In-Housing for Agencies: Top Considerations

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Brands aren’t the only ones in-housing right now. Agencies are, too. If you’re ready for this or even on the cusp of thinking about it, here are some key considerations to take into account.

Why In-House?

Some benefits marketers have reported that in-housing provides include:

  • Improved ad performance and ROI.
  • Increased cost efficiency and transparency.
  • Better control and management of data and targeting.
  • Enhanced real-time optimization capabilities.
  • Full accountability and focus on brand goals.
  • The ability to control your own strategic goals.

“In-housing marketing has been one of the biggest trends in marketing since 2018,” Fiona Davis, the vice president of growth at CvE Consultancy, a Goodway Group brand, explained. “The increased speed of execution, cost savings and team satisfaction has dramatically improved results for early adopters.”

6 Core Areas To Consider When In-Housing

“Like anything else, in-housing can be done well or done poorly,” said Nick King, the global practice lead at CvE Consultancy. “Crucially, advertisers need to consider which marketing function to take on first and have a roadmap to manage it both in the short and in the long term.”

As you’re thinking of in-housing, here are some key areas to keep in mind — especially since in-housing can take anywhere from 12 – 18+ months depending on your agency readiness and if you’re doing it alone or partnering with an outside group through this process:

1. Operating Model

You will want to cultivate an agile workforce and unify around well-defined goals that align to overarching business objectives.

2. Strategy

Your goal should be to create an integrated roadmap linking short- and long-term objectives to create business value and reinforce brand positioning.

3. Technology 

For this marketing operation, aim to develop a customizable setup that’s integrated across functions, adaptable to change and scalable for growth.

4. Data 

If in-housing, you may need to engineer a robust, scalable data infrastructure for consolidating and governing data from diverse sources company-wide.

5. Measurement & Attribution

Try to adopt an integrated measurement framework utilizing diverse models and automated testing to reveal marketing incrementality. 

6. Media 

In-housing your media operation? Work to orchestrate cross-channel media buying fueled by automation, AI and APIs synchronized around the consumer.

Areas To Keep In-House Versus Outsource

The evolution of in-housing has reshaped the conversation for brands and agencies alike according to Nick. Rather than debate whether to bring all capabilities in-house, today’s question is what to own versus outsource based on key factors:

  • Speed: Can ideas and results be delivered rapidly or are they bound to long cycles?
  • Control: Can campaigns directly drive business KPIs or do secondary metrics rule?
  • Development: Is there flexibility to evolve data, tech and campaigns at your pace?
  • Risk: Where should accountability for budgets and outcomes sit?
  • Cost: Do near-term savings offset long-term expenses and commitments?

By evaluating capabilities against these considerations of speed, control, development, risk and cost, you can determine the optimal in-house and outsourced combinations to meet your unique needs.

“Some departments, such as creative design and media execution, could be in-house or outsourced, and it just depends on factors like available talent, culture of the business and budget,” Nick explained. “In this way, the practice of ‘in-housing’ can be more accurately called ‘right-housing,’ where all marketing teams are run with the best possible operating model.”

What’s crucial to remember is that in-housing for agencies often doesn’t mean in-housing everything, but in-housing what makes the most sense for your business.

Need an In-Housing Partner?

Transforming your team for in-house operation is a complex journey. If you need a partner through this journey, consider working with an outside organization such as Goodway Group.

At Goodway, we create a customized approach to in-housing for agencies, which includes training and coaching on relevant tech and techniques. We’ll evaluate the core competencies across your entire marketing operation, assessing your existing capabilities and developing your roadmaps, to transform your agency into a world-class, incremental growth engine.

By using our framework, we help you can create your action plan and understand how your agency can compete and win in an ever-demanding marketing landscape.

Want to start the discussion about in-housing? Get in touch today.

Michelle Philippon headshot

Michelle Philippon is a content marketing manager at Goodway Group. A creative and results-driven marketer with a record for producing captivating content, Michelle loves working with Goodway’s internal subject matter experts (SMEs) to provide useful insights to help agencies power their marketing campaigns to achieve meaningful outcomes. Michelle has over 10 years of experience writing for both business and consumer audiences and previously worked at a B2B marketing agency. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio, where she enjoys reading, hiking through Cleveland’s many metroparks, making jewelry from sea glass and drinking way too much coffee.