’t usually even need to produce spec creative for a pitch anymore Figuring out which roles inside your agency you still need Allocating funds from cut positions elsewhere to serve your clients better Drew [...]

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