For the past 18 months, I’ve been focused on building — building a family and building a creative workflow management company. Both have been incredibly difficult but equally rewarding. Prior to starting a company, I worked in marketing for 12+ years. I worked at large companies like Warner Bros, Apple and YouTube and at small start-ups, and I was fortunate enough to work alongside some of the best marketers in the business.
Sep 12, 2022
In my past roles, I spent up to 50% of my time creating video and other creative assets. I learned first hand how difficult it was to get any creative asset across the finish line. It became increasingly clear that the way teams work on creative assets, and especially video, is broken. The process is inefficient, time-consuming and expensive. So, I decided to leave my job and fix it. Building a business is the ultimate education, which is why I wanted to share the learnings behind what shaped StreamWork, the creative workflow management platform built for teams who work on creative assets.
1. Developing creative assets is hard
Every aspect of moving a video or creative asset from ideation to launch is a challenge. When you launch a creative asset that represents your brand or company, the stakes are higher and the creative process steps are even harder. With every new version, there’s more creative feedback, more to-dos and more stakeholders involved.
I’ve worked on hundreds of videos and creative assets, and it was a challenge every time. While the process remained the same, the feedback, tasks and players were different. I realized there was no dedicated creative workflow management platform that focused on creative project management and creative review. Yet, these are the teams that uniquely understand the nuances within their organizations when it comes to who needs to approve what, when and why.
2. The approach may differ, but the challenges are universal
When I began thinking through the early concept of StreamWork, I did it the way I know best: I spoke with potential users. Our team surveyed marketers at 50+ top global companies to ask how they approached their creative workflow process. The findings? Every team approached planning their campaigns differently, but the underlying challenges were the same: Creative assets are difficult to make, it involves significant stakeholder wrangling, and creative project management is happening in different places.
We found that most teams were using a hodgepodge of tools including email, docs and various project management platforms to plan, review and approve their creative assets. And, often, they were force-fitting tools to do the job because the platform they needed didn’t exist.
3. Teams plan campaigns around the creative asset
When marketers plan campaigns, they start with the creative asset first. They think through what assets need to be created, and then they start mapping out the tasks. This seems intuitive, but most creative project management platforms today are structured in the opposite way: You’re required to think through the tasks first.
We built StreamWork to create a better way for marketers — or any team for that matter — to project manage their videos and creative assets in one shared space. The creative asset is at the center, and everything else is built around it. Our goal was to build the ultimate creative workflow management platform.
4. Approvals are critical — and nearly always the bottleneck
At Google marketing, we used a manual framework called the DACI to approve work. Your team may also know it as the RACI. By manual, I mean we would draw a table at the top of a document and assign who would Drive, Approve, be Consulted, or stay Informed (DACI). Mapping out all this information took time, and it was difficult keeping track of who reviewed what and when.
The DACI offered a powerful framework, but the implementation was inefficient. So, we automated it and built it into StreamWork. Instead of drawing a table with people and permissions, you can route a video, image, PDF or other creative asset through multi-stage approvals in minutes. And you don’t need to email people or follow up since you see the real-time status of each reviewer at every step.
5. Creative is not created in a silo
A creative asset is the sum of its parts, and that includes the people involved in developing it. In the past, I would partner with multiple agencies at once to develop creative assets for a campaign. Everyone needed access to specific assets or versions at different times, and it was my job managing digital assets, which was complicated and time-consuming.
Privacy and security are built into StreamWork in a way that enables you to easily work with multiple teamsーinside or outside your organization. Invite anyone to collaborate with you, including as many agency partners as you’d like, and share creative assets for anyone to review from a single creative asset management platform.
Building a better way
When you do something again and again you start to see cracks in the process that make way for opportunity. We’re launching StreamWork to help challenge the old creative workflow process and make it new. We have so much more in store for StreamWork, and we’d love for your team to join our mission to streamline creative workflow management.
Join our beta waitlist today to be among the first to experience StreamWork. We’ll start rolling out free 30-day beta spots soon and would love to hear what you think!
Meredith is the Founder and CEO of StreamWork, a creative workflow management platform built for teams who work on creative. Meredith has 12+ years experience working as a marketer at Apple, Google, YouTube and Warner Bros., and has worked on hundreds of creative assets with teams large and small. Her mission is to simplify the way teams work on creative.