Marketers Bringing More Work In-House


Traditional ad agencies are feeling pressure from all sides these days. The shift to digital has prodded them to think businessmeeting5differently about how to serve their clients. At the same time, businesses that are still feeling the effects of the recession are keeping work in-​house instead of contracting out to agencies. The latest survey from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) shows the extent of this practice.

In the past 5 years, agencies have seen a 16% increase in the number of marketers using in-​house agencies. About 58% of businesses now turn to their own staff members for advertising work. The reasons they make this change range from tapping internal expertise to achieving cost efficiency to improved turnaround time.

Marketers say that their staff members have institutional knowledge (79%) and brand expertise (71%) that affords an advantage over an external agency.  For 71% of marketers, speed to market is imperative. They believe relying on their own staff members gives them an edge they wouldn't have with an outside agency when it comes to digital, social and mobile.

Previously, 61% marketers noted that in-​house agencies lacked ‘deep strategic thinking.’ These days, only 30% of marketers say the same thing.  The good news for external agencies is that marketers regularly review their work.  As agencies pitch clients for new business, they’ll need to emphasize how they can complete projects faster and on budget for a client, while keeping a sharp focus on brand and vision. They may also be able to convince clients that their independence gives them access to the most creative talent and latest trends.

Have you noticed more clients pulling some or all of their work in-house?

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.