What Does a Chief Creative Officer Do?

A company’s creative output is directed a chief creative officer (CCO), who develops the artistic design strategy that defines the company’s brand. This person is usually in charge of both internal and external artistic control. He shapes the look and feel of his company’s distinct style from within. He is in charge of the artistic vision and cohesiveness that is sold to clients on the outside.

CCOs, also known as creative directors or lead designers, work for businesses whose main product is artistic or creative output. Instead of a generic head of marketing, advertising firms usually have a chief creative officer. A CCO is the title given to the creative director of a marketing firm, such as an event marketer. These types of businesses frequently divide their workforce into two groups: creatives on one side and account management, sales, and operations on the other.

In a bifurcated system like this, the chief creative officer wields significant power and reports directly to the CEO (CEO). The CCO and the CEO may work together in some cases, such as with smaller shops and businesses that began as partnerships. Everything artistic is handled the CCO, and everything else is handled the CEO.

In terms of function, the chief creative officer ensures that the company has a distinct artistic style that sets it apart from its competitors. He establishes guidelines for everything from the typeface to be used in the firm’s marketing materials to the use of the correct colors in the logos. Everything from the design of the company’s website to the decorations at the firm’s press parties is delegated to him. The CCO is the brand strategist, and the company is treated as a product.

The CCO is also in charge of the product’s artistic design before it is delivered to customers. He directs the response of the staff to the client’s expressed wants and needs. An event marketing firm, for example, sells not only the ability to organize and manage an event with a certain level of participation, but also the ability to design the event so that it stands out artistically from the competition. The chief creative officer leads his team to present an artistic vision for the event that is at least as important as the event itself.

The same dichotomy exists in an advertising agency. Advertisements have a distinct artistic design that is both memorable and structured to achieve functional goals. The CCO ensures that design and functionality are in sync so that the company can present a product that effectively represents its creative brand.