Design backlogs are not rare; they are in fact the most common problem plaguing creative teams despite so many advances in technology and the way we work and operate. Creative teams have traditionally been seen as a support role, whether it’s for an agency or a corporation, the creative team serves other business units so they can succeed. But who supports the creative teams so they, too, can succeed?
In this post, we’re exploring three case studies that illustrate how a brand can increase the output of their in-house creative team by partnering with Design Pickle. Not because these case studies are super unique, but because they’re actually ridiculously common examples of powerful transformations (and, *cough* stellar ROI).
So many brands struggle with reducing design team backlog in a way that is actually sustainable or scalable, all while expanding creative team skills or capabilities (not just catching up). But through thoughtful collaboration and the right creative partner, it is possible to achieve greater creative output, without sacrificing anything (seriously, there is no catch).
These case studies provide straightforward examples of how Design Pickle empowers brands to expand their creative team’s output every single day. So let’s dive in and explore how partnering with Design Pickle can result in faster, more efficient and prolific design outcomes.
Enterprise In-House Design Bottleneck Nightmares
In this all-too-common scenario, we’re welcomed in to observe from the busy hallways of COX Automotive, a $21 Billion company with over 55,000 employees in Atlanta, Georgia. This bustling B2B Enterprise has several verticals that put a significant strain on the dynamic (and very productive) in-house creative team.
At first, business units who were supported by the internal creative team began to see their projects fall farther and farther down the priority list for the in-house team. Appreciating the challenge and staying solutions-focused, two separate internal teams began to test other creative delivery methods with the blessing of the creative leadership team. The goals were to find a partner who could deliver on-brand quality creative fast, but also within budget.
According to Georgia, Product Marketing Manager, “Our internal design agency is [always] working on more long-term and complex campaigns for us that have a lot of different moving parts to them. And we’re happy that they can help us with those. But there are times that we have a presentation with the president of a company, demanding a tighter turnaround deadline where we just definitely needed that extra help.”
Georgia’s team first leveraged an agency to try to help her team make ends meet. Unfortunately, they found that projects consistently drained their budget faster than expected, and branding inconsistencies were plentiful and slowed down the creative process rather than speeding it up.
Dave’s challenges were similar – and as a former graphic designer and photographer, he used to take matters into his own hands (rather than hire externally like Georgia). Dave, a Marketing Manager in another business unit separate from Georgia, shared with us the toll that rolling up his own sleeves took on him. Dave recounted the days when he would attempt to create and edit any asset that the internal agency couldn’t turn around fast enough. “Our internal agency has finite resources and there’s a lot of planning that goes into it, they plan things pretty far in advance.” When he needed something fast, he used to have to do it himself. But that effort was not sustainable, and Dave need a solution, fast.
Luckily, a mutual colleague of Georgia and Dave’s approached them and suggested signing up with Design Pickle to escape the outsourcing and DIY-ing. They started with a flat-rate Graphics Pro subscription with one workstream each. “It’s really impressive how quickly the [creative] gets delivered. Sometimes I put in four requests at once, and I can rearrange the priority, which is really nice.” The team has since expanded, adding extra dedicated designers and design time to ensure more concurrent projects are always being worked on.
With multiple active designated designers, either team can request a variety of creative assets, from social media graphics to presentation designs, knowing that they will have assets in hand within 1-2 business days, in-budget, and on-brand.
“What I love about Design Pickle is not looking for email attachments. The software is great, you can go back to different versions. You can drag rectangles around graphics and make notes. And it’s really so much easier to do that on Design Pickle’s platform than going back and forth over email.” For Dave, it was more than just building in bandwidth overnight for his team and to get out of the trenches. For Georgia, it was more than just being a great steward of her company’s budget and resources. COX Automotive’s creative delivery has been transformed with efficiencies that improved their processes and productivity overall.
Presentation Design Finally Gets Priority
When your entire acquisition model depends on custom pitch decks, presentation design better be a priority for your creative team. Decks are tedious, time consuming, daunting works of art, at best. And for most brands and creative teams, they’re almost always last on the list (except for maybe those internal decks our friends in HR request on occasion…).
For this B2B SaaS company, Dominic, the CMO, had one primary concern. How can he architect a strategy to successfully scale custom presentation decks to grow his company sustainably? He knew that when his pitch decks were personalized, they always succeeded. The problem was, he couldn’t burnden his small internal team with them, and making them customized himself was draining precious hours that could be better spent. Agencies and freelancers were not only expensive, but also splintered the visual identity Dominic’s team worked so hard to create and foster.
Feeling more frustrated with outsourced design help than he was while still designing them all himself, he carefully considered lots of options and weighed them all based on speed, quality, consistency, cost, and having the specific skills for decks (it’s an art; IYKYK), and (surprise!) landed on Design Pickle.
Prioritizing complex presentation designs used to be a hassle, but now they can just log in to the platform, prioritize what is urgent, and let Design Pickle focus on the graphics. The speed and consistency have been a game-changer. “From a designer standpoint, it is fantastic. If our designer is out, we’re not left holding back. There’s always somebody to step in and work on our projects.”
Saving $103,000 per year isn’t the only result worth bragging about. From a CMO lens, Dominic is proud that qBotica is “becoming a much more attractive organization in our space because of the assets… I tell the leadership team with all of our investments, one of the greatest ROI our marketing team has received is from our Design Pickle design team.”
No More Slow-Mo Motion Graphics for this Agency
MediaCutlet was founded ten years ago producing video content for small businesses and YouTube commercials. Now, a decade later, they are working with large brands and Enterprises, creating and delivering videos for major announcements that get broadcasted across well-known international channels, as well as PSAs for major universities, such as Rutgers, Princeton, and more. What makes them stand out from the competition? Same week turnaround for client projects with the support of Design Pickle.
Strato, MediaCutlet’s CEO, shared with us his favorite reasons to brag about his 4-year partnership with Design Pickle. “The number one leading bullet point when I recommend the service is same-day or next-day turnaround time. That really blows people’s minds.” Especially for animated or motion assets and video editing, Design Pickle’s industry-smashing average turnaround times are impressive, and also consistently reliable.
In 2022, one of MediaCutlet’s everyday requests became part of a major motion picture for their client, and the clip created by a Design Pickle artist made it into the final cut of the movie, which was a box office hit at #4 for weeks in a row! Talk about proof of quality – the Hollywood standard for motion graphics is a high bar to hit, and the fabulous Design Pickle creatives knocked it out of the park.
To date, Strato, CEO, reports annual savings of over $150k/year as a result of partnering with Design Pickle. With over 450 designs created so far and counting, each dedicated designer and concurrent project that Design Pickle provides to MediaCutlet has the potential to exponentially boost output. As the agency grows and scales, Design Pickle’s model supports their growth in real time, without any delay for onboarding headcount or contract timelines, making Design Pickle the perfect growth partner fit for MediaCutlet’s creative team.
A Real Way to Get More With Less
We’re big fans of people who want more design bandwidth, creative output, and a better way to “get more” with less. (Seriously, stop telling your design team to skip lunch, please.)
Finding external support for design resources and creative output can be tricky, and sometimes requires brands to try a few potential solutions before they land on the right fit for their needs.
If your brand is struggling with an in-house design bottleneck, and there are teams who need quality, on-brand design delivered at a faster pace, it’s time to look at the opportunity to expand your creative team’s output every single day (and potentially overnight).
Are you ready to explore how partnering with Design Pickle can result in faster, more efficient and prolific design outcomes? Speak with one of our experts today.