I’ve spent a lot of time listening to fellow creatives over the last year – from mingling with (and presenting to) thousands of creatives at Adobe MAX, to interviewing creative leaders for a mini-documentary about dealing with digital influx, to working on the newly released Workfront 2020 Global Marketing Report.
Across the board, we hear a remarkably consistent story from creative professionals of all types. Whether they specialise in design, digital marketing, videography or content creation, marketers believe their greatest strength is the ability to think and act creatively.
And what percentage of the work week are marketers and creatives spending on the high-value work they were hired for? Just 19%.
Click here to read Workfront’s Global Marketing Report
You read that right. The rest of their time is eaten up by excessive meetings and emails, administrative and manual tasks, interruptions, and data expeditions, ie hunting through system after system to find the right version of the right file. Meanwhile, knowledge workers in general spend at least twice that much time (an average of just 40%) performing the primary duties of their jobs, according to six straight years of data from Workfront’s State of Work research.
Creatives worldwide keep using words like ‘distraction’, ‘burnout’, ‘pressure’, ‘overwhelm’, ‘influx’, ‘inundation’, ‘backlog’. And that was before the arrival of a once-in-a-century global pandemic that has exposed and exacerbated existing fault lines. Now we’re hearing terms like ‘furloughed’ and ‘laid-off’ to describe the current state of creative teams. The work landscape just got rougher, and marketers are feeling the pain more than most.
As we continue to navigate a new normal, I’d like to share what I’ve learned from my conversations with creatives to help shift the narrative to one where they feel empowered and valued. First, I’ll share a list of creatives’ top