ORLANDO—Before digital media and all of its complexity came along, advertising agencies were basically ensured of an end-to-end relationship with their clients. Now there’s so much more work to be done, it’s not surprising that more marketers are taking certain functions in-house, according to 4A’s President & CEO Marla Kaplowitz.
“It’s been around for a long time. There have always been teams inside of clients within the marketing teams or supporting the marketing teams to address the needs that exist,” Kaplowitz says in this Beet.TV interview at the recent Association of National Advertisers’ In-House Agency Conference.
At the event, Kaplowitz moderated a panel discussion titled Agencies and the Velocity of Change. It brought together executives from VMLY&R and GlaxoSmithKline, plus Publicis Media and New Balance. Turns out “balance” is a key word in the modern-day world of marketers and how they mix internal and external resources.
“There’s just so much more that is needed today and there’s a lot of work that needs to get accomplished,” says Kaplowitz. “I do think it’s important to recognize that here is no one size fits all. There’s no right way of doing it.”
It’s more about “finding what is the right model for you, but you have to really think about what are your objectives, what are you trying to accomplish. And that they’re not set in stone. They change over time.”
One theme from Kalowitz’s panel is that client-agency partnerships have to be right for both parties. For VMLY&R and GSK, a key element was “how to work together to support the tech stack that they work with, to collaborate with the team that’s in-house that’s actually managing strategy and comms planning.” In the case of Publicis and New Balance, while the agency sets the “base” brand strategy, the global creative services team at New Balance does “more of the executional work and work closely within the local territories and how they manage it.”
Asked about negative and positive implications for agencies, Kaplowitz says that’s largely in the eye of the beholder. The recent growth of in-house teams is undeniable, but 90% of marketers still require outside resources.
“Agencies have also shifted to being less reluctant to needing to do everything end to end. There’s more openness to recognizing what their specific role can be within the journey and how to bring that to life. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It doesn’t have to be negative.”