How to Close the Divide Between Marketing & Creative Teams

Marketers and creatives are symbiotic – each needs the other for effective marketing. The marketer imagines a powerful campaign, and the creatives bring the campaign vision to life. And as with any relationship, communication between marketers and creatives is critical to marketing success.  But if good communication leads to good marketing, a recent study has found that most marketing departments may not be as successful as they think.

The study

A survey of 220 marketers and 559 creatives (defined as writers, designers and developers that create content) conducted by Visually – found that in many cases, marketers and creatives each view their work more optimistically than their co-worker does.

Creatives tend to think that they produce highly effective content, and marketers believe they provide clear, actionable feedback on that content. If both beliefs were true, marketing content would be spot-on every time. But when you ask each group about the other, you get a very different answer. Creatives believe that marketers could provide better feedback, and marketers believe that creatives could produce better content.

Just check out the table below. 55% of marketers say they provide actionable feedback, but only 36% of creatives agree.


Do marketers do the following well?
Marketers who say yes Creatives who say yes Disparity
Giving actionable feedback 55% 36% +19%
Sharing credit with creatives 62% 44% +18%
Giving timely feedback 46% 29% +17%
Communicating priorities 57% 42% +15%
Briefing projects clearly 38% 23% +15%


Or this table, which shows that 68% of creatives think they deliver good content, but only 46% of marketers say the same.


Do creatives do the following well?
Creatives who say yes Marketers who say yes Disparity
Delivering final content that meets expectations 68% 46% +22%
Anticipating problems 47% 27% +20%
Asking questions to get clarity 68% 51% +17%
Creating consistent content 69% 52% +17%


What we have here is failure to communicate. But why does that matter? Campaigns still run, and content is still created. So who cares if each side is a little biased about their own contribution?

The survey report answers:

“…creative teams that collaborated better with their marketing partners got more done and produced more successful content.”

In other words, if marketing teams communicated better – if expectations were clearer and feedback more actionable – the end result would be more powerful, effective content.

So the next time you’re thinking about how best to drive improvement in your marketing organization, ask yourself whether your marketers and creatives are communicating as well as they can. Consider the communication tools and channels available to your team, and examine the quality of communication between parties.

Here are just a few areas to ponder:

  • Does your team use marketing briefs to make sure everyone is working towards the same goals?
  • Are your marketing briefs clear about the campaign and content objectives?
  • Are your marketing briefs actively shared with all parties, from executives to marketers to creatives?
  • Do your marketing tools enable marketers and creatives to provide real-time feedback in both directions?
  • Do your marketing tools provide org-wide visibility into projects as they evolve?
  • Do your marketing tools record all feedback on marketing projects and content so that all parties can stay up to date?

Answering these questions may help reveal hidden communication issues within your team, which would enable you and your team to improve feedback loops, which will lead to more effective content and higher ROI on your campaigns.

At CrossCap, we work with marketers and creatives every day.

Their needs informed our Marketing Calendar, Project Management and Soft Proofing products. These tools unite strategy and execution and log comments and changes in real time; keeping all stakeholders aligned and all projects moving forward. Our tools are built specifically for marketers and do not force a standard workflow; we adapt to the needs of your organization.  With CrossCap, you will not only realize improved communication across your marketing and creative teams but you will also increase your productivity and insure cohesive campaigns.

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