ORLANDO—It started with “low-hanging fruit” like collateral and point-of-sale materials and package design then progressed to social media. Now more marketers are expected to bring some of their media activity in-house—one reason being to protect their first-party data, according to Bill Duggan of the Association of National Advertisers.
“Currently, there’s much more creative done in house than media. But I do think that media is absolutely increasing,” the Group EVP says in this Beet.TV interview at the recent Association of National Advertisers’ In-House Agency Conference.
“In-housing is raging,” he adds.
He cites three ANA member surveys that show “the penetration of in-house agencies skyrocket” to 78% from 42% in 2008. Meanwhile, the in-house workload has continued to build, with 90% of survey respondents with an in-house agency citing an increase and two-thirds of those say “it’s increasing a lot,” Duggan says.
Social media was an obvious candidate for in-housing because of the quick turnaround times it requires. It’s been joined by programmatic media, influencer marketing “and all sorts of creative. Marketers these days have the need for much, much more content than they’ve ever needed before done at a faster pace,” ranging from Internet video high-end television commercials.
Despite some of its complexities, media is seen as “the next frontier posed for rapid growth in-house” but with limitations. “I don’t think the day will come where there’s a lot of client-side marketers negotiating their own television deals with the networks because certainly the big agency holding companies have that clout,” Duggan notes.
One incentive for bringing some media in-house is so that marketers can keep an eye on their first-party data, according to Duggan.
In-housing advertising and media has always been about cost and speed. Along the way, marketers have gotten better at recruiting and nurturing talent. “That has been a debate in the industry and a knock on in-house agencies that they don’t have the talent that external agencies have, but I do believe that’s changing.”
Just how busy are some in-house teams? Duggan observes that conference speakers mentioned handling anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 projects a year.
There is still a balance to be achieved by using internal and external resources. Two participants referenced establishing “swim lanes” so that “they can both live happily together and optimize the work.”