WHY IN-HOUSE AGENCIES STILL NEED OUTSIDE HELP

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Last year, Ad Age reported (click here) on the skyrocketing growth of internal agencies with 78 percent of members of the Association of National Advertisers reporting some form of in-house agency. 

While this may seem like an alarming statistic to traditional advertising agencies, it really shouldn’t be.  One of the primary reasons for the rise in in-house agencies is the increasing demand for branded content and the ability to produce it on a daily basis to feed content strategies.  Some agencies have done a better job than others of recognizing this market need and adapting their business models while others have been slower to catch on.

However, whether your agency offers branded content development or not, agencies still offer value to advertisers with in-house agencies.  Here are the top 3 reasons:

  1. Outsider Perspective – Your agency is an independent partner tasked with driving results for your brand.  That independence allows for the development of ideas without restriction, which can help lead to work that breaks through category norms or challenges conventional thinking.

  2. Talent – The most talented creative professionals are drawn to creative environments where they have the opportunity to work on various brands and marketing challenges and rub shoulders with others in their industry.  Even some of the best designed and run in-house agencies are still operated within a corporate environment with corporate standards and more oversight, which may be less appealing for some.

  3. Cost Savings – Marketing needs can vary throughout the year.  This can make it challenging to have the appropriate level of staff available at all times or to make operations financially efficient.  Agencies can assist in picking up the slack throughout the year with an ever-ready talent pool that knows your brand and your team.

Of course there are more than 3 reasons to consider investing in an ongoing relationship with an agency partner for ancillary services.  But the overall benefit is helping you run your in-house agency more effectively and efficiently.  

To learn more about VWA, visit our website, www.vwaatlanta.com or call 404-355-0127.

MARKETING AT THE SPEED OF PERFORMANCE

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One stat that will stick with you for the rest of the day is that 90% of the worlds online content was uploaded to the web in the last two years. This clearly illustrates the way that marketers have shifted in mass to what is now called performance driven marketing.   The subtle and time intensive efforts of building brand equity have been challenged by the need for data and immediate performance. In a day where CMO’s and CEO’s are held to quarterly profits in spite of long term goals, this plays perfectly in that arena.

As brands have embraced performance based marketing there have been challenges. The days of hiring an agency to develop a campaign and having the campaign executed with perfect rhythm to the annually approved marketing plan are over. Speed, change and execution have become the norm and the marketers have to adapt or get the heck out of the way. The pace never stops. Marketers work day in and day out to develop personas, content to match, target multiple audiences, buy ads via a number of online resources, and measure the KPI’s and costs. And all of has to be constant as campaigns are optimized in real time. This delivers the C-suite’s ultimate goal of ROI based campaigns to drive transactions.

To do it well, you need a team. All the technical aspects of performance based marketing have spawned a plethora of specialized agencies: content marketing agencies, digital media agencies, SEO & PPC agencies, social media agencies, UX agencies, Influencer agencies, email marketing agencies, and digital marketing agencies. The skill for everything is rarely in one place. Many agencies are working together better than ever because the machinations of marketing have be come so diverse. Clients have started to realize that smaller more nimble agencies can react faster and stay in their lane better than large network agencies that have P and L’s for their respective departments.

Clients who try to operate a performance based program with their marketing department are waking up to a sobering reality. Marketers are attempting to “ fix the problem” by bringing it all in-house. This is easier said than done. In 2016 a large numbers of marketers said they were going to bring everything in-house but a follow up in 2017 revealed that few had made the move. There are too many moving parts and those who thought they would rely on media giants like Facebook and Google were forced to face the fact that they are just media companies looking for more money and not concerned about actual business results.It comes down to the agencies and where they will go. Will they be able to bring together the creative and technology in a way that provides results while winning the hearts of consumers? The technology guys need to become more creative and the creative guys need to embrace technology. Instead of working on optimizing the media we need to work on optimizing the creative. The data obsessed performance marketing marketers are here to stay, it’s our job to make it better.