Marketing and comms teams are doing more in-house. That’s not to say that the agency model is defunct, but we’re finding that where once we would generally work with an organisation’s creative or internal comms agency; now we increasingly work directly with in-house teams.
We’re also finding that although organisations are doing more in-house, we’re picking up a lot of projects. I think that’s because we offer a more specialised service, we do stuff that in-house teams can’t like creating broadcast quality video content and animations. And we also thrive on project-based work rather than retainers – although I’m happy to accept a retainer if you’ve got one!
So what’s driving this trend to doing more in-house, and how can agencies like NRG support internal teams? Read on…
4 reasons marketing & internal comms are moving in-house
From conversations with clients, the following reasons are mentioned again and again:
- Budget pressures – no surprise here but many internal teams are feeling the squeeze and need to rein in spending,
- GDPR – new data regulations have resulted in organisations taking control of the data they manage and no longer sharing it with outsource providers. In many cases this has enabled in-house teams to refine their messaging and deliver more personalised and effective communications,
- Digital skills – in-house staff have an in depth understanding of the organisation, brand, people and markets, and therefore with the right skills and knowledge can deliver comparable or better results that an external agency. Conversely, agencies like ourselves are able to complement in-house teams with more specialist skills, ones that are not needed on a daily basis,
- Agility – digital technology allows organisations to respond quickly to factors that affect the business, customers and employees. However, that agility is lost when the organisation has to wait for their agency partners to allocate time, propose ideas, produce work and get it out there. In-house teams are able to be more agile and respond ‘in the moment’, whereas external agencies can be slow.
When to bring external digital agencies on board
Thankfully, for digital agencies like ourselves, there are times when our expertise and specialisation are needed! When a client doesn’t have the skillset, needs a fresh perspective or strategic advice and guidance, a trusted digital agency can become an extension of your in-house team.
Our approach is to support our clients’ internal activities. While a lot of our work is project-based, where we take a brief and deliver a finished all singing all dancing video at the end, we’ll also work with in-house teams to plug their skills gaps. For example, some organisations are creating their own video content. Whether it’s user-generated content or staff with a Smartphone, this type of video content can be highly effective at getting a message across. We can help organisations get more value from these clips and soundbites, where appropriate repurposing them as part of a professional video or simply creating video branding templates that in-house teams can use.
This also supports the organisation’s desire for agility. If the CEO needs to communicate an important message to the workforce or to customers, a video shot on a Smartphone can be branded in-house and published within a very short timeframe.
Many digital agencies may feel threatened by this trend, but I think it presents us with an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to play to all our strengths and work together in a collaborative and transparent way. Instead fighting our corner and trying to keep in-house teams from encroaching on our ‘territory’, let’s build trust between our teams and become partners that are focussed on delivering excellent work that supports the organisation’s objectives and success.
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