In-House Marketing Teams Becoming the Norm?

Posted 5 months ago by @megroy_


It's a trend that has been noticed the past few years. More and more ad agencies are losing clients to.....in-house teams?

Big name advertisers have already started to take their game in-house, like Procter and Gamble, Unilever, Georgia Pacific, and Verizon. It's a bold move, as clients want more oversight, control, and ultimately better ROI.

Clients are removing that middle man of working with agencies, creating a more dynamic and accessible management of advertising efforts. Think about it, in-house teams have more first party data available, the speed to adjust campaigns on the fly, and more direct and frequent communication with key stakeholders.

Moreover, in theory, relationships and loyalty improve when marketing efforts are conducted in-house. Agencies, publishers, and platforms have quarterly goals to meet, increasing fees and budgets to grow revenue. Remove that, and advertising is purely focused on driving performance for your brand and company.

I've already started to see this in my experience.

Agency A would win Client A, a huge advertiser. Everyone would rejoice. A big win. Let's all celebrate. 

But then Client B would churn and move to create an in-house team. Agency A would still be out on revenue (assuming Client B revenue was comparable to what Client A was going to bring in). So winning Client A actually didn't move the needle for Agency A. 

Client B then builds an in-house team, saving money due to speed of campaign optimizations, launches, and recommendations.

After winning Client A, Agency A now has to staff, perhaps moving around existing employees who are also working on other accounts and not scoped 100% to Client A's business. 

Client B's in-house team is 100% dedicated to their company in scope, providing the time and value to grow its accounts. 

This isn't to say that agencies will be old news and out of business in a few years. They've been around for decades and will most likely remain, but the dynamic between ad agencies and advertisers will ultimately change with the rising prevalence of in-house teams.