Distributed Creative: How to Do More with Less

So, I’ve had an on-going argument with a CMO friend of mine. He believes that to get a lot of high quality creative work done, teams need to work in person, and I strongly believe he’s wrong.

I believe that with the right structure a hybrid system of a few strategic in-house creatives with a creative team working remotely is the better strategy.

So to settle our gentlemen’s feud, we went out and asked 20 creative leaders - CMO’s, Creative Directors, and Product Leaders - of Fortune 500 brands like Colgate, Google and Starbucks.

We asked them two questions: what are their top 3 challenges today? And which strategy, in-house vs hybrid, makes more sense strategically right now?

Here’s what they said.

Top challenges:

1. Every brand is cutting people costs somewhere.
2. Creative work output is staying the same and leaders need to produce more with less.
3. It’s hard to attract and retain the best people right now.

And as for the strategy, 19 out of the 20 said hybrid is a better strategy right now. I won the bet…and a got a nice pat on the back.

Ok, so I never had a feud with one CMO friend :) I combined my conversations with hundreds of creative leaders over the last few years to make a point.

A point that the most innovative creative leaders understand:.

That in a remote world, a distributed creative team allows you to do more with less.

You still create a high level strategy in-house, but the rest of the output is executed with distributed, global creative teams.

Something like this:

Here’s why the distributed creative model is effective:

1. Speed: You get faster creative output with skilled teams dedicated to your brand.
2. Flexibility: You can scale up and down as needed.
3. Cost: Pay only for the skills you need, no unnecessary overhead.

Right now, as leaders dealing with budget cuts and the great resignation, you can’t take your foot off the gas, it’s time to be even more creative. And distributed creative teams could allow you to do a lot more with less.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading. Keep making an impact in the world with a little creativity :)

Talk soon,

Ronnie Kwesi Coleman

Ps. If you hate the idea or had success with distributed creative teams I’d love to hear your story. Send me a note at Ronnie@meaningfulgigs.com.

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