Team work makes the dream work, with effective creative collaboration helping an agile team be more productive. And online content collaboration tools can be a creative’s best friend.
One group creative director at one New York-based agency said it’s hard to imagine his team operating without these collaborative skills. “As an agency we're swift and deadly and able to be pretty nimble and super responsive because of these tools. We can be an agency that's growing from a mid to even a large agency, but we can also act like a boutique because of that speed and the power that these tools give us,” he said.
These digital content collaboration tools allow members at all levels of a team in any location to work together in real-time, contributing to the speed and agility that lies at the core of many agencies. A chief executive at a brand marketing accelerator said this alleviates much of the aggravation and stress that accompanied old-school, analog work. “It just gives us so much more time to focus on what you need to do, which is making sure the strategy is humming, making sure the creative work is super tight and delivers on the strategy, and it's impactful. It allows you to work so much more efficiently and work against a longer deadline because you're not having to worry about printing things out and mounting them and having to carry them to the meeting,” said the chief executive.
Having an ever-available, dynamic hub allows for seamless content creation. Another agency executive said it makes scripts his team works on “living, breathing organisms” that get five brains on idea at a time, rather than just one.
A brand experience entrepreneur, who runs a small business of over 100 employees, added that content collaboration tools also help with accountability, as they allow for versioning and can track people’s comment history, viewership of new items and download histories. “We've had it where we've walked into a client meeting, presented something, and one of the creatives is on the phone not even in the meeting. While we're walking through the building to the next meeting at the client's office, this creative has already changed everything in the files, so when the client goes to reopen the file in the next room we walk into, it's already updated. There's just something about that kind of thing that's just magic,” he said.
Clients are always looking for something magical to lift their brands, so agencies need the right people using the right tools to deliver that, according to another creative director at a Brooklyn-based agency. “When tools become outdated, we inevitably search for the shiny new ones to make our workflow easier and more efficient across our agency.
“A lot of times this search itself can be a hindrance as it takes time, effort and sometimes money to get these new tools up and running and integrated with the team. More often than not we tend to pick up some bad habits in order to fill the gaps quickly, and that can be disastrous when it becomes the norm and begins to echo throughout otherwise healthy work streams,” he said.
However, once an agency finds the right suite of tools, the barrier of adoption is usually quite low. Not only have these tools become a part of everyday workflow, new hires are increasingly more fluent in these online collaboration platforms that have served them throughout their young careers. “The fact that we're now using these tools from top-down is [because] there's very little learning that has to take place. The second these guys come in from college or come in from portfolio school, it's a seamless transition into our workflow and our creative process, because it's already how we're operating and working,” said another agency head.
The executive added that young digital natives gain a sense of confidence when communicating with the executives on content collaboration platforms, which can make in-person presentations and pitches easier as they’ve already had their work vetted and understand their team’s goals.
But as most creatives will recognize, being creative can be a lonely task. Having the burden of constantly coming up with something new and groundbreaking can be daunting, and the persistent scrutiny that comes with it can eat at some people’s confidence. Proper use of the right collaborative tools can quash these roadblocks and push an idea that extra step toward magic.
This is a sponsored post for Dropbox. Dropbox is not affiliated with nor endorses any other products or services mentioned.