"Marketer's Note" is a regular column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. This week it is written by Joanna O'Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger Research.
In a recent interview with CMO Today, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of holding company WPP Group, called the “in house” trend (i.e. marketers moving media buying – driven by the rise programmatic – out of agencies’ hands and inside the walls of marketing organizations), “a temporary phenomenon”, noting, “Our view is after a year or two it will change. I question whether [clients] will be able to apply technology successfully.”
It makes me think of two questions I raised at the end of the recently released research report on this subject, which I share here because they are apropos to Sir Martin’s argument:
What is one’s definition of effective? There is general agreement among marketers choosing the “In-House” path that they can do great work themselves, but a counter-argument that any programmatic shop (or holding company trading desk) would make, which is, frankly, compelling, is, “Can a small, lean group of marketers who are not steeped in programmatic really do better than what we could if given the chance?” Is there a performance trade-off to having one supply manager negotiating rates versus a whole team, or one platform expert versus a whole host of experts, regardless of money saved through fees not paid out? Asks one director of advertising and online marketing at a leading catalog and e-commerce retailer whose organization is currently migrating to a more complete in-house model, “How do you know for sure you can do it better? You don’t. And the arrogance of thinking you can do it better can be risky.”