But advertisers can’t cut costs by cutting partners and still expect to yield adequate results. In the long term, this strategy is unlikely to pay off. A better approach is to use your partners’ expertise to form a growth strategy around media in-housing.
Here are five must-haves every advertiser should have in place if their in-housing is going to pay off.
Create a clear strategy and vision. The first step is to create a clear written strategy identifying the challenges in-housing will solve, the opportunities it will help you realize, and how it aligns with your business vision.
This needs to be tangible so your people can understand and rally behind it, or question it to reframe and make it more deliberate.
The strategy needs to demonstrate growth, longevity, and sustainable balance to the business, with the ability to both excite and scare people to truly demonstrate the impact the new team can have.
Don’t view cost saving as an input. The fastest way for in-house teams to fail is expecting them to deliver the same amount of work with fewer resources. This approach will likely mean every decision thereafter becomes a point to suggest how teams can strip away what makes them effective, innovative and dynamic, leaving a group that only functions as a very basic buying outfit.
Here is where you can draw on your partner's experience. So much of what makes agencies special is their ability to pivot and redistribute resources to areas forecast to deliver long-term growth. With in-housing, cost should be used as an output or a measure, never an input.
Encourage wide collaboration. There needs to be collaboration with other teams within the organization (IT, analytics, product) to avoid the risk of the in-house team becoming siloed. Teams need to be an integral part of the business to execute media at a faster rate than a traditional agency.
Having advocates within the business will encourage teams to work closely together and raise awareness of the work with senior stakeholders.
Respect your team. It’s important to ensure in-house teams are working efficiently and not struggling with the problems of limited resource, whether that be time, cost or labor -- especially when they are picking up tasks that would have been outsourced to an agency.
Introducing virtual currencies, or even timesheets, can help monitor where resources are going. When you know where the in-house team’s time is being spent, processes can be improved, whether that be briefing in a better way or distilling reporting down to a digestible format. All these tactics keep teams working together better.
Understand what tools and technology you need.While agility, flexibility and control are important factors when deciding to in-house activity, businesses can be unaware of the technology, tools and platforms that can help them achieve this.
There needs to be a clear plan of how to manage and maintain these tools, particularly when creating the in-house team, to make sure tools are used to their best advantage. Again, this is something best done together with an experienced partner.