ORLANDO—The latest report on marketers taking certain activities in-house as opposed to using agencies comes as both sides need to produce more growth and profits. “Everybody’s under pressure at the same time,” observes MediaLink Chairman and CEO Michael Kassan.
Noting margin inadequacies at agencies and profit-and-loss challenges at marketers, it’s logical to take a close look at what can be done in-house, Kassan says in this interview with Beet.TV at the recent Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing conference.
“Those are competing dynamics and I think it’s a chaotic moment and I think there is more that clients, marketers can do themselves. That doesn’t negate the need for an agency because the agency is that outside-in perspective that you can’t always get looking inside out,” says Kassan.
“You run the risk if you create an in-house agency at brand X, that your team is only focused on brand X and they don’t get the horizontal visibility and influence that you get if you’re working across many brands.”
Taking more functions in-house also impacts the recruitment of talent when creative or media practitioners decide whether they want to work on just one client or vertical category, according to Kassan. “Or do they want the variety is the spice of life approach where they get to work across a portfolio of clients?’
The ANA surveyed 412 of its members in August 2018, 52% of whom were at the director level or above. According to the survey, 78% of ANA members have some type of in-house operation compared to 42% 10 years ago.
Kassan believes that advances in technology and automation will continue to be driving force for marketers deciding to do more themselves. “Will that trend continue? Yes.”
He perceives more transparency in what people are talking about at the ANA conference, and not just pertaining to media buying and placement “but also transparency about the actual conversation. Marketers and agencies actually talking about what are the benefits and liabilities of going in house. I think it’s a good conversation and we’ll see a lot of movement in that regard.”
This series “Growing Brands and Driving Results,” was produced at the ANA Masters in Marketing ’18 conference in Orlando. The series is sponsored by the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video. Please find additional coverage here.