Hiring Guide
What is Creative as a Service (CaaS)?

What is Creative as a Service (CaaS)?

September 25, 2023
7 min
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If social and corporate proof is anything to go by, appearance is everything.

No one on social media will care if your product is the best thing since sliced bread if your socials don’t look great, and no one’s going to read much of your blog either.

When you’re pitching your great new idea to investors, your pitch deck design needs to be on point, not just the content on it.

You keep sinking money into your media buying campaign, but no one bites, because your ads are nothing special to look at.

Your social media design is so average, so unbelievably mediocre, even your grandma doesn’t like them. When your social pages look pretty much the same as others, how will you convert?

People shouldn’t have to buy your product before they can see how awesome it is. They shouldn’t have to get to the bottom of your sales funnel through dumb luck and nothing else — but that’s what you’re leaving your revenue up to if you don’t set yourself apart from your competition through incredible design.

We get it, as someone running a business, you’re already doing so much. And now you learn that you need to be a creative director and manager of a creative team too? But here’s the thing — without marketing, without great creative, your product will fail to live up to its true potential. You’ll lose out on revenue. You won’t be able to compete within your industry against more established players. Or, if you’re an established player, you won’t be able to stay ahead of all the smaller firms and organizations gunning for the top spot.

Your business won’t flourish with just a good idea. Your business will flourish when people know about and take interest in your good idea, and that starts with stellar creative content fueling your marketing efforts.

Creative Bottlenecks Are Holding You Back

Even in the best circumstances, your marketing and creative teams will have a set workflow to pump out regular content across multiple media channels. Content is prepared in advance, and scheduled to be posted at regular intervals to stay in front of your target audience’s eyes.

Things are going smoothly with this model, and you know your creative team is working hard. They’re pumping out content as fast as they can manage, given everything, and you’re making do with it so far. You can’t really expect them to cook up gourmet meals in microwave dinner time.

This would have been a great strategy if social media and other marketing channels all stayed the same for years, but they don’t. There are often updates, new platforms, new strategies that could work, and new things to experiment with. A few years ago, people would have laughed at anyone suggesting video content for Instagram, but here we are.

So when you’re not constantly experimenting with different marketing strategies and content types, where does that leave you? Behind, that’s where.

And even this cut-and-dry scheduled posting is only going to take your business so far – content is being produced all over the world at alarming rates now, and companies fight tooth and nail to stay ahead of the competition and in people’s minds.

You need to ask yourself some tough questions here – is your marketing strategy enough? With your content marketing and creative teams already stretched to the max, do you really have room for experimentation, for innovation, and to stay ahead of the curve?

If you want to really grow your business, you know that you need to be the one to innovate. Not just in your area of expertise, but in marketing, and in discovering new ways to reach your audience. If you simply keep following others, you’ll never get ahead.

Heck, next time there’s a significant development in the marketing world, or it’s disrupted, you might even be left behind!

How Should Things Work, Then?

By now you’re probably pretty annoyed with us, after all, what business do we have telling you you’re not doing enough? But you know we have a point! We’ve told you everything that doesn’t work, but don’t worry. We won’t leave you hanging. Here’s how things would work in your marketing department if you were getting the most from your marketing.

Your marketing team would have access to large volumes of graphics and posts, customized to each platform’s specifications. You’d be experimenting with different content types, seeing if audiences reacted better to video content text, A/B testing new ways to speak to them, strategizing away, knowing that nothing was holding you back.

Customers would continue to be wowed. Every post they see adds value to their day, and it’s eye-catching. They stop their scrolls because of the stand-out design, but stay for the content. Your apps and websites are running great. Bounce rates are down and engagement is up, giving your sales and marketing teams more opportunities to turn those views and engagement into sales.

If you want to rebrand or pivot, you would have a graphic design team that can deliver. One that shows up and says this is no problem, and one that produces enough content that you can both work on your current marketing strategy and give your rebrand or brand refresh the attention it needs.

However, this volume and speed of output can’t be delivered in-house in most cases. Hiring a specialist to produce high-quality content in every format needed is nearly impossible, and so is predicting your design needs six months or a year in advance when you hire someone new. Not to mention how cumbersome the entire hiring process can be, even in the best cases.

