The last several years of marketing in our world of managing agency searches for our marketing clients have been a constant push-and-pull of in-house marketing vs. external agencies.
Like clockwork, the trends flow as follows: brand leaders outsource work to agencies, then decide that they’d be better served to move that work, as much in-house as possible. Finally, searching for a fresh outside perspective, they slowly move projects outside their four walls – restarting the cycle.
More and more, we’re seeing that the post-pandemic marketing world will follow that latter-most step: companies taking work that had traditionally been handled in-house and moving it to external teams. Brands like Prudential and J. Crew, once stalwarts of the internal marketing trend, are linking up with agencies once again. So why the shift?
Short answer: marketing is hard.
Long answer: Brands are looking for new qualities in their marketing teams, and as things like flexibility come to the forefront, you can expect a renewed focus on agencies to follow closely behind.
Your in-house team brings a lot to the table, but one of the most important distinctions for any marketing department is knowing when and where to bring an agency on to allow that internal team to focus on their own strengths.
Of course, like previous ebbs and flows in the balance between internal and external, the ideal combination is balancing between the two.
The new-look of these hybrid models is a division between strategy and execution: an agency devises the strategy and roadmap of a campaign, for example, while the in-house team and the agency takes on different parts of the day-to-day operations.
Whatever your workflow, brands are finding that creating an in-house agency alone is simply not the answer.
And why now? Because COVID happened to demand qualities that agencies have often shown to be better equipped to provide. Streamlined budgets. Increased flexibility. Scalable billing.
These are all things that marketing departments are finding more necessary in the wake of the 2020 rollercoaster, and all things that make for an agency-friendly landscape.
It’s becoming clear that while in-house teams will certainly make a comeback, agencies aren’t going anywhere. They’re a crucial piece of the dynamic for marketers like you, and provide a flexible, scalable solution to projects as opposed to a more unwieldy internal shop.
If you’re seeing these trends play out in your brand, and you’re looking to bring an agency (or agencies) on for your next marketing initiative, give us a call. We’re constantly maintaining a database of thousands of agencies, and can provide support in finding one tailored to your needs.