Is an in-house agency actually the right strategy for your business?

Feb 20, 2020 | Marketing Strategy

An overwhelming amount of corporations are bringing their agency work in house – in fact in 2019 72% of corporations had an in-house agency (IHA), up 12.5% from 2018, according to MediaPost.

Having an IHA can cut time to execution, give the work to people closest to the brand and allow the company to make decisions internally without having to explain the process again to an out-sourced team.

It all sounds good, right? But how are IHA’s doing? You may be surprised…

MediaPost recently released the findings of an In-House Agency Forum (IHAF), a professional association for internal agencies, and Forrester report that found IHA’s are limited by their corporation’s hierarchy, budgets and headcount.

Some interesting findings from the report:

  • Within the past two years, 65% of IHA’s have undergone some sort of reorganization
  • 42% of corporate marketers are unaware of what their IHA’s mission, purpose and/or objective is
  • More than half (52%) of IHA respondents say they aren’t adequately funded
  • 82% have to augment their existing talent pool with external resources to address capacity constraints and capability limitations 
  • Three in four IHA’s (79%) say they lack the specialty talent and capabilities needed to advance internally over the next two years, with video, digital, social media and analytics skills 

The big takeaway from this report is that bringing your agency work in-house is no easy task and just because reports tell you that IHA’s are becoming more of the norm does not mean it’s always right for your business or that you need to rush to do so. 

To have a successful IHA requires extensive planning for the now and for the future – financial investment, headcount, processes, objectives, training and development, etc… It requires hiring the right people who can make an immediate impact and can also grow as the IHA evolves. Maybe most importantly, for an IHA to truly be successful it is essential to have full corporate buy-in and trust. Otherwise you’ll just continue to hit roadblock after roadblock.

At Social Fulcrum we support clients and situations of all kinds, in-house, full-service and everything in between:

Full Service: The majority of our clients fall into this bucket. As a specialty paid social agency, our process kicks off with an audit of the clients current and previous Facebook campaigns. Using the audit findings we build out an execution strategy to maximize the potential of the account. From there we run the entire paid social account and all Facebook/Instagram campaigns for the client. We execute, test, and optimize from start to finish, including creative services if needed. Our managed clients see an average of 5x increase in Facebook sales during their first 90 days under our management!  This full service paid social media offering often sits as a specialty within a broader IHA or external agency team.

Assist In-House: As the leading experts in Facebook advertising we are always open to stand in as an extension of your IHA. We will audit your IHA’s campaigns and make recommendations and improvements to the current strategy and be available to help either as consultants, analysts or those supplemental resources that 82% of IHA’s are deploying to make sure your IHA drives the best outcomes for your company.

Full Service to In-House: More common with early stage and emerging DTC brands and smaller retail clients, we offer our services to fully launch and scale your Facebook advertising with the intention of helping your team move the paid social advertising in-house at the right point. Typically over 12-18 months we will set up the strategy, best practices and make sure you are seeing optimal results while you simultaneously build an in-house team. We will train and consult with your in-house team, and if needed, we will even assist with the recruitment of the right in-house employees to make sure you will continue to see success when efforts are moved fully in-house. 

If you’re curious about how your IHA is doing OR how your current agency is doing, we offer free no commitment audits where we will share with you areas of opportunity, both campaign targeting and creative strategies, and overall best practices that you may be missing, or additional ways to better optimize your existing campaigns. 

P.S. Our audits are private…we won’t tell your IHA or Agency when we go over the wasted spend and all of the other opportunities they are missing 😉

1 Comment

  1. Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

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