How to Talk About Your Clients Bringing Media In-House

BY Rachel Cagle
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Nearly half of marketing decision-​makers want to bring media in-​house, according to a study by Forrester. Not only that, bringing media in-​house is a top marketing objective for these marketers. This may sound alarming, but there are ways to keep your clients from taking complete action on this goal.

Proving Your Services are the Better Option over Bringing Media In-House

First of all: Breathe. You have time to figure this out. Forrester found that 64% of marketers who plan to bring media in-​house will do so gradually. Second: These marketers aren’t planning on completely bringing media in-​house. They know that partnerships with media agencies are still essential when it comes to supporting their media efforts. With all you do for your clients and your wealth of industry knowledge, they can’t claim to have the same expertise. The big areas they plan to have at least some responsibility for include the following aspects of media:

  • Strategy
  • Planning
  • Measurement
  • Analytics
  • Buying
  • Operations

Now, let’s have a look at the marketers’ motivation for bringing media in-​house, according to Forrester.

Increasing Transparency and Control

The top motivator of bringing media in-​house is, “to gain visibility into their customer data and media measurement, while also giving them greater control over investments,” reports Forrester. They want to ensure they’re reaching customers the best way and time and with the right messages.

With this goal in mind, there are methods to change your client’s mind. Does your company offer analytics? If you don’t, we can help. AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel offers consumer audience profiles, complete with demographic information, marketing preferences and purchase history/​future plans. Taking a look at your client’s target audience’s profile can provide you with the insights your clients want. Showcase that ability to all your clients, not just the ones who are on the fence about bringing media in-​house. You’ll show that you realize their goals and want to help them succeed.

Improving Paid Media Performance

More advanced companies that are already comfortable with their level of visibility and control are more focused on improving media performance and having the flexibility to make decisions faster by cutting out the middleman.

A potential solution is to improve your communication with these types of clients. If you can make yourself and your team more readily available to these clients, that will speed up the media planning process. And if you can offer faster turnarounds for these clients, even better. Brainstorm with your team to find out what you can do to improve your speed.

Be Open to Sharing Responsibilities

Even marketers focused on bringing media in-​house know that it’s too hefty of a goal for their organization. 54% of marketers would like to either split responsibilities with agencies, either 50/​50 or more for the agency, reports Forrester. Even the remaining 46% of marketers would like agencies to be involved in their media efforts at least a little.

Of the marketers that wish to split media responsibilities with agencies, they would like to manage:

  • Social
  • Search
  • Affiliate
  • Connected TV (CTV)

And even then, only a small number of these marketers want to completely bring these responsibilities in-​house. That still leaves a wealth of media in your agency’s capable hands.

It’s better to lessen your responsibilities with a client than lose them entirely. So, if your clients begin approaching you about bringing media in-​house, listen to what they have to say. If you talk with them about your agency’s capabilities and help them see that your existing relationship is their best course of action, fantastic! But if you can’t, be open to a discussion of splitting responsibilities.

Either way, this conversation is going to come up eventually and with more than one client. Being prepared for these conversations will help the negotiation go much more smoothly.

How credible you appear to your clients can affect how this conversation goes. Learn how you can boost your credibility by downloading our free whitepaper: The American State of Credibility.

Photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Solutions