Over the past few years advertisers and agencies alike have been plagued with numerous issues that have affected mutual trust, revenue growth and brand communications. This has led many companies to set up their internal capabilities to create and produce brand advertising and content, as recently evidenced by the ANA’s (Association of National Advertisers) report that nearly 80% of their members have some sort of in-house operations, mostly for content marketing (60%). Media planning and buying services to some degree are being handled in-house by 55% of survey respondents.
In-house capabilities present some important opportunities for companies:
- Continuity and knowledge of their business and brands
- Potentially, a more direct link between their customer data and their strategy and communications teams
- Centralized accountability for results
- Cost savings
But it also presents a series of challenges that companies need to think-through:
- Focus limits perspective. The old adage continues to hold true: when you are so close to the tree, you may lose perspective of the forest. In this regard, external experts bring a huge value to their clients because they are more exposed to many different businesses and product categories, therefore leveraging insights, techniques, learning and other expertise on their behalf.
- Business leaders and marketing teams have a business to run. The speed of change in today’s business and consumer environment demand continuous and focused attention on sales performance, brand development and product innovation. This is a very different charge than doing consistently great creative work or managing creative teams, copywriting and film production. This is not as simple as it appears to be.
- Not all companies have the resources or access to best-in-class creators. Commercial and video production not only require great ideas to start with, but also specialized directors and video content experts who can truly amplify the brand. It’s no surprise that in comparison, only 23% of survey respondents have integrated studio production in the house.
In the era of content, what the world needs now are strategic thinkers, creators and facilitators that are experienced and multi-faceted, and who can deliver brand solutions quickly. If traditional models no longer work for you, then for sure, try something new. But caution: don’t fall into the trap of looking within, as there are many new options you can leverage to help you build your business. Explore and find the best solution to your particular situation.