Creative Directors

How does a creative director transition to director of marketing at a company? I have an interview for this position but need advice on how my skills transfer. Thanks in advance!

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I actually made this switch about six months ago and the differences are daunting but not insurmountable. These are my observations: -start studying business school curriculums, focus specifically on the mathematics of business -learn the vocabulary of your company before you go in. It’s easy to get lost because it’s ALL acronyms (no matter what business you go into) -the politics are as bad if not worse than in an agency (this is obviously dependent on your circumstance) but the camaraderie and teamwork of an agency is much more difficult to come by on the client side -you will most likely be considered a visionary on the client side. There is little by way of creative vision or origination when you join a business, and that’s one of the biggest differences. Where you’re used to everyone contributing ideas at an agency, “a brainstorm” on the client side is akin to watching a herd of tumbleweeds swirling around to the thundering sounds of crickets. -find a business that you’re REALLY passionate about, because unlike at an agency where you might work on 12 things in a given week, at your new job there is one product, or one brand and you’re going to have the exact same conversation, day after day, for 40 hours a week -you will undoubtedly work longer than your colleagues. You will be shocked at the mass exodus at 4:59, you will also be shocked at the number of people in their chairs at 8AM. Try not to loose your shit when you can’t find someone vital to your success at 5:01. -be what you hoped you would be when you’re sitting opposite an agency at the table. Give them direction but don’t micromanage. Provide the ultimate goal, but let them figure out how to get you there and you’ll have solid relationships that will serve you for life.

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likeupliftinghelpful
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The acronyms! My god. Still trying to distinguish a KPI from a CPI and CPM

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Oooh this is a good question. I want answers too! I feel like it’s analytics and marcom and broader scope of media landscape. All that stuff creatives rarely interact with.

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This is why I believe more creatives need to have closer working relationships with the media folks. Keeping art & science separate from one another is antiquated legacy thinking.

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likesmart
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My God, someone save us all and give us advice!!!! We have a quorum here and need to know (lol)

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helpfulfunny
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Sounds like none of you will be making the switch.

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likefunny
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I have made the switch and it means widening your lens to owning info about your audience, company stakeholders and he business drivers behind the work as much as the Creative itself. I have found my own weakness to be in the analytics and data side of things. Creative directors are used to those as provided inputs vs having to scheme and build ways to get those inputs in the first place.

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Add me to the list of The Curious!

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It depends very much on the category. I made the switch to cpg, a category I worked on and it resembles nothing like the role of a creative director role at an agency. In fact, I realized how utterly unimportant my previous job was. On the cpg side, it’s a strictly business role where you are responsible for commercialization of a product and how you are building a plan to build equity against particular brand pillars

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Upvoting CD8's post. I would add that you should find a company that appreciates creativity as a value/culture and what you can bring to the table. I made the switch 3 years ago and love what I'm learning about being client-side, while helping guide the agencies I'm partnering with.

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There are some commonalities between creative direction and marketing leadership in a company-but the diffs are daunting. For one thing, the company role tends to be analytics-intensive vs the agency job of elevating the, well, creativity.

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YES! Made a switch and I feel like I got placed in the wrong math class. The one with the smart kids

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I’ll tell you all the secrets if you tell us what agency you’re bailing on and why.

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Just tell us the secret because you’re a nice girl/guy

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Interested in hearing from anyone that made the switch!

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