Q&A with Brendon Derr, VP of Enterprise Solutions at Cella Consulting and the BOSS Group


Brendon DerrAs Vice President Enterprise Solutions for BLR Holdings, Brendon Derr and his team have helped hundreds of Fortune 1000 organizations build, optimize and evolve their “in-house creative agency” operations over the past 15 years.

In this interview, Brendon shares some industry insights from the sixth and latest survey benchmark for the in-house creative community from Cella/BOSS and In-Source, along with advice on how to best optimize creative resources. You can see Brendon Derr live at our next Creative Ops Breakfast, on September 22nd in New York City.

Q. What common and recurring challenges are your clients facing when it comes to creative services?

Operational excellence. Justifying the need for, and orchestrating the necessary people, processes and technology/tools needed in today’s creative production environment poses a huge challenge while most creative leaders are already consumed with producing great creative work. The result is many companies struggle to find the time and resources needed to organize their operations so that creative teams can produce their best work in an organized and timely manner, while maintaining the level of efficiency and cost effectiveness that they are counted upon to deliver. Specifically, the sheer variety of work being produced, along with the need to coordinate creative across many channels, has been a great challenge across the industry, particularly in the larger and more complex companies.

Q. What one piece of advice do you have for companies that are looking to optimize their investments in marketing and creative resources?

Don’t be a creative kingdom builder, be a value creator. The biggest and most common mistake that I’ve seen in-house creative leaders make over the years, often to the point of them losing their jobs, is to go down the road of building an ever-expanding team and pursuing an ever more sexy body of creative work for the company. To be clear, sometimes this truly is the best thing for the company and the creative team. Often though, it may not be the time for this approach, and is instead rooted in the personal aspirations of the creative team. Focus on creating value for the company first, and the kingdom will come. Focus on the kingdom first, and it may be hard for your company to see the value.

Q. What do you think is the “Next Big Thing” for creative services?

Near term, I see many companies beginning to nail down their big data management and technological capabilities to a level that starts to enable creative teams to develop strategies more targeted to specific segments of their customer base. Longer-term, virtual and augmented reality has the potential to be huge. It may take a few years yet to really take hold, but when these technologies gain traction with the mainstream consumer, look out! Use cases for design and content, and the associated creative skill sets required for production, will cause a talent and technological shift that may prove to be even more transformational than the advent of the web and Mobile.


Brendon Derr was a guest speaker at our monthly Creative Ops Breakfast “Next Generation In-House Creative Services: Living up to the Challenge”, on September 22nd, 2016, in New York City. Watch the recording now.