In our latest 2017 New Year Outlook Survey Report, 64% of marketers tell us they are moving some of their marketing and agency business in-house.

Agencies tell us the same.

While in-house agencies can be a great way to cut costs, streamline communication, and control processes, they do have their limitations.

In-house agencies can be great if left to be run like an agency, and not like the corporate creative department, hamstrung by politics and silos and limited by the value of the talent representing the group.

If an in-house agency is tasked with owning the entire process (like the folks at AARP), it can work…in the short-term.

In House Advertising

But in my humble opinion…the likelihood of it succeeding long-term is not high.

The value of looking outside is the perspective that outside partners can bring to your world.

And the value of looking outside is the expertise in finding and attracting the right kind of talent and creating an environment that is conducive to big thinking, creativity, and the ability to challenge thinking.

In addition, unless you’re working with a firm that only does healthcare, or only does automotive, there’s value in getting perspective from an agency that manages other clients in other categories.

They learn about new techniques, new ideas, new technologies that can be applied to your business.

In-house teams might walk in with that perspective, but given the rapid nature in which the world of marketing and advertising is changing, their ability to sustain that broader perspective and bring value to the thinking within the four walls of a company, is challenged.

So not arguing against bringing some of your work in-house.

Certainly the more tactical things you do for your business can potentially be managed more efficiently.  But you have to remember why you’re in the business you’re in.

It’s like I tell our marketing agency clients that we represent (as their outsourced agency new business team)…I tell them that they are not in the business of being great salespeople.

They’re in the business of creating market-moving ideas, helping develop strategy, and staying ahead of the curve when it comes to new technology, data & analytics, and other forward looking ideas that can help advance their clients’ businesses.

Same holds true for you.  You aren’t in the business of being a creative shop.  That’s not why your company was put on this earth.

You’re in the business of selling, servicing…doing whatever you do for the benefit of your constituents to make their lives more fulfilling.