You don’t need us to tell you that in-house agencies are on the rise.

As a marketer, you’ve either seen this trend all around your industry, or you’ve become part of it.

Whatever your vantage point, it won’t surprise you to learn that 72% of corporations now have an in-house agency.  This is according to a report from In-House Agency Forum.

With that kind of internal movement comes a challenge.  The challenge of finding a balance between organizational consistency and creative and strategic autonomy.

In-house teams are running into an increasing number of strategic hurdles.  It’s beginning to frustrate talent that thrives on devising innovative and strategic solutions.

Part of the issue falls within the delineation of strategy and creative.

The report cites that more than half (55%) of surveyed agencies experienced a high level of autonomy in creative execution (good!).  The bad news is that only a third had even ample autonomy when it came to marketing communications and strategy (not so good!).

It’s a dynamic that we’ve seen more of as work moves in-house: the in-house team is relegated to a role that consists purely of execution.

They are given little or no voice at the strategy table.

It’s a risk of the rigid structure and brand adherence that companies seek in bringing marketing in-house.  Additionally, it’s a risk that can quickly handcuff your brand in terms of getting truly innovative marketing and strategic thinking.  Well past the planning stage.

In other words, marketers are moving work to internal teams, but simply don’t know how to maximize their efforts.

The result? Wasted resources, frustrated internal talent, and a recipe for a stifled creative team.

Internal teams have their strengths.  They have full control over creative, a potentially deeper understanding of the brand, and maybe even a cheaper bottom line cost.

But without at least a supplemental outside agency to provide a perspective originating from outside the four walls of your brand, you may find that this commitment to in-house marketing becomes a lid on innovation, rather than a fountain of ideas.

In our own RSW/AgencySearch research, we noted that while nearly half (48%) of agencies predict either a “somewhat” or “significant” increase in marketing work being moved in-house, these external shops are far from extinction.  This is thanks to the unique value that comes from the thinking they bring to the marketing conversation, even as a supplement to your internal agency.

So if you’re looking for a new marketing agency to either bring better thinking to the table and better work to the marketplace – or if you’re simply looking for a firm that can better compliment your in-house team, give us a call (513-559-3101) or drop us a line (

Happy to help out at no cost to you.