For the longest time, brands operating with creative teams have used emails and phone calls for creative collaboration. This meant endless loops of emails where information got missed, or worse — phone calls where information went out of the system.
Due to these limitations, teams have been searching for a better way to collaborate and achieve faster product launches.
And thus emerged a new means of creative collaboration in 2021. This helped teams improve their effectiveness, productivity, and communication. This article shares seven tips on how to leverage new-age creative collaboration and drive overall efficiency for your creative teams.
How to improve creative collaboration across teams in 2023?
Here are seven things that can help high-performing teams achieve great results and improve creative collaboration:
1. Build a bird’s eye view for all your projects
Your team might be working on multiple creative projects at a time. They might be designing creatives for your new product launch and working on the next marketing campaign and the likes.
In such a scenario, it gets difficult to track what stage a project is at. Is your team in the design stage or have the reviews begun? How long will it take to move from one stage to the next?
Not only that, tracking accountability gets difficult when there are endless email loops and chat threads.
And in today’s time, with more and more employees working remotely, calling each other to ask, “Hey Sam! What’s the status of this project?” or sending email after email every week to keep track of things eats up a lot of time. This calls for a much-needed change.
Artwork Flow’s creative collaboration solution gives you a bird’s eye view of your projects. With Artwork Flow, the stakeholders at Havmor, a popular ice cream brand, could view roles and progress on their projects with a single click.
Coupled with the transition from multiple communication channels to a single platform that helped streamline communication and reduce errors, they improved their retail speed to market by over 70% and their entire creative collaboration process.
2. Create a process to work with multiple online tools
Your team does not work on one tool. They might use email, Slack, proofing software, and a project management tool. Due to this, information gets siloed, or conversations related to one thing might happen on two platforms.
A colleague must then check five different platforms to find data on one topic. Information might need to be included in this process too. Instead, have a seamless process with strict guidelines on how to use these tools.
For example, all processes with respect to creative projects should take place on a creative collaboration platform. For project-related updates, team members should use the PM tool. Having a process like this with guidelines helps avoid errors and miscommunications and improves creative collaboration.
But what if you want to collaborate with your external agencies and print vendors? Instead of having them go through the hassle of being a part of multiple tools, an online creative collaboration software helps you collaborate with them more efficiently.
3. Need for visual collaboration
An email saying, “This color doesn’t suit the font,” is fine. But what does that mean for the designer? Is he supposed to change the color? Or the font? And how do you decide which colors go well with the font?
A series of such questions start playing in the designer’s mind. Vague feedback in email collaboration is often the cause behind it. It leads to extensive rework and back-and-forth emails to understand what the feedback means.
Visual collaboration is the need of the hour when it comes to solving problems like this. Creative Operations software can not only help you give precise feedback like "Use this font for social media creatives" but also eliminates the need for multiple rounds of feedback and improves creative collaboration.
4. Comprehensive project archival and audit trail
A comprehensive project archival and audit trail systematically stores all the records related to a creative project that can be easily tracked and traced.
It could be the regulatory guidelines for your industry, the creative design, the time it took for the project to go from initiation to delivery, and so on. Here are a few reasons why having it is so crucial:
- To identify the recurring bottlenecks in your projects and avoid them in the future.
- Understand which project stages take more time and plan to reduce that time.
- Find the average turnaround time for your projects to come up with better estimations for your future projects.
- A proper history of every marketing or design annotation.
Creative collaboration tools provide you with a centralized platform for you to manage all your creative projects. This makes it easier to have an organized history or built-in records for analysis.
5. A centralized asset repository
The traditional way of storing your creatives in your inbox or files on individual desktops would mean that a team may have to waste a lot of time searching for that one creative among hundreds. What if there are different versions of a creative? This turns out to be an even more frustrating process if all the versions have not been stored.
Your team may bail out on this entire process and start working from scratch. This, in turn, leads to losing valuable time and effort in the process. Having an asset library helps avoid this problem by allowing you to find and edit your creatives whenever required. Your design team can also draw inspiration and use several elements from previous designs.
Instead of having this library on any platform, digital asset management platforms tools allow you to search for creatives by name, date, or even by using project data that is entered as metadata for each asset.
6. Automation to save time
Be it the chemical or the pharmaceutical industry, all industries have a set of regulations to follow. Instead of manually checking for them every time, turn them into a checklist that you only need to tick off.
This kind of automation saves time and ensures errors don’t happen. Considering that a single error can mean product recalls, scrapping manual checks and going for automation is the key.
You can automate your workflow by creating a checklist for all your departments. You can also assign this to different team members and ensure things aren’t missed in the process. Your teams can then reuse this checklist for every creative they work on.
7. Real-time information and updates
With remote work on the rise, it can be quite possible that you have team members working in different time zones, where reviews and approvals become cumbersome. With creative collaboration tools, you can make reviews seamless by sharing feedback and updates in real-time.
Instead of having email loops to share these daily updates, teams need tools to update these changes as soon as someone makes them.
Every time someone makes a change, the concerned person receives a notification. This ensures that work doesn’t get stuck if a team member is on leave or busy on another project. Everything is right there on the platform.
How Indofil Used Artwork Flow To Enhance Their Creative Collaboration?
Indofil, an agrochemical industry manufacturer, deals in a range of products. This includes insecticides, herbicides, bactericides, surfactants, and plant growth regulators.
Here’s what their collaboration process before Artwork Flow looked like:
- They didn’t have a company-wide creative management system. They made use of emails and phone calls.
- Every time the agency worked on a creative, a printout was sent to various collaborators across five teams for review.
- The collaborators would then mark their feedback on the printout and sign it to signify approval. This would be again sent back to the design agency.
Their process was simple, but it had a lot of inefficiencies.
- Every time the creative was sent for review, the collaborators would have to remember the changes they had asked for.
- This process might have worked if it were one project. But with more than 70 products, they had to constantly follow up and didn’t know which creative everyone was reviewing unless they asked them. The worst part was the answers they received were true only for the moment. It could very well be that the concerned person would be working on another creative project in the next moment.
- On a large scale, this led to a lot of confusion, errors, and a loss of accountability and visibility.
Here’s how they used Artwork Flow to change the scenario:
- Getting feedback from collaborators across various departments at the same time was easy because of a single platform. Thus, they managed to have parallel workflows instead of staged workflows. This shift helped save time as all the departments could now work on the same artwork simultaneously instead of waiting for the other departments to finish reviewing the printed documents.
- Accountability and visibility became possible as everyone could view tasks on the platform. The project manager could view the status and keep track of who is doing what.
This resulted in a reduction in the number of revisions per creative from 5 to 3 times.
It’s time to improve creative collaboration with Artwork Flow
As remote work is gaining prominence, we’re seeing many creative teams not just maintaining their earlier ways of working but also finding ways to improve their collaboration standards. A reason why creative collaboration has come a long way, be it by finding better platforms or automating repetitive tasks.
Adopting creative collaboration software in such a scenario is no longer a luxury. Quickening the approval process and ensuring product recalls don’t happen has become necessary. Try out Artwork Flow for free and join the list of companies that succeeded by shifting to the modern way of collaboration.