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The Disconnect Between Marketing and Creative Teams

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Marketers vs. creatives: each group's view of its own performance is rosier than the other's view of it, especially regarding the delivery of final content that meets expectations and the provision of actionable feedback, according to a recent report from Visually.

The report was based on data from a survey of 220 marketers and 559 creatives (defined as writers, designers, and developers who create content for marketers).

Some 68% of the creatives surveyed say they succeed in delivering content that meets expectations. However, only 46% of the marketers surveyed say the creatives they work with consistently develop content that is up to par.

On the other side, 55% of marketers surveyed say they are good at giving actionable feedback, whereas only 36% of creatives say they receive high-quality feedback.


Most marketers surveyed say the creative team they work with succeeds in being consistent (53%), responding to feedback (52%), and asking questions (51%).

However, less than one-third of marketers say the creative team they work with succeeds in being transparent (29%), anticipating problems (27%), and staffing adequately (24%).

Most creatives (58%) surveyed say the marketing team they work with succeeds in using the content that is produced.

Less than one-third of creatives say the marketing team they work with succeeds in setting realistic deadlines (32%), giving timely feedback (29%), giving consistent feedback (28%), staying within the initial scope of a project (24%), creating clear project briefs (23%), sticking to established processes (23%), and sticking with initial briefs (18%).

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey 220 marketers and 559 creatives.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Ford Kanzler Mon Dec 14, 2015 via web

    Suggest what's often the basis of many disconnects and randomness is the lack of an agreed on communications strategy or perhaps even an overall marketing strategy to guide the operations. Similarly, poor or complete lack of leadership is another. Having worked with and within dozens of organizations, the problems are unfortunately not at all unusual. The most valuable contribution I provide to my clients is establishing strategy at the outset since one is most often missing. Then, its still a challenge pushing campaign execution as rapidly as possible.

  • by Tanuj Goyal Thu Dec 17, 2015 via web

    Nice work done on documenting the gaps. How should one go about fixing it is the question? One think peculiar to creative and content is the role of personal bias. Two different great designs or piece of content may appeal differently to two individuals having a different sense of design and content development. The solution I believe lies in finding the balance between domain specific requirements and creative freedom.

  • by Elliott Brown Thu Dec 17, 2015 via web

    I worked on this study, Tanuj.

    It was our conclusion that most of these problems can be addressed through the creative brief, through setting up a good process, and through giving better feedback. Obviously, it's easier said than done, and there has to be a willingness with a given organization to buy in. If you can create an atmosphere of mutual respect and take a proactive approach to building a good relationship all the pieces start to fall into place...

    It can be hard to get there though--especially because people are unlikely to want to take time out to improve these things. If you can get everyone in a room to whiteboard what's working and what's not, it's a good start. Also, no need to reinvent the wheel. There are lots of great workflow tools, or systems like RACI you can use as a roadmap.

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