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Executive Creative Director Duties and Responsibilities

The specific tasks of an executive creative director can vary greatly based on the specific industry and company where they work. However, based on our research of current job listings, most executive creative directors perform these core duties:

Direct Creative Operations The main responsibility of the executive creative director is to direct all creative operations within a company, including marketing and design teams. They create and manage creative strategies to help improve and maintain company image.

Create and Approve Marketing Campaigns When the marketing department comes up with new marketing campaigns, they must be delivered to the executive creative director for approval. Once the executive creative director approves the campaign, the marketing team can begin implementing it. Executive creative directors may also create their own campaigns based on meetings with stakeholders and company executives.

Report Metrics to Stakeholders Executive creative directors receive and analyze reports from marketing and design teams, and then create presentations based on those numbers. They give the presentation to company stakeholders and report on the overall performance of the marketing and design teams.

Manage Creative Department Budget Executive creative directors are responsible for managing and overseeing the creative department’s budget. This includes creating and balancing the budget and delivering it to company stakeholders for approval.

Set and Track Department Goals In order to properly track performance, executive creative directors create goals for the overall creative department. Throughout the year or quarter, they also track those goals to determine how well the department is performing.


Executive Creative Director Skills and Qualifications

The executive creative director role is an advanced one, and it requires a lot of skill and experience for success. Employers prefer to hire candidates who have graduate or postgraduate degrees and over 10 years of experience in the marketing or design fields. Successful executive creative directors know how to identify market trends and capitalize on them. Employers also seek out candidates with the following skills:

  • Leadership skills – since executive creative directors lead a variety of different teams, they must be exceptionally skilled in leadership and organization. They should know how to direct teams so they work together for a common goal
  • Understanding of customer experience – executive creative directors should be intimately familiar with the customer experience and understand what makes a customer tick
  • Knowledge of marketing trends – executive creative directors need to determine if marketing campaigns will be successful, so they should have in-depth knowledge of current marketing trends
  • Time management – in a world full of deadlines, executive creative directors should be able to manage their time efficiently. Their schedules are often full, and they need to be able to handle multiple projects at once
  • Creativity and authenticity – executive creative directors should be creative and authentic in their beliefs. They are responsible for the company image, and customers should be able to see that authenticity

Executive Creative Director Education and Training

Executive creative directors should hold at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field. Graduate and postgraduate degrees are required if potential executive creative directors want to work for large companies. The areas covered in this coursework include marketing strategy, creative design, and team leadership. At this point in their career, executive creative directors likely won’t receive or need to receive any further training.


Executive Creative Director Salary and Outlook

According to PayScale, executive creative directors can expect to make a median annual wage of $164,453. Executive creative directors who sit in the top 10 percent of their field make more than $275,000 per year, while those who sit in the bottom 10 percent make less than $99,000 per year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this job field will experience 9 percent growth over the next 10 years as companies continue to expand. Executive creative directors receive excellent benefits packages from their employers that usually include comprehensive health benefits along with vacation and sick time. Employers also usually give their executive creative directors performance-based bonuses.


Helpful Resources

Are you interested in following the path to become an executive creative director? Read through some of these helpful resources to get started:

Creative Directors Group – this exclusive LinkedIn group is available only to creative directors. The members within network and work together to share ideas and experiences. If you’re a creative director looking to become an executive creative director, you can garner some help here

The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice – author Todd Henry posits that “it isn’t enough to just do your job anymore.” Here he teaches readers how to sustain creativity instead of just providing a quick fix, like how to brainstorm brilliant ideas at a moment’s notice

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality – written by the CEO of Behance, this book is a compilation of all the principles and techniques executive creative directors need to enhance their creative organization and overall productivity