What is Creative Operations?

Jodie @ Simple Admation
4 min readApr 19, 2021

Marketing managers and creative teams know how much time, resources and effort goes into producing creative work. It’s a unique beast, and as a result, each business approaches it a little differently. There is growing recognition that Creative Operations is turning it into a discipline of its own. Creative operations most generally is defined as the art and science of managing the creative process. And it’s not just about the projects of marketing agencies, either. Its about how to manage the workflow to produce creative projects from start to finish. In any team, anywhere.

While it sounds a little like project management, it’s not. Running a creative team includes more than just traditional management techniques. Creative project managers are faced with challenges of their own and have to think about a lot more than top-level management. There’s a lot of strategic thinking that goes into the process to take ideas from brief, to execution, distribution, and beyond.

Why start thinking about it? Formalising creative processes bring the efficiencies, clarity and control that means need to perform at a higher level, consistently. It empowers teams to work smarter, not harder. That that can mean only one thing: happy clients!

What does creative operations include?

From the first step of a creative project to the last, the term covers the full gamut of tasks required to be performed to deliver a piece of communication in a team.

Creative operations includes:

  • The creative brief
  • Project management
  • Client and stakeholder communication and collaboration
  • Approval processes
  • Feedback & reviews
  • Asset delivery & storage
  • Distribution
  • Staff resourcing & timesheets

Why it’s becoming more important

As marketing technology evolves, more digital creative work is being put into circulation than ever before. Agencies and marketing teams are growing bigger, and managing more project they encounter bigger challenges.

As more creative output is needed, it’s becoming easier to get lost in the process. Missed deadlines, blown budgets, bad morale, overworked staff, and briefs, notes or files constantly going missing — they’re all symptoms of a team in desperate need of a better system (or any system, for that matter).

As marketing teams grow and more work needs to be produced, the need for transparency and accountability increases. Who suggested that? Why isn’t this finished? Who needs to approve this? When nothing is tracked, everything gets harder.

Formalising creative processes solves these problems and more. It can bring:

  • Enhanced collaboration: when workflows are in place to make staff input easier and hold people accountable, it results in more suggestions, recommendations, notes and team effort.
  • Make decisions with data: marketing technology keeps a transparent audit trail of every action performed as part of a project. This provides data that can be used to optimise everything from resourcing and delivery dates to how assets are best managed.
  • Streamlined workflows: replacing information systems with formal, transparent processes allows the use of templates and pre-defined workflows which saves time at every turn.
  • Organisation: everything, including project briefs, documents, stakeholder feedback, digital assets and artwork has a place and access rights. Client needs a localised version of an old file? Find it in seconds, update it, and file it. Easy done.

But how can all of this be achieved? What needs to be implemented and thought about to get all of this done?

Thanks to Marketing Operation Software and today’s marketing technology, that’s now the easy part.

Creative operations software

One of the hardest parts of managing creative projects is connecting all of the dots together. When creative workflows in an agency or marketing team are informal or disconnected from each other, tasks, timelines and information can go missing. Marketing technology stops that happening.

Admation’s marketing operation software is a complete solution designed to set, control, measure and review every aspect of creative operations. It’s a single, all-in-one comprehensive tool that brings everything (and we mean everything) together in one place for marketing managers and project managers. It puts project management, approval workflows, resource and asset management in a single login.

The beauty (and the challenge) of creative work is every team has their own unique way of doing things. Software like admation is highly customisable, to ensure each team can work how they work best. We’ve also made the little things easier with online briefing tools and brief templates, batch approvals, one-click pathways and more.

Best of all, it takes your team 100% online so everyone, clients included, can work and contribute to projects anywhere, anytime. Review timelines while you feed your cat, and respond to briefs in between loads of washing. Thanks, marketing technology!

Getting started

The first step towards making the shift to a creative operations methodology is as simple as implementing the tools to take you there — and Admation covers it all!

Book a demo with us today to see how admation’s Marketing Operation Software can work for you. Our Customer Success team can help you choose the right setup, customise to your liking, and provide all of the training to get your team on the road to creative operations — and business — success.

Before you ask: yes, Admation can be implemented remotely and be up and running faster than you can say ‘isolation’! Get in touch with us to see how Admation can help.



Jodie @ Simple Admation

Marketing Operations & Project Management Software for brands, marketing teams and digital agencies.