As we begin 2019 we wanted to take some time to look back at one of the biggest trends which we expect to continue throughout this year and beyond: In-housing. Last year several of our clients came to us to begin discussions about the prospect of in-housing elements of their digital media. In this blog post we look at some of the factors a brand should consider when deciding whether to in-house.
The process is not for the faint-hearted and should not be reached without careful consideration and having full support of the wider business through expectation alignment and management.
Before deciding whether to in-house or not, first ask yourself whether the organisation is structured correctly, whether you fully understand the implications and complexities of in-housing and whether you can dedicate the time and resource to the process.
It would be easy to follow the momentum in the industry and jump into in-housing. But not every business needs to in-house. There are a multitude of reasons a brand might decide to in-house and knowing your organisations motivation is a good place to start in understanding whether in-housing is right for you. Perceptions about the potential savings or benefits of in-housing are often misguided, for example, believing you can save agency fees by in-housing needs to be weighed up against the potential loss in ways of working, learnings and the expertise a brand receives from an agency relationship. It may be that instead you need to review how you work with your current agency partner.
We have defined five insourcing models, these range from agency owned models where the brand owns the tech, but the agency delivers all activation, through to various hybrid models, brands owning everything in-house and the agency providing strategic and advisory support.
During the initial stages of in-housing, we work closely with clients on a “Pre-Discover” phase, defining business cases, expectations, organisational buy-in and agreeing on the best operating model to achieve a brand’s objectives. The “Pre-Discovery” phase helps avoid other pitfalls by aligning the wider business and ensuring sufficient stakeholder engagement.
A crucial part to this process and something we can’t emphasis enough, is the relationship with your existing agency. It’s short-sighted and potentially catastrophic not to engage your agency in the process. We understand that notifying your agency of a desire to in-house can be challenging, but your agency should be thought of as partners and be integral to the success of the process.
Finally, we have outlined some questions to begin asking yourself to help you decide whether in-housing is right for your business.
Technology: Does my business have the right tech in place? What tech should the business adopt, that it does not already have in place?
People: Which kind of experts do I need for this project? In which geographical areas can I find them? What talent retention approach does my business need to put in place? Which kind of corporate culture changes might be needed?
Ways of working: How can I establish the similar ways of working that I had with my agency? E.g. cooperation and an exchange of learnings.
Change management: How can I implement this huge change in the best way for my business? What impacts could I potentially face? What is the best path for my people to adopt and embrace the change?
The iProspect Consult team have strong a strong track record of finding the right solution for brands that are seeking to in-house.
If you are thinking about in-housing or are interested in hearing more, get in touch with the team to hear how we’ve been supporting other clients.