Creative services are increasingly being shifted from agency to in-house. Many CMOs are choosing to make the shift in order to acquire more brand knowledge and efficiency—but it isn’t always smooth sailing.

According to the “2019 In-House Creative Management Report,” creative and marketing leaders are falling short because creative teams are experiencing a slew of challenges including low morale and the relationship between creative and marketing teams. For CMOs, the work doesn’t stop after simply bringing a new team in-house.

The survey conducted by InSource and InMotionNow analyzed over 500 respondents that work in brand creative and marketing departments. Over 70 percent of them hold creative roles and around 51 percent are in managerial positions. Those surveyed work in teams of various sizes and industries.

“As in-house creative services departments mature and become more embedded within their organizations, more is asked of them on an almost daily basis,” says Andy Brenits, president of InSource in his introduction to the report. “If marketing managers merely see the creative team as their go-to resource for execution of tactics, they are missing out on the actual value this in-house resource can be to them. The creative team has problem-solving and idea generating capabilities that extend far beyond executing design and content.”

The study found 45 percent of creative say their team morale is high and 44 percent of them say their company invests in training, The rest of the respondents are either neutral or disagree with these statements. But there has been an improvement over the last year. Around half of those surveyed agree the relationship between marketing and creative teams has improved.

How the teams collaborate is very indicative of the core connection. Not surprisingly, the numbers aren’t very contrasting when it comes to feelings about collaboration. About half feel the partnership is effective and around 22 percent believe it’s not.

So how do you improve the rapport between creative teams and marketers? Timm Chiusano, VP of production and creative services at Kernel, believes it’s how the organization is structured and mutual respect. Even though the two teams are separate, they need to have a clear understanding of each other’s work and goals.

“When you reach this level of understanding, the entire organization can harmonize like a symphony,” said Chuisano in the report. “The quality and turnaround time of creative work is incredibly more effective. It sparks greater creativity: if you have a deeper understanding of the purpose, you are in a better position to find a creative solution to achieve it.”

In the survey, teams with stronger relationships attribute it to better creative briefs, morale and open communication. Ineffective teams noted a lack of leadership support and a growing volume and speed of creative work. It mirrors what the survey found when respondents were asked what the top challenges in-house creative teams encounter are: speed and volume of creative work.

More effective teams say collaborating on the creative brief, streamlining workflow and feedback helps. The report found creatives don’t get enough information during the briefing process—around 72 percent say getting this information is wasted time that could be used creating. Those that spend less than four hours on administrative tasks are more likely to be on teams with better outcomes.

Simultaneously, a timely review process is just as vital. About 16 percent of respondents that finish reviews in two rounds or less are 80 percent more likely to get projects approved in three days or less. Feedback and tracking results also improve efficiency with the business impact being the most valuable when measuring creative work to both the individual and the organization.