13 Signs Your Creative Team Is Over Capacity (+ What to Do About It)

By Celtra

Brands are moving their mission-critical creative work in-house in troves. Why? With the ever-growing options to advertise online, speed and agility are becoming non-negotiable for marketers. Nobody has the time to wait weeks or even months to design and produce campaigns that need to be out the door, STAT. 

The problem often is that companies, rightfully so, tend to hire brilliant talent from creative agencies to build in-house creative operations on the brand-side. Often, these people bring with them the processes they’re used to running when creating for clients. Yet the in-house pace and requirements are wildly different from the agency-side ways of working against briefs/debriefs/multiple presentation rounds.

As Paulie Dery of YETI explained on our Brand-Side Podcast, the nights of decks, or tweaking or massaging are long gone.

When the old way of working clashes with the inevitably high volume of content demands, creative teams are often left overwhelmed.

How to tell if your creative team has too much on their production plate:


  1. The team can only produce the bare minimum, such as simple banners or static creatives because there isn’t time to venture into rich media.
  2. Getting campaigns out the door is a time-suck: between production, reviews, and approvals, you’re spending weeks in the process.
  3. Ideas take a back seat: your team is so focused on execution that design, ideation, and craft suffer as a consequence.
  4. You’re missing launch dates: campaign dates get pushed or you’re not getting enough campaigns out the door because the team lacks the bandwidth to create and scale all of them.
  5. Creative Operations is quite an “operation”: creative team members need to handle most of the operations and project management even if it’s not their core job.
  6. Innovation is “nice-to-have” VS “must-have”: you’re only doing things you’ve done before and aren’t challenging the team with new technologies, executions, channels, or content types.
  7. Everything is done manually: all assets, whether 2 or 200 are built one-by-one with little automation to help.
  8. No capacity for testing: you’re not able to experiment with a variety of creative ideas and approaches to find the winning combinations as you simply can’t produce content for testing.
  9. Delivering against media plans is challenging: it is tough to act on briefs and match campaign production to media demands.
  10. Always feeling like you need to hire more people: if reaching your ideal campaign volume would mean significantly expanding on the current team.
  11. Workflows are not made for scaling: the creative team is stressed out about workloads whenever additional briefs come in.
  12. Outsourcing is the norm: you’re forced to buy external creative services to make deadlines even though you know it would be more effective to in-house those tasks.
  13. Updating live creative is a nightmare: making changes to existing campaigns requires pausing current ones and going back to step 1 of production.

Now that you’ve identified where you’re falling short, this is what we recommend you do: instead of throwing even more money or resources into the production void, it’s time to do things completely differently. Creative Automation is designed for the speed, scale, and agility in-house teams need to achieve with their daily operations. Read more about how adidas and Spotify have solved these challenges and how Creative Automation can help your creative team, too.

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