ORLANDO—Although the practice of marketers taking certain functions in-house as opposed to paying external agencies has been gaining traction in recent years, it’s a trend that has flown under the radar. Including at the Association of National Advertisers, which just concluded its first-ever event devoted exclusively to in-house agencies.
“The in-house agency phenomenon is something that really just popped out of surveys that we were doing,” says ANA CEO Bob Liodice in this Beet.TV interview at the ANA In-House Agency Conference, who also credits the Boston-based In-House Agency Forum.
“The more we began to learn, the more we realized that in fact in-house agencies are a function of growth,” Liodice adds. “Growth is our middle name. Driving growth for brands and businesses is what we are all about.”
After a survey of ANA members in 2018, “we saw how explosive it was. In house agencies were growing because marketers were feeling like this was an important element to gain greater control, to take their industry back.”
So now the option of taking work in-house is considered a fundamental growth element for brands and companies. What’s been missing from many conversations about building sustainable businesses were the words “brands” and “creative,” amid a decline in brand loyalty, according to Liodice.
“If you notice, there aren’t a lot of creative conferences or creative meetings. What was happening was creative was being pushed aside in favor of speed to market, the shiny objects that were out there.”
He cites survey data showing that young consumers consider only 26% of brands to be necessary or desired. “That is awful. The way to do that is we have to bring back that loyalty factor.
“We need to reach them in new ways that we’ve been missing on for years and years. There’s an atrophy and a deterioration that we can no longer accept.”