There are two common channels for ‘creativity’ – one linked to the creative arts and one linked to thought.

In a multi-disciplinary marketing team there is often a fabulous mix of both – brilliant design skills and brilliant critical analysis and creative thinking ability.

It has been my pleasure to work with great creative teams in the marketing space.

Some of the pure creative arts roles I find invaluable in a marketing team are:

Creative Strategist

This role works outside the pure play design field, instead bringing disparate platforms, technology, concepts, audiences, channels and solutions together to position and build campaigns with impact.  They have three key strengths – knowledge of the brand, the audience and the channels available to formulate solutions.

In some ways they bring futurist skills to the team because they always need to be forward looking.  They spend a lot of time researching to build strong concepts.  They link strategic vision to tactical execution.

Art Director

The Art Director then takes the broad concept and campaign and bring it to life.  They don’t need to know the details of platforms and channels the way the Creative Strategist has to, but they do need to know their craft and their audience.  Planning comes to life and concept is translated to reality through their actions.

Powerful visual solutions are detailed and driven by the Art Director.  The campaign is flavoured by the large and little elements they see and communicate – the overall mood of the spread to the page break mechanism.


Graphic Designer

The Graphic Designer can also work as a Finished Artist, depending on the process and the resources.  An Art Director isn’t need to deliver every single item of a campaign.  The skill of a Graphic Designer is in teasing out signifiers, messaging hierarchy and the finite details of finished art.

The kerning, the leading, the perfect ratios are all employed by an expert designer so the viewer knows it is a good piece of design instinctively, they don’t need to think about it.  It perfectly distills the message and encourages an action.

Digital Designer

Increasingly in many areas Graphic Designers also double as Digital Designers and if we look at relatively static examples like Facebook Single Link Ads, I can understand it.  I like working with specialist Digital Designers because the good ones have a detailed understanding of user experience, not just how things look, but how they work and interface in the end to end journey.

This skill set means they understand both design and front-end development and are guided in their solution development by the customer journey – in the digital space, where have they come from and where are they going.  They design functionality to be as frictionless as possible while also being sticky!

Content Producer

The role of Content Producer looks at written and visual messaging and how they can build content to satisfy the needs of the customer through the lens of the company.  What do they want to know and when?  How will they want to receive this content?  Is it content to build knowledge or drive a specific outcome?  Content is also more and more about video, and the best Content Producers have this skillset and can produce compelling video content and then can write and build the amplification and distribution strategy.

Increasingly Content Producers are being sourced from the pool of journalists who either no longer have a job, or couldn’t get a job because universities are pumping out graduates without basing their intake on job market size.  Communicating to convey information is quite different to communicating to move people however, and not all with this skill set can make the transition.

Which roles do you favour in your creative execution teams?