In today’s digital society, businesses are expected to be competitive on multiple marketing fronts. Whether this is PPC, SEO, display ads, social media or any of the other hundreds of different opportunities that reside within marketing in 2019.
To tackle this demand, and to ensure that a business is able to battle and compete on all these fronts, many turn to agencies, who can give resource and expertise that brands simply don’t have.
A change in the industry’s attitude
Whilst this has been standard practice for many years now, a new report has revealed that the tides may be turning in relation to the way businesses handle their marketing.
A new report commissioned by advertising platform Bannerflow has revealed that 91% of marketing decision makers having moved at least part of their digital marketing in-house over recent years.
It appears brands want to handle the reigns of their own marketing activity once again, and are deciding to bring operations back under one roof.
So why has there been such an apparent swing towards in-housing?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was financial reasons which topped the list of primary reasons as to why businesses have started to in-house operations. It appears switching from an agency first attitude is believed to be a far cheaper option.
Transparency was also voted an important reason for the surge in in-housing. 87% of decision makers said they were concerned with the level of transparency offered by media agencies.
However, it’s not all smooth sailing…
Whilst in-housing may seem like an attractive prospect for many, it’s worth remembering that agencies exist for a reason, and that simply deciding to make the shift before contemplating the requirements necessary could leave your business worse off.
A lack of existing talent and skills to build a competent in-house team was the biggest barrier to in-housing for 56% of respondents, as explained by the second most-cited reason — 46% point to a lack of resources to build a competent in-house team.
There is also a worry that the in-housing of marketing activity could be an impediment to creativity, with long term strategic goals giving way to short term ROI focused ones.
How can businesses combat these issues?
None of these issues have to be in-housing deal breakers however. A talented and dedicated HR team to support in-house talent acquisition and retention can solve the “lack of talent” issue.
In-house teams, on the whole, are able to enjoy a better work/life balance than agency based teams. Add to this fact the opportunity for more ownership and responsibility over a brands output, and attracting good talent suddenly becomes very achievable.
As for the creativity issue, it’s vital that this is allowed to thrive alongside ROI considerations. Removing unnecessary barriers to creativity and implementing the right technology to eliminate inefficient workflows and processes can allow more time for blue sky thinking.
Whether you decide to make the shift or not, it appears in-housing is experiencing a resurgence, and businesses should be poised to learn the lessons which will inevitably be raised through this switch in operating.
Ben is an accomplished and experienced freelance writer who has featured in a number of high profile publications and websites. If he’s not reading the financial times you’ll find him listening to live music or at the coast surfing.