Marketers Want Help With Specialty Services


With new technology being touted as a great cost saver, more marketers are moving creative and other agency services in-​house. Not long ago, marketers were willing to let an outside shop handle both routine and specialty services for them. Now, marketers think technological advances will help them accomplish these tasks.

The latest survey from the Association of National Advertisers indicates that about 78% of its members have an in-​house agency. That’s a big jump over the results from 2013, when the number stood at 58 percent.

The Challenge

At least 40% of marketers say reduced cost is the reason to move services back in-​house. Marketers are also after the following factors:

  • Better knowledge of their brands 19%
  • Speed, nimbleness 12%
  • Institutional knowledge 10%
  • Creative expertise 6%
  • Greater control 6%

Marketers are definitely energized by the thought of doing their own creative work. They believe they can develop brand identity more effectively than external agencies. Marketers are also taking control of their  social media marketing. They may be moving in this direction because they want to quickly respond to issues that arise. If an agency needs to check with a client on the tone that should be used when responding to an inflammatory social post, any extra delay could be negatively interpreted by the marketer’s customers.

While creative and social media work is moving in-​house, only 17% of marketers have done the same for media buying and programmatic work. About 69% of those marketers say they’re satisfied with the changes they’ve made so far. They’re convinced that they are saving money and improving efficiency.

Your Opportunity

ANA CEO Bob Liodice remarks, “Traditional agencies are becoming increasingly challenged as marketers move more work in-​house while encouraging their external agencies to provide differentiated services and increased value.”

If you’re selling digital marketing services, you can increase your chances of winning a contract by emphasizing your expertise in specialty services. Some marketers have moved these services in-​house, but plenty of others seek outside help. So far, the following percentages of these specialty services are being done by marketer staffers:

  • Influencer marketing 39%
  • Experiential marketing 38%
  • Commercial production 22%

Your clients might like the extra control they have when they move advertising services back under their own roofs, but they can’t be all things to all people. ANA analysts observe that, “[t]he biggest challenges for in-​house agencies are related to managing growth. Specifically, the two top challenges are managing workflow (increased projects) and efficiently managing resources.”

Before you pitch your specialty services to a marketer, run a Digital Audit (available at AdMall from Salesfuel.) Check out their social media alignment and reputation alignment. Using that knowledge, you can explain how you’ll do a better job and at an affordable price.

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.