Creative operations

Author: Dickson Bueno
Four men and women gathered around a white board with a woman pointing at a pie chart


Strategic solutions to profitable creative teams

HH Global’s Director of Creative Operations, Dickson Bueno, is a recognized creative practitioner, leading the revolution of the creative space from the aesthetic to the practical for global Fortune 500 brands. A contributing panelist at the recent Creative Operations Exchange Conference, Dickson’s focus was essential metrics for operating profitable creative teams. Leveraging on his experience from the agency artboard to the world of 360° reality and enabling technology to accurately measure results, Bueno shares his take on the evolution of creative operations in a series of blog posts.


Business today survives and thrives based on how well it can adapt to ever-changing markets – dare I say -- survive and thrive through evolution. We can look at any business today and track this shift gaining significant acceleration over the last few years, mostly driven by the influence of technology on consumer trends and behavior.

Most businesses rely on their marketing departments to meet the challenge of this changing  and now global market. In turn, companies count on the expertise of creative partners to assist them with their communications, which results in creative and marketing teams having to join the evolution in order to keep pace. For a creative or design agency, this evolution goes beyond a shift to digital, VR, and AR – it entails a shift in the paradigm of how creative communication is executed, structured, and now measured.

For most of us who have been in the creative space for a period of time, we’ve lived through that evolution -- a time when creative departments focused on executing great campaigns and their success was measured on how well those campaigns fared with consumers – a time when creative agencies were led by a Creative Directors, Production Directors, and yes, Account Directors.

We’ve lived through volatile economies that changed the landscape of our teams in the early 2000’s to include a then emerging Creative Services segment, which combined several previous independent disciplines for a leaner, more efficient, and cost-effective structure. Consequently with better workflow technologies and refined processes, businesses have seen an opportunity to further quantify the value of their creative departments. It’s no longer about the prestige of an Addy or a Cannes Lions, it is now all about the metrics – efficiencies, speed to market, and max utilization. Sure, the awards are nice, but a lean mean operation model lives and thrives through metrics, and thusly the strategic addition of operations to the creative space.  

A blend of both right and left brain, these individuals merge an appreciation for design, knowledge of the creative process, and an analytical mind, that bridge the gap between “Make it pretty” and “Make it profitable.” Through refined processes and the implementation of select technologies, the realm of creative operations and the metrics it provides, help to justify the existence of creative resources for many companies with in-house agencies. It helps to identify the benefit of outsourcing design execution, and for creative agencies, the role of creative operations provides the creative team with the ability to work more efficiently and effectively with  increased profitability, greater ROI, and speed to market for their clients.

In short, those in creative operations are the ideal creative cyborg. Welcome to the future, the age of creative operations has arrived. Watch for my next post, or if you can’t wait, contact me
here to share your take on the revolution.