Life as an in-house designer may be more prestigious and, dare we say, “glamorous” than it was several years ago. As evidence of this, there are now conferences, competitions and events geared specifically to creatives working within corporations, like the InHOWse Managers Conference.
The results of a new research paper, “5 Trends Every In-House Designer Should Know,” developed by The Creative Group and AIGA, underscores the changes underway in in-house departments. Following is an overview of the information. Whether you’re currently working in-house, or pursuing a corporate gig, these trends are likely to impact your career:
1. Onward and Upward
In-house designers feel like they have momentum on their side. A majority (61%) of AIGA members we surveyed anticipate their company’s budget for creative services will rise in the next three to five years. Further, more than half (55%) of respondents expect the size of their team to grow; and another 54% believe in-house positions will be more enticing to those entering the creative field.
2. Greater Collaboration With Freelancers and Agencies
Heftier workloads have led many in-house departments to tap consultants and agencies for extra support and specialized expertise. The trend is expected to continue: 58% of in-house professionals surveyed said their teams will rely more on these types of service providers. As more in-house teams partner with external contributors, strong communication and collaboration skills will be crucial to creating productive business relationships.
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3. Not Just Your ‘Typical’ Designer
More than six in 10 in-house professionals believe they’ll have more influence on their organization’s business decisions in the coming years. But to gain an active seat at the table, in-house teams must be viewed as innovative “strategic partners”—not solely the department of visual impact.
To encourage this thinking, in-house teams can train internal clients to respect their time and work by giving priority to those who provide thoughtful, thorough creative briefs. Creating a chargeback system in which you charge clients for costs associated with their projects also can help, explains David C. Baker, principal of ReCourses, a management consulting firm for the marketing industry.
4. A Deep Dive Into Interactive
In-house designers are increasingly tasked with monitoring and mastering the many online tools and mobile channels that companies leverage to reach target audiences. Regardless of your current job title or responsibilities, it’s a wise career move to learn as much as possible about the digital realm—whether it’s app design, animation or web coding—through courses, conferences or simple experimentation. Smartphones, tablets and other interactive mobile devices are only going to become more ubiquitous.
5. Retention Gets Attention
Restless employees often start seeking new job opportunities with an improving economy. As such, in-house managers must think creatively to retain top talent. While raises and title changes are important, they’re not the only solutions for keeping the best and brightest employees happy.
If you’re in a supervisory role, re-recruit standout staff by helping them identify various paths to advance their careers within your organization. In addition, try to offer more autonomy, higher-profile projects and ample training opportunities.
To download the complete “5 Trends Every In-House Designer Should Know” research paper and learn more information about The Creative Team of the Future, visit www.creativegroup.com/ctf.