Benefits of in-house marketing teams and creativity
Creativity is a key component within marketing. Creating content your audience will engage with is essential to get results in an oversaturated market, when expressions such as banner blindness are established. For that reason, lack of creativity may be a concern when moving marketing efforts in-house. Although, when asking marketers in our State of In-housing 2021 report, 56% percent of brands actually perceive themselves as more creative since in-housing, where the main reason is they have become more curious.
To say that in-house marketing will solve all those concerns is to simplify, but it sure can help. Data speaks for itself. With that being said, some marketers still perceive impediments when speaking of in-housing, in regards to creativity. Our report shows that barriers to creativity include organisational structure (44 percent), lack of technology (44 percent) and lack of time (43 percent). Other concerns may be lack of skills/talent and high costs. If these impediments are relevant to your organisation, you might find the perspectives below intriguing.
Problem 1: Lack of time
Many companies choose to outsource all or parts of their marketing efforts due to lack of time. Therefore, to say that bringing them in-house will save time, might seem foreign. Still, with the right team and the right tools, in-house marketing can definitely save you time. For one, working in-house means you have all the product as well as company knowledge within reach. Compared to working with an external agency, that can definitely speed up production. Overall, it is a lot easier to improve workflows and collaboration when everyone is under the same roof – or working in the same, cloud-based platform.
That brings us to the next subject – having the tools and technologies that enable productivity. For example, by using a creative management platform, you can forget about repetitive tasks such as scaling or translating, and having AI do it for you. That way, you can produce more in less time, and have designers focus on actually designing. The perfect way to increase creativity levels!
Also, saving time is not only about actual hours, but also about saving calendar time. In many markets, having the ability to react to competitor offers and cut lengthy lead times is invaluable. Reaching that speed can be difficult when you are not working in-house.
“If you work with an external agency, they deal with a lot of urgent requests from many different clients. We only focus on one client and that’s Kindred Group. I don’t see how we could work with an external agency.”
Max Taub, Head of Acquisition Optimisation, Kindred Group
Problem 2: Lack of skills/talent
There is no secret it takes time to build a great team – no matter what team that is. The challenge with finding the right skills and or talent goes for in-house teams as well. In fact, it is being stated as one of the top perceived barriers to in-housing. The skills marketers are missing in their in-house teams are digital marketing knowledge, creative thinking and organisational skills.
However, we can see that the challenge with finding talents has gone down from the 2019 report to the 2020 report. This is a sign that in-house teams are becoming more mature, better at understanding what types of skills they need, as well as knowing how to keep talents by creating a strong culture.
When in-housing, a great reminder is also that no team looks the same. For some, a complete in-house team works the best. For others, a hybrid solution where some marketing activities are done in-house, and some via an agency, is a better option.
Problem 3: High costs of in-housing
Any change in an organisation may entail costs, which is why in-housing may seem intimidating. However, one benefit often mentioned when talking about in-house marketing is increased control across several areas. That can refer to data usage, production, budget, and more, which can result in increased ROI. Our report shows that as many as 63% of respondents say their ROI has seen a positive change since in-housing.
Swedish betting giant ATG is a good example of how in-housing means gaining control not only over campaigns, but all assets available at the company. By using leftover video footage from a big commercial shoot from the previous year, the ATG in-house team managed to show another side of horse-racing. As a result, they created an emotive campaign that led to ATG winning Bannerflow’s quarterly Best display advertising campaign 2020 – without even having to produce new material. This shows how in-housing can increase proactivity as well as creativity, while decreasing cost.
“I think this is one of the strengths of being an in-house agency – we have a good overview of the productions, both external and internal.”
Mattias Hallbom, Senior Designer/Creative Lead, ATG
Problem 4: Organisational structure
Changing an organisation can definitely be a challenge. One way of getting there could be by starting to build trust in how in-housing can help businesses reach their goals. Showing success stories and research that indicate that in-housing is the future, can be reassuring.
Do you need help putting into words what in-housing can look like and how it can benefit your company? Let our most recent state of In-housing 2022 report do it for you.
Also, sharing that in-housing doesn’t necessarily mean not working with agencies at all, might be an idea. Moving some marketing activities in-house while still outsourcing some can be a good way of transitioning to in-house. Make the shift at a pace that fits the organisation.
Problem 5: Lack of technology
Technology is important to marketers as it, among other things, allows them to focus on the creative aspects of the job. Not only can it enable innovation and reduce manual tasks, but it’s also a great way to increase collaboration. Our data shows technology has been an enabler for in-house teams: 55 percent say creativity levels have been boosted, and 54 percent are seeing more collaboration as a direct result. In other words, no wonder having the right technology in place is key for marketers. If you are wondering what technology that entails, find our section on having the right martech software stack.
Why develop KPIs for creativity and in-house teams?
KPIs are a natural part of most, if not all, organisations. Yet, some teams do not yet have KPIs for creativity, but more and more organisations are getting there. In our 2020 report, data shows that almost half of marketers have defined KPIs for creativity and another 48% have started to experiment with different KPIs for measuring creativity.
When using external resources, setting a KPI for creativity can be challenging. You might not have the same insights into neither the work process behind the material, nor the results it generates. By in-housing, setting and following up on KPIs becomes a lot easier – meaning increasing ROI does, as well.
Accurate measurement is key
One way of doing that is making sure you measure the right KPIs. That can be a challenge in itself. An idea on how to measure KPIs for creativity can be by combining ad-recall, ad-liking and campaign efficiency. With that being said, that might not be the most efficient way to measure creativity for your organisation.
No matter what the KPIs are, try to integrate them in your everyday work. This can be done by using the right technology, such as a creative management platform, since it allows you to see results in real-time. That creates opportunities to optimise campaigns and improve the chances for an in-house team to actually hit those KPIs – and even perform beyond them.