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ANA Says In-House Agencies Growing in Popularity
By: Amanda Markell
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Yesterday, the Boston-based In-House Agency Forum, better known as IHAF, hosted their 2013 Annual Conference where in-house marketing agencies from across the country were able to come together and celebrate successful work and share their learnings. Teams present at the conference included Bose, Prudential, Timex, Discovery, Santander Bank, TJX, and more. A guest speaker at the conference was Bill Duggan, Group Executive Vice President at the Association of National Advertisers (ANA); Bill gave an in-house agency State of the Industry Report. The findings of ANA’s industry research showed that in-house marketing agencies are becoming increasingly used and valued. So how do we know?
 
1. More companies have in-house marketing agencies than in the past.
Since 2008, the penetration of in-house agencies has increased from 42% to 58%. Advantages like cost effectiveness, institutional knowledge, dedicated team members, and brand expertise are driving this movement to have an in-house marketing team.
 
The report showed that the type of work that these teams are doing is primarily collateral/promotional, email, tradeshow/event materials, direct mail, brand identity, internal communications, internal videos, and magazine advertising.
 
2. In-house agencies are becoming far more strategic.
Although cost efficiency is still a primary motivator to have an in-house agency, these teams are increasingly being relied upon for their strategic expertise. The report showed that 60% of in-house teams handled creative strategy and 56% handled marketing/product strategy.
 
Want more evidence? In 2008, 66% of in-house agencies were handling the service of brand identity building and in 2013 this increased by 4%.
 
As these in-house assets are becoming more strategic they are gaining robust responsibilities: over half conduct their own media buying, 42% handle data/marketing analytics, and 34% do their own content marketing. 
 
3. Companies are shifting work from external agencies to in-house.
Of the surveyed companies, 56% said "Yes in the past three years we have moved established business that used to be handled by our external agency to in-house."
 
To be specific, the services most frequently transferred from external to internal were: collateral/promotional, creative strategy, and email. 52% of companies are also assigning tasks such as digital, social, and mobile to their in-house teams rather than their external agency.
 
4. The size of in-house agencies is growing.
With all that has been mentioned above, it’s not alarming that these in-house marketing teams are growing in size to handle the workload. There has been a significant shift since 2008; data shows a 7% increase in teams of 11–50 employees and a 4% increase in teams of 51–100 employees while teams of 10 or fewer have dropped 11%.
 
If in-house agency popularity is increasing, what does the future hold for the traditional agencies of the world? And how will in-house agencies and external agencies learn to successfully hold hands to create successful brands and campaigns as partners?
 
Do you work on an in-house team and feel this shift in motion? Share your thoughts about this change in the industry @beneaththebrand.
 
Source: ANA 2013, In-House Agency Survey


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About the Author
Amanda Markell is a marketer in the Greater Boston Area with a passion for branding, new media, and customer insights. 
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