Does the following sound familiar?
Your team has a last minute ad campaign to roll out with a really tight deadline. A brief is handed to your external media agency. However, communication grows cumbersome as your team periodically offers feedback. The agency requires at least a week to crank this out. And, on top of that, today’s news warrants a big change to your concept. It becomes clear that you need a greater level of agility to sustain an always-on marketing model.
Situations like this happen frequently when you’re relying entirely on external creative sourcing. That’s why moving creative production in house has become so popular. According to the 2019 IHAF Comparative Culture Report, 72% of surveyed corporations have an in-house agency. This number is expected to continue to grow — penetration of internal agencies has climbed by 12.5% since the 2018 report. And overall, brand’s are quite happy with the decision, as 79% report satisfaction and 20% claim “complete satisfaction”.
Certainly, most larger brands aren’t moving all of their work in house. Brands still use external agencies for large scale creatives (think holiday campaigns, Superbowl, etc). Yet there’s clearly a need for, and consequent benefit to, building an in-house creative team. This team can work on everyday digital formats like banner and social ads which are necessary for an always-on marketing strategy.
Brands evaluating the switch are likely wondering what this change would look like. Here are the benefits you can expect when moving in house as well as the precautions to take.
The bottom line always matters. Especially when brands are looking to make a structural change. Likewise, it comes as no surprise that cost savings were cited as the leading reason brands moved in house. Real instances support this motivator too. Unilever saved a whopping 30% on marketing spend from creating an in-house creative team. A significant factor in their success was finding the right type of technology for accomplishing this. Namely, Celtra’s creative software.
Certainly, sourcing creative in house saves money by eliminating costly processes such as setting an external brief, tailoring to your company’s requirements, making frequent updates, etc. Plus, there’s great potential to increase scale and production as that team grows.
“An in-house marketing team is embedded in the company and has a deep understanding of brand, culture, product, and internal processes.”
Who knows your brand better than your team? In-house creative production, allows your team to work with people whose job it is to understand the brand. Not to mention, these colleagues have easy access and a high level of comfortability across internal teams. This can yield useful contributions in terms of things like target audience, content, and media placement.
Working with an external agency often spurs concerns about open communication. Significantly, 9 in 10 marketers are troubled by the level of transparency from media agencies. Meanwhile, in-house processes offer a more systematic and accessible approach. There’s a much deeper understanding of what’s going on, using which resources, and who is managing each particular task at any given time. When everyone is on the same page, with the same visibility, workflows can follow a clear-cut path.
New levels of agility
With in-house production your team can more easily adjust campaigns and adapt to changes through last minute meetings and a simple line of communication. This creates much higher levels of control along with the opportunity to experiment with variations. And not only are there more opportunities to meet, these meetings can provide more clarity as they are typically in person. Ultimately, production is accelerated to the speed necessary for consistent digital advertising.
Combating potential obstacles
As with anything, in-house creative production comes with its own set of challenges. Without your external agency covering every project, at times it can be more difficult to keep concepts fresh and aligned with current industry trends.
But there are ways to prevent this. For example, you can arrange for your team to attend industry events and expositions. Or, you can allocate specific times for your team to discuss projects aside from the current campaign. Larger, multinational companies can spread creative team members across locations to promote cross-team collaboration. If your brand is still using an external agency for larger campaigns, they can establish a system of collaboration and check-ins with the in-house team.
Finally, establishing an in-house team will undoubtedly require a technology that can support personalized creative at scale. Certain creative software are designed for just that. The cloud-based software gives your team one place to create, collaborate on, and scale your digital advertising. Plus, creative, media, marketing, and agency teams have one place to scale campaigns and dynamic creative from global toolkits to local media.
Planning to launch in-house creative production? We can help. Send us a message.