THE 12 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUILDING AN IN-HOUSE AGENCY
Marketers have reached a tipping point. Budgets are stretched, teams are shrinking, but the workload is increasing and the need to compelling, engaging marketing communication pieces grows. A solution that, according to a recent article in Forbes, 78% of brands are working on is in-housing and it’s most definitely the right way to go. When an in-house is delivering on its promise the high impact results are felt throughout the organization.
The leading benefits are faster and cheaper, or cost neutral in some cases and there are many others.
In depth knowledge of the brand(s)
Dedicated staff without the churn and burn of the agency world
Faster decision making means faster speed-to-market
Continuity—no false starts and off strategy work
The ability to exercise greater control
Real time social media
If your in-house includes data and analytics it’s more secure
With so many benefits it’s easy to get carried away and try to build an in-house that does everything right out of the gate. It depends on the spectrum of marketing materials your brands need and this is a really good place to start. It’s slightly tedious, and for this reason this part of in-house planning is rarely done well, but you need to look at all of the materials being developed by external agencies, design shops and any teams you currently have in-house. What you’re looking for is a list of the deliverables by channel and the number of deliverables by month and year. By month is important as it signals peak times of the year which can have an impact on resourcing requirements.
Here’s a very basic list of the items you need to consider.
Audit all marketing materials. Divide up by channel or media type, with quantity/volume by the month. Reviewing one year is usually adequate unless that year does not represent the volume or requirements well. Make sure you include extremely fast turn-around requirements in this list.
Review the current scopes of all the external agencies
Develop a business plan with your CFO
Phase 1 the type of work, services and associated costs
Phase 1 and 2 in-house capabilities
Physical space costs
Education and seminars
In-house business internal billing, in-house currency-dollars, hours or projects
This is important as you need to have some type of currency to control the spend within the in-house. If you don’t have anything your in-house will become an all you can eat buffet which doesn’t end well.
Develop your mission and vision
Who will manage and hire people to get it off the ground
Now you need to review your current way of working as it will need to shift. Currently your marketing teams work with external agencies and working with an in-house team requires a different workflow.
Here are a few pointers on what you’ll need to do.
Evaluate your current way of working by speaking with stake-holders and contributors
Audit how strategy works with in Marketing; review digital, social and traditional strategy workflows
Look at how media works—is it in-house or out? How do the marketing stakeholders get results?