The future of in-housing is hybrid and punk rock

When the whole world is a stage and every brand is a storyteller, the result is a perfect internal storm as companies balance the growing demand for digital marketing assets, the need to reduce external costs, and the desire of creativity on their own. internal culture.

That’s why conglomerates such as Coca-Cola, Red Bull and Kind have built their own studios, while others, including Liberty Mutual and Clorox, have built in-house teams to tighten the dynamic between creation, planning and execution.

What people don’t talk about enough is what happens when these in-house agencies are overloaded with creative work and have to turn to outsourcing as a band-aid – a decision that puts them right back into the agency model. they tried to get. away from—and paying a premium in the process.

In fact, 90% of internal agencies say they already work with external agencies. And, behind the scenes, the industry recognizes that insourcing comes with its own set of new problems to solve. For example, workflow management has been identified as the biggest barrier to success for in-house agencies.

Now, this is where the punk rock piece comes in. In my view, the in-housing solution is a hybrid strategy based on a radical overhaul of the way creative work is done – a methodology that abandons the “corporate rock” formula and takes it to the next level. creative work using fewer resources and less effort overall. And internal teams ready to “go hybrid” need to be open to some major mindset shifts, or it won’t work. Below are five counter-intuitive best practices they should doggedly embrace:

Stop attributing work to artists

I first validated this idea when I took on my own hybrid creative studio 10 years ago. I ran an experiment that proved that if we let our remote artists choose the jobs they’re passionate about, we’d get better jobs. Yes, it really was that simple, although it also went against the industry norm.

Don’t fall for shiny wallets

Believe it or not, the most important attribute to look for when vetting artists remotely is not their artistic ability or technical skills, but rather their ability to follow written instructions (something I learned the hard way!). And the most important task when vetting a creative workforce remotely is weeding out artists who can’t follow written instructions, no matter how bright their wallets.

Forget project management

Wait what??? My issue with project management has always been the time, effort, budget, and resources it takes away from the actual creative work, especially when scaling seven-figure hybrid projects. Instead, focus on preparation, putting more effort into pre-production, such as fully developed storyboards, moodboards, scripts, animatics, instructions, and links. When we do these things long before production begins, we completely eliminate project management.

Don’t talk to distant artists

For a remote artist, the job brief must de facto replace the creative director, the producer, the coordinator and the project manager. He must answer any creative, technical and logistical questions a remote artist may have, before they can be asked. Learning to do effective briefings from a distance instead of trying to talk to artists from a distance has been critical to my hybrid success. I recommend having two people responsible for writing and filling out each remote worksheet with all the important information and a third person to find the holes in it. Then keep repeating the process until there are no more holes. When you’re right, there should be nothing to talk about.

Don’t try to manage time

Best practice with remote work is to pay for results, not time. For this reason, we do not require remote artists to be on-call, to meet certain hours, or to make time commitments outside of meeting our delivery deadlines. We set realistic deadlines using the following remote scheduling formula: The deadline should be one and a half to two times the time a job reasonably takes an in-house artist. If you leave your remote artists alone, they will also do their best.

To sum up, in the era of punk rock creative work, you can’t be the corporate rock type. You must be prepared to jump into the mosh pit. If your mind is open to these unconventional ideas, you’re on the right track.

God Save the Queen. Live your best creative professional life.

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Diana J. Carleton