Tech Keeps Changing, but the Creative Processes Don’t

We’ve seen the marketing industry completely transform in the last two decades. First, there was the internet, then Facebook was launched, then came the smartphone, and even today we see the world of social media constantly evolving, with Meta just having launched Threads, and the recent boom in the demand for short form video content thanks to TikTok and Instagram.

But content itself? The process for creating it hasn’t changed much from a marketing perspective. Sure, there have been some improvements and developments, but they’re all slow, and it can take someone hours to perfect a single 3 minute reel or TikTok video. More and more content is being published on the internet than ever before, but organizations are failing to keep up.

Some of the barriers to this include:

  • Slow internal approval processes.
  • Inefficient internal systems.
  • Burnt-out designers due to limited time and backlog of projects to work on.
  • Limited design support in internal teams – most offices will only have one or two graphic designers on their marketing teams.

These systems were developed in a time when marketing didn’t lean so heavily on design and wasn’t so visual focused. 77% of creative teams in a particular survey feel overwhelmed by the speed at which they’re expected to work, and 72% feel like they can’t keep up with the volume of work needed.

They also face problems with the number of marketing channels that need design content today, while most of them spend at least one day a week on administrative duties and revisions – a direct result of organizations failing to update design processes and norms as needs change.

Agencies and Freelancers are not the Answer Anymore

They’re limited by the same things designers face in-house, and sometimes to a greater degree. You often need to hire multiple agencies and freelancers to get a single job done.

For example, if you want to create a website, you’ll need to hire a graphic designer for all social media posts that match your new website’s design, a web design agency to create those designs in the first place, and a content marketing or social media marketing agency depending on your needs.

Not to mention how much these options can end up costing you. Both agencies and freelancers take a while to get things done, you attend a lot of meetings, and correspondence is slow. You run the risk of paying thousands of dollars for a design that may not be what you wanted – because revisions cost extra and will take even longer, that is, if there isn’t any resistance to the designs in the first place.

Enter CaaS – A New Approach to Creative Services

There has long been a need for a new, agile content creation model for clients, which is where CaaS or Creative as a Service comes into play.

Content as a service isn’t a new concept, though this is the first time the term has been coined quite in this context. We’ve seen a lot of other entertainment services transforming like this, like music. It was once a physical product in the form of records and CDs, then it turned into a digital product in iPods, and now it is a service you get through subscription on platforms like Spotify. Netflix did the same thing with movies and TV shows.

Some could say that CaaS was the inevitable result of how the market was evolving, and others would argue that it came too late – it was needed ages ago! But whatever the case, it’s here now, and companies all over the world are taking note.

CaaS May Be the Solution to All Your Problems

Creative as a service is a great solution for agencies that are looking for a faster solution to their design problems while maintaining or improving quality. The main issue faced by company owners and marketers today is that in creating content, you have to compromise on one of the three

  • The speed at which designs are created,
  • The volume of designs being made,
  • Or the price.

But not with CaaS. CaaS takes all the best things about design services and puts them in a single package.

CaaS offers clear pricing models and unlimited deliverables for a flat fee every month, just like Netflix does for customers. In a CaaS company’s case, the deliverables are just graphic design projects of the top quality. While an agency would take weeks on a single project, organizations working under the CaaS model can have it done in a few business days – often one to three, depending on the complexity of the request.

CaaS doesn’t compromise on quality, it just takes the unnecessary stuff out of the process, like meetings, lengthy project discussions, and slow email collaboration. Everything is done online through a project management platform, and you’re in control of how many projects you put in the queue.

Once you subscribe and place an order with all the correct details, someone will start working on your project almost instantly.

This removes most creative bottlenecks from your marketing efforts, adds cost predictability to your design process that wasn’t there before, and gives you design quality like never before.

Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about hiring experts every time you need specific projects done. All you have to do is place orders and reap the rewards of a subscription service made with your needs in mind.

Final Thoughts

With all the changes happening in the world of marketing, and how the agency model has failed to keep up, its no surprise that most organizations are thinking about dropping their design agency this year. They want something faster, not a clunky horse carriage in a world that needs bullet trains!

CaaS subscriptions are something worth looking into if you’re trying to scale up, get noticed, and create marketing assets that will enable you to grow aggressively in an increasingly competitive global economy.