In-housing programmatic teams is all the rage right now. And it’s easy to see why.
In-housing allows for faster decision-making, greater control, improved performance, better targeting, and cost efficiency.
In fact, 78% of marketers now report having an in-house agency, 44% of which were built in the last 5 years.
So should you drop what you’re doing right now and go start building your in-house team?
Despite the narrative, in-housing is not the best choice for every advertiser. Some important considerations need to go into the decision.
And if you do decide to move in-house, it opens up the question of how to build that team while maintaining your relationship with your agency.
Kari Marshall from T-Mobile and Richard Salazar from Anheuser-Busch InBev sat down to address these issues. Both are growing their in-house teams and can speak first-hand to the challenges and opportunities of making the switch.
HOW TO: Decide whether to move your programmatic marketing in-house
1. Identify what specific problems in-housing can solve for you; don’t just get swept up in the hype
In-housing is a huge investment and shouldn’t be made as a knee-jerk reaction. Do you know exactly what you should in-house and why? Consider the long-term costs & benefits of the shift.
For example, what is the long-term cost of hiring and maintaining a top-performing team? Here’s the breakdown of in-house team size across the industry (Note: all graphics were found in the 2018 ANA report, “The Continued Rise of the In-House Agency”) →
2. Evaluate your capacity for in-housing across 3 categories: people, process & technology
Before bringing a discipline in-house ask yourself: do we have the people to make this work? Will this integrate with our current systems? Will our tech simplify or complicate access to our new insights?
If you’re lacking in a category, factor that investment in before deciding — it may be substantial. Not to mention the cost of an in-house team once it’s up and running →
Transition step-by-step; in-housing too soon and too quickly has backfired on a lot of brands. Plan a timeline of who will take responsibility for in-housing which disciplines in what order →
3. Hire your in-house team based on mindset, not just expertise
Don’t limit yourself to the narrow field of expertise you need — broaden your search to find people with the right mindset who can grow into the role.
Are they good problem solvers? Do they align with your core values? In the long run this will be more important than prior experience. If you’re not sure what your core values are, this exercise can help parse them out →
Core Value Worksheet
4. Be honest with your agency about how their role can evolve to still provide value
Maintain your agency relationship during the transition through complete transparency. Why? First off, you don’t want to silo each discipline as you separate it from your agency. Second, with their outside view, agencies can remain powerful sources of accountability and simplification
The rise of in-house is not the death of external agencies. On average, external agencies still help with 42% of the workload →