Digital Dilemmas for Creative Teams and How to Overcome Them

By Robert Half November 16, 2017 at 8:30am

In today’s business world, it’s nearly impossible to come across a creative or marketing campaign that doesn’t include a digital component. Needless to say, companies need to go digital to survive. But without the right people and strategies in place, it’s an uphill battle.

To help creative and marketing teams tackle common barriers to digital innovation at their companies, The Creative Group did some investigative work. Partnering with AIGA, the professional association for design, and Graphic Design USA, we surveyed nearly 600 creative and marketing professionals with hiring authority to find out their greatest challenges and pain points. We also spoke with industry leaders at A+E Networks, General Electric Co., IBM Watson and Microsoft to understand how they approach digital projects and uncover best practices for other creative and marketing teams.

Following are some highlights from our new white paper, Step Up Your Digital Game: Lessons From In-House Creative Teams.

Room for growth

More than half of creative and marketing professionals (55 percent) rated their organization’s digital marketing strategy as fair or poor. And only 29 percent said their company has a dedicated digital team that is responsible for planning, executing and evaluating digital marketing initiatives.

Hiring hurdles

A majority (71 percent) of creative and marketing professionals said it’s challenging to find talent with strong digital expertise. When asked what technical skills are most lacking on their teams, the top responses were:

  1. Data science, data analysis and A/B testing
  2. Web and user experience (UX) design
  3. Content creation and content marketing
  4. Search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing

Too overworked to innovate

Many creative and marketing professionals revealed they’re putting in overtime. Nearly one-third of respondents (31 percent) said they work more than 50 hours a week, and nearly half (47 percent) feel they work more hours than colleagues in other departments.

Help wanted

Most professionals reported that their teams are understaffed, which no doubt impacts their ability to produce impactful digital campaigns. Seventy percent of creative professionals said they’re shorthanded and would most like to hire professionals who specialize in web design and production and print design and production. Sixty-four percent of marketers also feel stretched thin and would most like hire people with digital marketing strategy, SEO and SEM expertise.

As the research shows, a crucial component to digital marketing success is hiring the right team players, but finding skilled digital professionals can be difficult for employers. Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group, stresses how important it is to move quickly when you find a great candidate.

“A primary challenge for many creative and marketing teams looking to expand their digital capabilities is finding people with the right hard and soft skills and a passion for problem solving,” she said. “Top digital talent is rare in today’s competitive employment market. When hiring managers come across promising candidates, they need to move quickly and be prepared to negotiate salary and perks or risk losing them to competing offers.”

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